Bus Tour to Yellowstone National Park

Did you know Grand Teton National Park is included in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem? Yellowstone National Park is only 40 miles away from Jackson Lake Lodge, and is connected to Grand Teton National Park. The Bus Tour to Yellowstone National Park is the perfect way to see and explore the northern part of Grand Teton National Park and the lower loop of Yellowstone National Park. The tour begins at Jackson Lake Lodge and leaves at 8:30am. (You do not have to worry about lunch, because a boxed lunch is packed and already waiting on the bus.) The tour bus is cozy with large windows so one can easily spot wildlife and see the awesome sights of this unique and awesome terrain. Warren, the tour guide and driver greets all of his guests, and the journey takes off. Be prepared to soak up some great knowledge, because while on the road Warren goes into detail about the landscape, wildlife, and interesting facts about both parks.

The Grand Teton Lodge Company Tour Bus departs for Yellowstone National Park Entrance

The first stop along the way is the entrance to Yellowstone National Park. This location offers views of the Snake River, as well as a possible Grizzly Bear sighting. Warren mentioned he had seen the bear twice here before, and you never know when the bear may be back. No bear at this stop, but it did have the iconic Yellowstone sign which is ideal for pictures! After, the entrance and photo shoot it was on to the West Thumb Geyser Basin.

Entrance to Yellowstone National Park
Geyser at West Thumb Geyser Basin
Geyser in Yellowstone Lake

West Thumb Geyser Basin is only thirty minutes from the entrance of the Park and offers terrific views of Yellowstone Lake, and a variety of bubbling steaming geysers. These unique water features occur when there is a hot spot of lava near the surface of the earths crust, and Yellowstone National Park is full of these pockets of geysers. The first geyser is a deep sapphire-green color which is caused from bacteria found only in water with constant hot temperatures. Makes for some awesome photo’s! The second geyser pictured formed a cone along the shores of Yellowstone Lake, it was neat to see it bubble under the water. (boardwalks encompass the entire basin to ensure one is safe when walking around.)

Old Faithful Geyser
Grand Prismatic Springs

The second scenic location the tour travels to is known world-wide as Old Faithful. This geyser basin is famous because of the Old Faithful geyser and its predictable time of eruption every 90 minutes. What people do not know is that there are more awesome geysers there to see and discover if one just takes ten minutes to hike the surrounding area. Old Faithful was a great stop to experience an awesome geyser, and eat a delicious lunch! After Old Faithful, another famous stop was next on the list known as Grand Prismatic Springs. This hot spring has been featured on the cover of several magazines due to its amazing colors when seen from above. It was awesome to witness the brilliant colors in this spring, although hard to capture on film from eye level because the geyser was so large!

Lower Falls
Artist Point

It is hard to believe but there is still more scenic views to this tour! The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone as pictured above was by far one of the most favorite and picturesque locations of the tour. Yellowstone River flows through this canyon, and tour stopped at the lower falls, and upper falls of this river. It was an excellent way to see the falls up close and from a distance. A fun-fact learned from Warren was that this canyon is the reason Yellowstone National Park received its name, look at the yellow rock along the walls.

Bison in Hayden Valley
Warren in Front of Yellowstone Lake

What about the wildlife? The drive through the beautiful Hayden Valley on the way back to the Tetons held many herds of Bison scattered across green fields. Elk were also seen along the roadside, and as the bus returned to Grand Teton National Park a young adult Grizzly Bear was seen only ten feet from the road! It was so close to the highway it would have been dangerous to leave the bus. It is amazing to think how many  wonders of the world can be experienced in just one day! This tour was a day trip filled with geysers, waterfalls, and wildlife in a remote yet astonishing place known as the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Looking for inspiration, its only a day tour away!


Dinner Lake Cruise to Elk Island

The Dinner Cruise to Elk Island is so delicious it deserves a second blog. The cruise alone is worth the trip. Walk down the dock and find the cruise ships Rendezvous and Teewinot waiting to depart. All ages are welcome aboard and the journey on Jackson Lake begins.

