A basic comparison between Grand Teton, GTNP, and Yellowstone National Parks, YNP, for the prospective visitor.

 

From the Moose, Wyoming gate at the southernmost end of GTNP to the Grant visitor center near the southern end of YNP is approxemately sixty-five miles. Per the National Park's web site, that should take the average driver less than two hours with minimal stopping.

Please note that all drive times quoted within the parks are subject to many variables. Some of which are traffic, weather, roadwork, and most importantly wildlife activity. That activity is locally known as bison, bear, or simply animal jams. Due to these variables, any attempt to equate miles to time within the parks can only be an estimate. Even with the typical posted speed limits of 45 MPH, that speed is seldom attainable, and it should never be exceeded. The park visitor should always plan on spending more time covering known distances here than they normally would elsewhere.

YNP on the other hand, covers more than two million acres. That is roughly the size of both states of Delaware and Rhode Island, combined! Where the main roads offering the spectacular, scenic views through GTNP average sixty-five miles end to end, the road network within YNP spans over three hundred fifty miles.

Based upon this simple comparison, it is suggested that the bulk of the  time spent experiencing both of these parks during the same visit be weighted toward YNP. Two hours of driving through GTNP, as opposed to ten hours driving the Grand Loop of YNP at an average of 35 MPH with minimal stopping. For instance, a five day visit would probably work out best as two days in GTNP and three in YNP.

This is in no way intended to put GTNP down. GTNP offers a magnificent visual experience, with dramatic mountain scenery, wildlife, hiking trails, lakes, and portions of the Snake River corridor waiting to be explored  by both the photographer, and the more adventurous traveler. When in the area, GTNP is definitely a not to be missed park. The point here is that compared to Yellowstone, Grand Teton is simply not that large.