36 Hours of Vanlife in Grand Teton National Park - Native Campervans
36 Hours of Vanlife in Grand Teton National Park
If you’re heading out on a campervan trip this summer for the weekend, we have the itinerary for you! If you’ve never experienced the mystical, and magical nature of Grand Teton National Park, this is the itinerary for you. Grand Teton National Park is full of wildlife, alpine lakes, and mountainous terrain, and is the perfect place to take a campervan. We only have 36 hours, so let’s make the most of it! Load up your campervan and let’s hit the road!
Day 1 – Settle into Grand Teton National Park
We’ve got to make a beeline for Grand Teton National Park because the best campsites in the park are first come first served. We’ve made a list of the best camp spots that will give you the most access to the GTNP.
As you pull in, you’ll be greeted by towering mountains in the distance. This campground features pull-in campsites, picturesque views, picnic tables, trash receptacles, drinking water, and toilets, and is pet friendly! This site is in the southeast part of the park, nearest to the town of Jackson.
Love a good lake? This campground is within spitting distance of Jackson Lake. You’ll enjoy views of Mount Moran. This site includes pull-in camp spots, restaurants, showers, laundry, and a marina. You’ll be
Another great campsite for your stay at GTNP is Colter Bay. Colter Bay offers wonderful views of both Mount Moran and the northern Teton Range. Colter Bay sits inside a small village with a visitor center, restaurants, stores, cabins, and marinas. From this campground, you can access Hermitage Point Trailhead to get a feel for what Grand Teton National Park has to offer.
Start the day!
Once you’ve picked your campground, set up for your stay. Get your chairs out and take a load off, and enjoy the wilderness around you. Take a deep breath of that sweet, sweet mountain air. Depending on your comfort level, take a stroll around the campsite to get familiar with your surroundings or hit up one of the hiking trails close by.
Colter Bay Village offers two, easy hiking trails: Heron Pond and Swan Lake Trail and Lakeshore Trail. Both trails are under two hours. Heron Pond and Swan Lake Trail is a 3.2-mile loop. Many visitors describe the trail as a walk in the woods with great views of the Grand Tetons. It’s the perfect trail to stretch your legs after a long drive!
Lakeshore Trail is a 2.5-mile loop and should take you under two hours to complete. You’ll have lake and mountain views during your hike. With only 185ft of elevation gain, this is the perfect hike to ease you into your weekend.
Once you’ve had a chance to hike around, get some exercise, and acclimate yourself to the area, head back to camp and cook up a scrumptious dinner. Start a fire if you’re feeling up for it! Make sure to get some good rest because we have a big day tomorrow!
Day 2 – Adventure Day!
It’s our big day in the park! Wake up and have a big breakfast to fuel you for the day ahead! We’ve put together an itinerary that offers a little something for everyone. Choose your own adventure and get to explore!
This hike is 9.1 miles in length and takes you to the base of the Cathedral Group. The trailhead begins at the Jenny Lake Trailhead. If you want to cut the hike’s length down, you can take the Jenny Lake boat ride. Taking the boat cuts off close to 2.4 miles each way.
You will cross Cascade Canyon Creek, Hidden Falls, and so much more. So, the higher you climb the better views you’ll have of the “Cathedral Group.” You will truly experience all GTNP has to offer when you hike along this trail. You’ll gain 1,110 FT of elevation. This hike might take it out of you.
This trail is not for the faint of heart; coming in at 10.2 miles and 2,980 feet of elevation gain, this hike will leave you tired but the views will be worth it! You’ll see Mt. Owen through the trees, pass by Bradley and Taggart Lake, and enjoy sweeping views of Jackson Hole.
If you’re lucky you’ll see moose, bears, and any number of wildlife that call this park home. At the end of the hike, you’ll be rewarded with views of the Middle Teton, Disappointment Peak, Grand Teton, Mt. Owen, and Teewinot Mountain.
Make sure you’re wearing your good hiking shoes and pack plenty of water and snacks if you’re going to venture along this trail.
For the Water Lovers
If you feel more at home on the water rather than on a hiking trail, Grand Teton National Park offers a number of water activities. Whether you’ve brought your own paddle board or kayak, or you’re looking to rent them, you can paddle out on the water at Colter Bay Village Marina Park. Bask in the sun and take in the beauty that surrounds you.
Looking for a guided adventure? Hit the rapids with a scenic float or white-water raft experience down the Snake River. There are a ton of white-water rafting vendors out of the Jackson area. Pick your favorite and climb aboard!
If you’re looking to truly relax, you can take boat tours of Jackson Lake. Book your cruise at Jackson Lodge or Colter Bay Village. Spend the afternoon taking in the park from the comfortable seat on your cruise.
Have a captain’s license? Rent a boat at Colter Bay Marina, Jenny Lake Boating, or Signal Mountain Marina. Take a spin in a motorized boat with your friends or family!
For the Road Bikers
There’s nothing better than biking around the Grand Teton National Park. Teton Park Road, Two Ocean Lake Road, and Grassy Lake Road are wonderful places to cycle. In fact, all paved roads in Grand Teton National Park are open to bikers!
Chase the mountain range and enjoy the open air from your bike. Who knows, you may run into a few wild animals.
Feel free to mix and match adventures for the most fun and action-packed day in Grand Teton National Park! At the end of the day, unwind back at camp with your favorite beverage and hamburgers on the grill. Nothing is better than a day spent exploring! We’re going to bet that you’re exhausted!
Day 3 – A scenic drive and the trek home
It’s the last morning of your 36 hours in Grand Teton National Park, and we’ve got one last activity planned before your trek home.
You can’t leave the GTNP without doing a scenic drive. There are a few options depending on the type of views you’re looking for. Looking for peak views? Drive along Jenny Lake. This scenic drive is just 15 to 20 minutes long but it provides spectacular peak views and views of Jenny Lake.
Moose-Wilson Road is a great scenic drive that connects the towns of Moose and Wilson. If you need to go through Wilson or Moose, this is the best drive to take you out of the park.
Signal Mountain Summit Road offers panoramic views of both the Teton Range and Jackson Hole. This is our pick for scenic drives because it is the most beautiful!
Finally, Teton Park Road offers views of the Teton Range and takes you from Moose to Jackson Lake Junction.
Whatever scenic drive you choose, we’re confident it will be breathtaking. There is nothing like driving your campervan through the Grand Teton NP.
We’d love to hear what you got up to in your 36-hour adventure. Tag us on social media (@nativecampervans) to let us know what adventure you chose!