Located just a few miles south of Yellowstone National Park, is a national park built around the majestic Teton Mountain Range. While you can’t bring your dog hiking into the mountains themselves, there is still plenty to see with your pup in Grand Teton National Park.
Grand Teton National Park was established in 1929 and merged with Jackson Hole National Monument in 1950. Today the park is approximately 45 miles in length from north to south and 26 miles in width from east to west, for a total of 310,000 acres.
The John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway (established in 1972) is also managed by Grand Teton National Park. This 23,700 acre parkway connects Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks.
The highlight of Grand Teton National Park is the Teton Range. This active fault-block mountain range is approximately 40 miles long. The highest peak is Grand Teton with an elevation of 13,775 feet. The range contains eight peaks over 12,000 ft in elevation.
Other highlights include Jackson Hole (a mountain valley with the lowest elevations in this national park), the Snake River, and the six morainal lakes at the base of the Teton Range.
Grand Teton National Park receives fewer visitors than Yellowstone, but it is still a well-visited park with over 3 million people entering the park every year.
Dog-Friendly Activities at Grand Teton National Park
Grand Teton is yet another national park with strict pet regulations. These regulations include the following:
- Dogs are not allowed in the backcountry or on park trails. This includes the park’s multi-use pathway.
- Dogs are not allowed in public buildings and on swimming beaches.
- They are not allowed to ride in boats on park waters (except for Jackson Lake).
- Dogs have to stay within 30 feet of any roadway.
- Dogs can not be left unattended or tied to an object
- They can not make unreasonable noise or frighten wildlife.
- Dogs must be restrained by a leash (maximum of six feet in length), caged, or crated at all times.
- You have to clean-up after your pet.
After reading all of that, you may be wondering what a dog CAN do in Grand Teton National Park. Mostly they can drive, walk along roadways, and explore look-outs with you. They are also allowed to camp with you.
Additionally, if you are visiting from November 1st through April 30th, the park closes portions of the Teton Park Road, Antelope Flats, and Moose-Wilson Road to motorized traffic. Leashed dogs are then permitted on these roads, offering a chance to hike along a roadway with your pup. Just don’t let your dog walk on the groomed cross-country ski track (when present).
Visit the official nps.gov site for Grand Teton National Park for full pet rules and regulations. The national park also provides this great brochure with a map of good areas to walk your dog within Grand Teton National Park (and in the adjoining Bridger-Teton National Forest).
In many national parks, simply driving with the dogs is not that rewarding. The best sights are often hidden away on trails that don’t allow the pups. But in Grand Teton National Park, the scenic loop road offers stunning view upon stunning view upon stunning view. Honestly, we enjoyed this national park a lot, even though we were limited to the roadways and turnouts.
I mean, just check out these lakes and mountains.
Camping with Dogs at Grand Teton National Park
There are six campgrounds listed on Grand Teton National Park’s official nps.gov site. The campgrounds mostly operate on a first-come, first-served basis. Although reservations are accepted for group camping, at the Colter Bay RV Park, and at the Headwaters Campground & RV sites at Flagg Ranch.
Opening dates for all of the campgrounds are weather dependent. Typically, the earliest campgrounds open around early May and the campgrounds are open until early to mid-October.
If you want to camp outside of these dates, you could consider primitive winter camping at Colter Bay. From December 1st to April 15th, you can camp on the snow covering the parking lot.
Backcountry camping is allowed year-round, but since dogs are not allowed in the backcountry, this is unfortunately not an option for those of us traveling with pets.
As we mentioned in our post about traveling to Yellowstone National Park with dogs, we often choose to camp at national forest campgrounds when visiting less dog-friendly national parks. And that’s exactly what we did when we visited Grand Tetons National Park.
We stayed at Hatchet Campground in Bridger-Teton National Forest. It was a nice little campground close to Grand Teton National Park. There was a quiet gravel road leaving from the campground that we were able to walk the dogs on. For more information about this campground, check out the National Forest website.
Dog-Friendly Activities in the Areas around Grand Teton National Park
We have to be honest, we didn’t spend a lot of time exploring the region directly around Grand Teton National Park. This was a heavy driving part of our trip: from Glacier National Park to Yellowstone National Park to Grand Teton National Park to Wind Cave National Park, we didn’t stop at many extra hiking locations.
As a result, we recommend checking out some of the options provided in these great blog posts:
- JacksonHoleWY.com has a fantastic blog post titled “5 Dog-Friendly Hikes Around Jackson Hole.” If you are looking for some good mileage, check out their 14-mile roundtrip trail recommendation at Devil’s Staircase in Idaho or hike the 11 miles roundtrip to Jackson Peak. Want a shorter trail? A hike to Ski Lake is only 4 miles with minimal elevation gain.
- MyDogLikes.com has a great article about visiting Grand Teton National with dogs, but they also have taken the time to write about their hikes in Bridger-Teton National Forest. Their recommendations? Check out a hike to an overlook of Palisades reservoir or drive down Grey’s River Road towards Squaw Creek.
- GoPetFriendly.com also has a fantastic article about visiting Grand Teton National Park and the surrounding region with dogs. This blog post shares their experience hiking to Goodwin Lake in Bridger-Teton National Park.
- And if those blog posts don’t have enough recommendations for you, check out Wheelingit.us “Top 5 places to Find Doggie Love in the Tetons“. Their top five are the Gros Ventre Wilderness, Jackson WY, Teton Village WY, Curtis Canyon, and Teton National Park itself.
Overall Experience Visiting Grand Teton National Park with Dogs
While we would have loved to take the pups on the trails, we were still very impressed with Grand Teton National Park. We would definitely return with the pups, but next time we would take a hike in Bridger-Teton National Forest before we settled in for the fantastic scenic loop drive.
Have you visited Grand Teton National Park with your dogs? Let us know about your experience in the comments section below.