When you take the two-mile detour off Teton Park Road to Oxbow Bend and spy the park’s northern peaks reﬂected in the Snake River, you might think Walt Disney had a hand in it all. Front and center is massive Mount Moran and its distinctive Skillet Glacier, which, impossibly steep as it looks, lures extreme skiers. Take time to spot some of the eagles, moose, elk, and ospreys that can complete a perfect scene.
Insider’s tip: A half century ago, as rare trumpeter swans began a comeback in the lower 48, Christian Pond was one of their early nesting places. The huge snow-white swans—their skins made excellent powder puffs—have gathered here ever since. But see them now; the pond is evolving into a meadow. Find the trail between Oxbow Bend and Jackson Lake Lodge.
The ﬁve-mile road up 7,720-foot Signal Mountain is narrow and winding, but at the top you’ll ﬁnd views of four mountain ranges: the Tetons, Gros Ventres, Wind Rivers, and Absarokas. In summer, the sights may also include grizzly and black bears foraging by the road about halfway up.
Insider’s tip: Tent sites dot the shore of 40-square-mile Jackson Lake, and you might think hotel rooms would be just as plentiful. But if you want a roof and a comfy bed, your sole lakeside option is Signal Mountain Lodge. Two-room suites with patios sit just 150 feet from the shore and only slightly farther from killer nachos at the lodge’s Trapper Grill. The lodge is typically open mid May to mid October; Trappers Grill is closed for the rest of the 2020 season.