The Dinner Lake Cruise starts at 5:30pm which means the sun will slowly set during the cruise. The first 30 minutes of the cruise offer an interpretive and humorous talk given by the spectacular first mates about the natural landscape and history of Grand Teton National Park and Jackson Lake. For instance, do you know the size of the largest trout caught in Jackson Lake? Find the answer on the Dinner Lake Cruise!

The Teewinot leads the way to Elk Island

As the boat travels to Elk Island there are plenty of Wildlife viewing opportunities.  See Below:

Elk on Elk Island with Antlers

Once the boat arrives to Elk Island it is time for dinner, and one should come hungry because the food is cowboy cookin’ scrumptious. Dinner is cooked on site over a grill and the food is served from piping hot cast iron skillets. Griddle grilled corn on the cob, baked beans and kettle potatoes all are amazing sides as well as, a full salad bar with rolls. The main course is unbeatable when it comes to flavor! Can anything compare to Flame-grilled steaks and Idaho trout?

Excellent 1st Mate Servers
Cowboy Dinner

Just when one thinks they are full and satisfied dessert is served. Blueberry cobbler is served warm and delicious cooked in a large cast iron skillet. Add a cup of coffee and it is the perfect way to end an amazing feast.

Warm Blueberry Cobbler

What about the view? As mentioned earlier the cruise leaves at 5:30pm when the sun shines down on the mountains before setting behind them. Dining on an Elk Island offers brilliant close up views of the Teton Mountain Range while in nature. After the meal there is time to walk the trail to a lookout on Elk Island and see incredible panoramic views of Jackson Lake and the mountains.

Lookout view from Elk Island

If you are looking for a fun-filled evening with family or friends participate in the Elk Island Dinner Cruise and have the experience of a lifetime.

Back to Colter Bay Marina

GTLC Fun Facts

Grand Teton Lodge Company began as a transportation company.

Jackson Lake Lodge was built in 1955.

Colter Bay is comprised of 166 guest cabins that are all authentic settler’s cabins from around Grand Teton National Park.  Each cabin was moved from its previous location to Colter Bay Village to provide lodging for guests visiting the national park.

Jenny Lake Lodge is the only inclusive and award-winning hotel in Grand Teton National Park ~ recognized by Conde Nast, Travel + Leisure, AAA, Mobil, Fromer’s, Food & Wine and many other prestigious entities.

Grand Teton Lodge Company has it’s own butcher shop, bakery, laundry facility, grocery store and recycling center all on-site within Grand Teton National Park.

Jackson Lake Lodge houses the only pool in Grand Teton National Park.

Each cabin at Jenny Lake Lodge is named after a native wildflower.

Grand Teton Lodge Company employs an Interpretive Specialist who focuses on training and guest programs to enhance Park visitor experiences.

Jackson Lake Lodge (we believe) is the largest meeting location within a National Park.  With over 17,000 sq ft of meeting space and 385 guest accommodations, meetings are affordable and inspiring.

We are proud to host nearly 30 weddings each summer….and many more happy anniversaries!

Gros Ventre Campground is the closest campground to the town of Jackson with over 300 campsites available making it easy to enjoy the Park and play in Jackson!

Jackson Lake Lodge is 20 miles from the entrance to Yellowstone and approximately 1 1/2 hours from Old Faithful.

Grand Teton Lodge Company is certified to the standards of the International Organization for Standarization (ISO) for 14000 (Environmental), 9001 (Quality) and was the first hospitality organization in the US to acheive this 9001 certifications.  These third party certifications ensure we are providing a quality operation with environmental standards in place to protect our unique setting.

We’ll provide a few more facts in upcoming blogs.  In the meantime, do you know a few you’d like to share with us about GTLC or the Park?  If so, we’d like to hear from you….

GTLC Incorporates Green Practices in Renovation

Guestroom at Jackson Lake Lodge
Guestroom at Jackson Lake Lodge


With sustainability in mind, Grand Teton Lodge Company completed major renovations this year. $5.4 million in projects included guestrooms at Jackson Lake Lodge, guestroom baths at Jenny Lake Lodge, and a complete transformation of the former Chuckwagon restaurant at Colter Bay Village. Each project strived to be environmentally friendly and put GTLC’s green practices to the test.


