John and Brittney Naylor standing beside the Yellowstone National Park entrance sign--Jackson Hole to Yellowstone tour--everything you need to know

Jackson Hole to Yellowstone Tour: Everything You Need to Know

If you’re looking for a fun day trip during your stay in Jackson Hole, then a trip to Yellowstone National Park is a must! Don’t have a car? No problem! A Jackson Hole to Yellowstone Tour is a GREAT way to see various famous landmarks of the Yellowstone lower loop. Not only will you receive hotel pick up, but you’ll have a tour guide sharing information about Yellowstone National Park.

What’s included in a Jackson Hole to Yellowstone day tour?

While the tour may seem expensive it does include quite a bit! Fees include hotel pick up/drop off, light breakfast, picnic lunch, park entry fees, binoculars, an experienced local guide, and air conditioned van!

Jackson Hole to Yellowstone: What to Expect

There are a few things you should know about booking a Jackson Hole to Yellowstone tour. First, unless you book a private tour, you will be touring with other families. This also means you’ll be making several pick ups and drop offs. Once everyone is picked up, the real fun begins.

The tour is also on a schedule, so you’ll have more time at some stops and less time at others. If you happen to have a small group on the tour (perhaps you’re visiting during shoulder season), sometimes the guide will allow the group to make decisions for a more customizable tour.

Travelers should also expect to do some mild walking at several of the stops. So wear comfortable shoes and clothes. Depending on the time of year, there could also be rain and cold weather so pack layers accordingly.

Map of itinerary for Jackson Hole to Yellowstone day trip tour

Jackson Hole to Yellowstone: Driving Through the Tetons

Since you’ll be departing Jackson Hole, the tour begins with a drive through the Grand Tetons. It’s likely you’ll even catch the sunrise, which makes for some really amazing photos.

After you stop to take a few photos of the Tetons, it’s time for the two hour drive to Yellowstone National Park.

The tour we booked included a light breakfast, so this was the perfect time to enjoy our food or take a little nap. Don’t worry, the tour guide won’t let you miss anything. During the drive, the tour guide is also on the lookout for any wildlife and will notify passengers if any are spotted.

Grand Teton National Park reflection in lake. Stop on tour Jackson Hole to Yellowstone.

Stop One in Yellowstone: Old Faithful

The first stop, once arriving to Yellowstone National Park, is none other than Old Faithful! When your tour guide first enters the park, they’ll verify with the park ranger as to what time Old Faithful is scheduled to erupt next. Occasionally, your guide may rework the tour in the event the timing is off to see an eruption.

To provide some background, Old Faithful is a renowned geyser named for its regular eruptions, which occur approximately every 90 minutes. Part of the park’s Upper Geyser Basin, it spouts hot water and steam into the air, with eruptions lasting from 1.5 to 5 minutes. Old Faithful symbolizes Yellowstone’s unique geological wonders, drawing millions of visitors yearly to witness its remarkable displays of natural beauty.

Travelers will have about 45 minutes to explore Old Faithful and visitor center. This is also a great time to use the restrooms and grab any snacks. Not every stop on the tour will have access to a restroom, so make sure you take advantage of this stop! In addition, there’s also a gift shop if you wish to purchase any souvenirs.

We were also able to see our first bison at this stop. Little did we know, this would be the first of many bison we see during our tour. DO NOT APPROACH BISON OR OTHER WILDLIFE. ALWAYS KEEP A SAFE DISTANCE.

Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park--Jackson Hole to Yellowstone
Bison eating grass at Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park--Jackson Hole to Yellowstone Tour--stop one inside Yellowstone NP

Stop Two: Geyser Basins

The next stops on your tour of Yellowstone from Jackson Hole will be the Geyser Basins. Our group actually opted to skip one of the geysers, so we could spend more time elsewhere.

Our group did get out and see the main geyser though, known as the Grand Prismatic Spring. While this geyser is absolutely stunning, the walkway around the geyser is one way. There are also no railings, so it’s important to stay on the path as the geyser is very deadly. Unfortunately, it started down pouring as we were on the walkway, so we had to tough it out–this is where packing a rain jacket or layers comes in handy. You truly never know what weather you may experience in Yellowstone National Park.

The Grand Prismatic is the third largest spring in the world and is bigger than a football field at 370 feet in diameter. The colors that make Grand Prismatic famous are a result of extreme organisms living in the hot water. The center of the pool is near boiling temperature and has a brilliant blue color. These colors are best seen when it’s sunny.

