Visitors to Wyoming often head straight for the busy roads of Yellowstone National Park, but there’s another haven for wildlife just to the south that shouldn’t be missed. Wildlife tours to Grand Teton National Park virtually guarantee that you’ll see some extraordinary fauna. With 61 mammal species, such as moose, grizzly and black bears, wolves and mountain lions, plus over 300 species of bird, the only question is how long you’d like to spend there. And let’s not forget the iconic American bison, which can be found grazing the sagebrush flats of the park, particularly in the fall.
Named after the tallest mountain in the national park, Grand Teton is dominated by the beautiful peaks of the Teton Range, an alpine terrain that are parsed by the Snake River and the occasional placid lake. Teton’s wildlife tours often depart from the towns of Jackson or Teton Village, which is one of the main ski resorts in the area during the winter months. There are plenty of different options available, so we have condensed the selection down to the best five below, providing an overview of the different types of tours available while accounting for factors like the value for money, duration, safety measures provided and much more.
FROM: $125/per person
Take a specialized safari tour of the regions of Grand Teton National Park that are best suited to the wonderful wildlife that calls this remarkable place home. Over the course of four hours, this tour will take you on the lookout for bighorn sheep, bison, pronghorn and elk, among many other creatures great and small. Guests ride in the back of a specially designed safari vehicle, along with the guide, who’s a trained naturalist and biologist. You’ll be provided with a pair of binoculars and be able to stop at relevant locations to get a better view of the wildlife through telescopes in order to admire the beauty from afar with the least amount of disruption.
From $145/ per person
A good alternative half-day wildlife tour of Grand Teton is this option, which includes hotel pickup and drop-off from Jackson, which is located around ten miles from the national park’s entrance. Explore Grand Teton on this tour, learning all about the natural and cultural history of the area through the oration of your guide along the way, plus at the occasional visitor’s center and at stops like the National Elk Refuge. Because wildlife is wild, there’s never a guarantee that you’ll see everything, but your guide will be on the lookout for signs of creatures like bears, moose, coyotes and foxes along the way. Both morning and afternoon departures are available.
From $275/ per person
Until very recently in our human history, we lived much closer to the natural world, constantly in the presence of the flora and fauna that most of us only see now online or on TV. That love for the natural world has remained constant on some level though, as evidenced by both the incredible petroglyphs of the Shoshone Native Americans and tours like this. One highlight of this tour, particularly during the winter months, are the herds of bighorn sheep that are easier to spot at this time of the year. You may even see a few hundred of them, among other animals like bison, wolves and mule deer. But don’t forget to keep watch of the skies too for bald and golden eagles.
From $250/ per person
There are many great tours in Grand Teton National Park and some, like this one, offer extra activities during the winter months. The snow can stick around well into the Spring months, enhancing the austere beauty of the landscape and offering opportunities that are not available to visitors at any other time of the year, including the chance to get off piste a little, during a one-hour sleigh ride. For the rest of this eight-hour wildlife tour, or the whole of the tour when there’s no snow, you’ll get the chance to spend the whole day looking out for moose and bighorn sheep, wolves and bears, while learning about the region’s natural history and geology.
From $199/ per person
This final tour is specific for winter visitors to Grand Teton National Park. Get off the trails and deeper into nature by passing through the low valleys – where thousands of elk congregate to see out the coldest months – in a horse-drawn sleigh. During the rest of the tour, follow your expert guide in the search for elusive creatures on the move like coyotes and wolves, bighorn sheep and pronghorn. Aside from the sleigh ride, this tour takes place in a heated vehicle and lunch is also provided in a Jackson restaurant. Each guest also gets to borrow a pair of binoculars for the duration of the tour. Groups are limited to ten people to ensure that the tour is comfortable and provides a higher chance of observing wildlife at closer quarters.