Best Winter Hikes in Grand Teton National Park
There’s a certain calmness and peace in Grand Teton National Park during the winter season. It’s practically empty and everything’s covered in pure white snow. While all the best hikes are inaccessible to most traditional hikers, there are still many options that can still be enjoyed, especially on snowshoes! Below are some of the most enjoyable snowshoe and winter hikes in Grand Teton National Park.
The Taggart Lake Hike is normally one of the most popular hikes in summer, but it’s also one of the most popular hikes in winter. The difference though is that the crowds are gone and there are only a few people snowshoeing or cross-country skiing the trail. Taggart Lake makes for a great destination in the winter and is not only one of the easiest trails, but thanks to being a winter go-to, is also one of the easiest to follow.
The lake will most likely be a little anticlimactic later in the season since it will be iced over and covered in snow, but the quiet solitude at the base of the Teton Mountains makes every step worth it. For some really great light, be sure to hike it at sunrise and/or sunset.
Teton Park Road
Most commonly accessed at the Taggart Lake Trailhead, the Teton Park Road is also closed at this point in winters. If you’d prefer a flatter hike to the Taggart Lake Trail, the road makes an excellent alternative. Also known as the Inner Park Road, you’re free to explore as much as you want along the road, heading as far in as you can go (just make sure you save enough energy to get back).
Likewise, this road is also accessible from the north end, where the road remains closed through the winter from Signal Mountain Lodge and south back to Taggart Lake Trailhead. This leaves plenty of miles to explore for ambitious winter outings. Regardless of which end you start from, the Teton Mountains provide an incredible backdrop along your journey.
Mormon Row is one of Grand Teton National Park’s most popular destinations during the summer months, featuring the iconic Moulton Barns, the two most photographed barns in the world. During the winter, however, Antelope Flats Road is closed to motorized travel, and the road remains unplowed. This allows for peace and tranquility at one of the most iconic spots in the park.
Once the road is closed for the winter, a small parking area is made 0.8 miles from the main highway along Antelope Flats Road. From there, the road becomes the trail where you can reach the John Moulton Barn after a 0.9 mile snowshoe hike or cross-country ski. If you’re still looking for more, you can head south along Mormon Row to reach the T.A. Moulton Barn as well as the other historic buildings of the abandoned town.
The Moose-Wilson Road is one of the wildlife hotspots during the summer months, but in the winter season the road is closed to vehicle travel between the Granite Canyon Trailhead and the turnoff for the Death Canyon Trailhead. In between is a quiet and serene road groomed for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing through an old forest, leaving 3 miles open for exploration.
While the typical wildlife that makes the road so famous has migrated elsewhere for the winter, there’s still a number of other animals that frequent the forests, such as porcupines, owls, and more. In addition, the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve makes for a great destination from either end, and while the Visitor Center there is closed, the solitude makes the excursion well worth it. Likewise, follow either the Lake Creek Trail or the Woodland Trail to Phelps Lake for a remarkably peaceful day in the snow.
While this is only a short list of potential options, there are plenty more to be found both inside and outside of Grand Teton National Park. If you’ve run through this list and are itching for more, reach out in the comments!