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Stop Three: Upper Falls

The next stops are sure to be some of the most breathtaking sights in all of Yellowstone National Park. First you’ll visit the Upper Falls. Here, guests can enjoy the waterfall as it plummets down nearly 109 feet from several different viewpoints.

If you choose to visit Yellowstone on your own, there are some great hiking trails nearby for you to enjoy, too.

lower falls at yellowstone national park--yellowstone day tour from jackson hole
Yellowstone river and lower falls in Yellowstone National Park surrounded by rocks and tall luscious trees--stop during yellowstone day tour from jackson hole

Stop Four: Lower Falls aka Artist Point

The next stop during your Jackson Hole to Yellowstone tour is the Lower Falls. Known as the “Grand Canyon” of Yellowstone National Park, the Lower Falls are sure to wow everyone. Artist Point, located on the south rim of the canyon and named for its popularity among early landscape artists, provides a breathtaking panoramic view of the falls and the canyon.

The waterfall is 308 feet high, which is nearly twice the height of Niagara Falls. It truly is one of the most spectacular views in Yellowstone National Park.

artist point in yellowstone national park, best family vacation destinations--yellowstone day trip
Grand canyon of Yellowstone National Park at the Lower Falls

Stop Five: Hayden Valley

After leaving Artist Point, you’ll begin the drive through Hayden Valley. While this isn’t an official stop, Hayden Valley is the prime spot to see bison and other wildlife. The valley spans approximately seven miles and is surrounded by hills and forested areas.

If it’s safe to do so, the tour guide may pull into the designated parking area for guests to take better photos. However, I opted to take photos from the van. Usually the traffic is slow going through Hayden Valley, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to take photos and videos if you’re unable to pull over.

bison roaming in yellowstone national park, hayden valley
Bison in Hayden Valley in Yellowstone National Park during a day tour from Jackson Hole.

Final Stop: Yellowstone Lake

The final stop of the Yellowstone day trip is Yellowstone Lake. This where we ended up having our picnic lunch that was included in the rate. We were able to enjoy our lunch on the porch or inside at the Yellowstone Lake Hotel. There was also a cute little gift shop if you needed to grab any last minute souvenirs.

During the tour, our guide allowed us to choose whether we wanted to have our lunch picnic style at the lake or in the van. Since our group did choose picnic style, we did spend less time at previous stops. So, just keep in mind that some stops may be shorter or longer depending on what the majority of the group decides.

Jackson Hole to Yellowstone Day Tour Conclusion

If your guide is like ours, then they’ll stop at the Yellowstone National Park sign on the way out for photo ops. It’s typically less crowded at this point of the day. Now that you’re done exploring Yellowstone, it’s time to take everyone back to their hotels.

During the drive back, the guide is still providing relevant information about both Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. They’re also still actively searching for wildlife. Our group was able to see some moose, elk, and of course, bison. Occasionally, the guide may pull over so guests can take a photo or use their binoculars for a better look.

Overall, we felt that the Jackson Hole to Yellowstone tour was well worth the investment. Especially since we did not rent a car during our stay in Jackson Hole. We were able to get a glimpse of the amazing sights of Yellowstone, while receiving fun facts and information.

If you have a spare day in Jackson Hole, a Yellowstone tour is a must, especially only being two hours away!

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The Comments

  • Cris
    February 28, 2024

    What a great tour! I hadn’t considered taking a tour from Jackson Hole to Yellowstone, but this one really sounds perfect. So many stops and beautiful sites, especially Artists Point! Thanks for sharing your insights and recommendations.

  • jeanne dee
    February 28, 2024

    Wow, this looks great!! So beautiful! I love the photos and information!!

  • Marga
    February 29, 2024

    This sounds like an amazing tour! I’ve heard it gets very busy though. Would it be advisable to book tours well in advance and are certain seasons less busy?

    • Brittney
      → Marga
      February 29, 2024

      I agree. Peak seasons, you would definitely need to book at least a month in advance. We visited at the end of September, which is considered shoulder season and were able to book the week before.

  • Jaqueline
    March 1, 2024

    Such an informative and thorough guide, I absolutely loved your pictures along with it!

    • Brittney
      → Jaqueline
      March 1, 2024

      Thank you!