We will start by saying, Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park are so close you could easily hit both in a week. If you are short on time and trying to decide between the two, consider what you most like to do on a vacation because these parks are very different. It’s most easily broken out this way–do you like to drive to look at pretty scenery, or do you like to walk to look at pretty scenery? Not sure? This post is for you!
Yellowstone National Park is known for its wildlife and geothermal areas. These sights are truly incredible, but keep in mind they all need to be accessed in a vehicle; and Yellowstone is REALLY BIG! Almost 3,500 square miles is a lot to explore, and you will be doing it in your car. In fact, the grand loop of Yellowstone takes 4 hours to drive on a good day and 7 hours during the busy season months. That means a lot of time sitting and looking out the window. If this is your jam, you will love the sights of Yellowstone!
Winner: Grand Tetons
Grand Teton National Park is best known for its amazing trails–200 miles of them! Some of the best views of the park can be found at the end of these trails. While there are iconic things to see from your car, the best exploring in this park is done on foot. So if your family is the walking adventure type, Grand Teton will definitely be your jam!
We can find so much to love about both parks, and if you want The Yellowstone experience, the most unique places to hit are in the geothermal area of the park. The good thing news is that area is further South and closer to Grand Tetons, so if you want to spend more time hiking, plan for more days in Grand Tetons and maybe run up to Yellowstone for a day to see Old Faithful, Upper Geyser Basin, and The Grand Prismatic Spring. The Grand Basin and Prismatic Spring are fun kid-friendly hiking areas in Yellowstone.