Jackson Lake Lodge Guest Bathroom Lighting Fixtures
Jackson Lake Lodge Guest Bathroom Lighting Fixtures



Redesigned Headboards at Jackson Lake Lodge
Redesigned Headboards at Jackson Lake Lodge


Walk into one of Jackson Lake Lodge’s 385 guestrooms and you will be greeted by fifties modern décor with a hint of western flair. Designed by Cole Martinez Curtis and Associates, the new look of the guestrooms at Jackson Lake Lodge honors both the National Historical Landmark designation and a commitment to sustainability. A variety of green products and practices were put into place. Low or zero VOC paints, recycled-content carpet padding, low wattage lamps, and the reuse of furniture were efforts to reach a waste diversion of 98%. Double-sized headboards were retrofitted to accommodate queen-size beds, resulting in the saving of 17,136 board feet of wood. Left over furniture, fixtures and equipment was donated to local organizations.


Jackson Lake Lodge Guest Bathroom
Jackson Lake Lodge Guest Bathroom

At Jenny Lake Lodge the bathrooms bring the outdoors in with elegant western charm. The 31 cabins at Jenny Lake Lodge are complete with redesigned guest bathrooms. They reflect the modern grace and serene environment that surrounds Jenny at the base of the Tetons.


John Colter Ranch House at Colter Bay Village
John Colter Ranch House at Colter Bay Village


John Colter Ranch House Bar
John Colter Ranch House Bar


If you look for the Chuckwagon restaurant of Colter Bay Village, you will find a new treat. The restaurant has undergone a complete renovation and in its place is the John Colter Ranch House, honoring the early settlers and mountain men of Wyoming.  The restaurant now features a bar with an atmosphere reflecting the ranching way of life and highlights the original homesteaders whose settler’s cabins are located at Colter Bay Village. Come in for a hearty breakfast, healthy lunch options such as a soup and salad bar, and a variety of dinner entrees including mesquite-grilled flatiron steak, honey BBQ pork ribs and blackened salmon.


Outside John Colter Ranch House
Outside John Colter Ranch House


The new look of Grand Teton Lodge Company is ready to be seen, as the lodges and village prepare to open for the summer on the following days:


Jackson Lake Lodge: May 18

Colter Bay Village: May 22

Jenny Lake Lodge: May 30


Join us for summer 2009! For reservations, call 800-628-9988.

Posted from Katie’s Corner

Change In Plans

View from Mural Room Restaurant
View from Mural Room Restaurant


We at Grand Teton Lodge Company know how rewarding a vacation can be. It offers an escape to the hustle and bustle of everyday life.  It allows us to take a deep breath and let our stresses float up and away.

We live in scheduled chaos, where between appointments, meetings, and conferences, we have to pick up the kids, cook dinner, walk the dog, pay the bills, and clean the house. Where is that moment to ourselves? When can we put our feet up and relax?

Traveling is a way to remove ourselves from the hectic environments that surround us.  As U.S. travel warnings have recently changed, exploring America’s backyard is a feasible alternative. Grand Teton National Park offers the serenity and beauty of a resort, with the ability to explore mountains, lakes, and rivers, and view several species of plant and wildlife.

There are many options to get away from the crowds. From a scenic lake cruise with a cowboy breakfast on Elk Island to participating in a Junior Ranger program, Jackson Lake Lodge provides guests of all ages with a variety of activities to customize a vacation experience in the spectacular setting of Grand Teton National Park.


Take a Cruise to Elk Island
Take a Cruise to Elk Island


May 18 through June 21 GTLC is offering a “Change In Plans” package, which includes a $179 room rate for a classic cottage and a buffet breakfast for two in the Mural Room Restaurant at Jackson Lake Lodge each morning. The offer is for new bookings, based on availability, and is not valid with groups. A change in plans shouldn’t have to cost more change. 

How have your travel plans changed in recent months?  Please leave a comment and let us know in addition to activities that interest you on a vacation!

To learn more about the “Change In Plans” package call reservations at 800-628-9988.


Teton Range from Oxbow Bend
Teton Range from Oxbow Bend