upload your photos
view photogallery

Wyoming State Parks

USA Parks
Northwest Region
Grand Teton National Park
Grand Teton National Park Grand Teton © Ed Heaton
Very cold but very beautiful in the winter...
Grand Teton National Park Schwabacher Landing © Ed Heaton
One of the most photgraphic parks youll ever visit...
P.O. Drawer 170
Moose, Wyoming   83012-0170
Located in northwestern Wyoming, Grand Teton National Park protects stunning mountain scenery and a diverse array of wildlife. The central feature of the park is the Teton Range ? an active, fault-block, 40-mile-long mountain front. The range includes eight peaks over 12,000 feet (3,658 m), including the Grand Teton at 13,770 feet (4,198 m). Seven morainal lakes run along the base of the range, and more than 100 alpine lakes can be found in the backcountry. <P>Elk, moose, pronghorn, mule deer, and bison are commonly seen in the park. Black bears are common in forested areas, while grizzlies are occasionally observed in the northern part of the park. More than 300 species of birds can be observed, including bald eagles and peregrine falcons. <P>We are pleased you have chosen to visit Grand Teton National Park?s website. Click on the "In Depth" link to the right for additional information to help you plan your visit. We hope you enjoy your visit, both online and in person. <P>
Nature of the Area
Located in northwestern Wyoming, Grand Teton National Park protects stunning mountain scenery and a diverse array of wildlife. Rising more than 7,000 feet above the valley of Jackson Hole, the Teton Range dominates the park?s skyline. Natural processes continue to shape the ecosystem against this impressive and recognizable backdrop.

The elevation of the park ranges from 6,400 feet on the sagebrush-dominated valley floor to 13,770 feet on the windswept granite summit of the Grand Teton. Between the summit and plain, forests carpet the mountainsides. During summer, wildflowers paint meadows in vivid colors. Crystalline alpine lakes fill glacial cirques, and noisy streams cascade down rocky canyons to larger lakes at the foot of the range. These lakes, impounded by glacial debris, mirror the mountains on calm days. Running north to south, the Snake River winds its way down the valley and across this amazing scene.

Long, snowy, and bitterly cold winters make the climate of Jackson Hole unforgiving. The coldest temperature ever recorded in Grand Teton National Park was ?63?F, and snow often blankets the landscape from early November to late April. Brief, relatively warm summers provide a respite from the rigors of winter and a time of renewal and rebirth. In cooperation or competition, the plants and animals adapt to this harsh climate and dramatic elevation change as each finds ways to survive.
History of the Area
The birth of present-day Grand Teton National Park involved controversy and a struggle that lasted several decades. Animosity toward expanding governmental control and a perceived loss of individual freedoms fueled anti-park sentiments in Jackson Hole that nearly derailed establishment of the park. By contrast, Yellowstone National Park benefited from an expedient and near universal agreement for its creation in 1872. The world?s first national park took only two years from idea to reality; however Grand Teton National Park evolved through a burdensome process requiring three separate governmental acts and a series of compromises.

John D. Rockefeller, Jr. became involved in the Jackson Hole Plan after a visit to Teton country in 1924 and again in 1926. These visits highlighted not only spectacular Teton scenery, but also shabby developments littering the roadway from Menors Ferry to Moran and along Jenny Lake?s south and east shores. Yellowstone Superintendent Albright seized an opportunity to explain to Rockefeller the essence of the Noble cabin meeting and the hope of protecting and preserving "this sublime valley" from unsightly commercial development. Rockefeller decided to purchase offending private properties with the intention of donating these lands for National Park designation. He created the Snake River Land Company as a purchasing agent to mask his association and keep land prices affordable, since landowners would have undoubtedly inflated their asking prices had they known of his involvement.

The Snake River Land Company launched an ambitious campaign to buy more than 35,000 acres for approximately $1.4 million. What seemed like a simple and straightforward plan became 20 years of bitter debate, nearly tearing apart the Jackson Hole community. Intense hostility surrounded land acquisitions; attempts by Rockefeller to gift these properties to the National Park Service met resistance. Economic hardships suffered by ranchers during the 1920?s helped ease some land acquisitions. Many ranchers were actually relieved to sell and get out of business during a time of economic difficulty. In 1925, ranchers circulated a petition in support of the private buyout countering anti-park opinions in Jackson Hole. Ninety-seven ranchers endorsed the petition?s statement, "that this region will find its highest use as a playground?The destiny of Jackson?s Hole is as a playground, typical of the west, for the education and enjoyment of the Nation, as a whole." Perhaps this quote has more credibility as a tacit admission that ranching in northern Jackson Hole was difficult, if not impossible, than it has as a genuine altruistic gesture by the ranchers.

Congress enlarged the park to its present size in 1950, "?for the purpose of including in one national park, for public benefit and enjoyment, the lands within the present Grand Teton National Park and a portion of the lands within Jackson Hole National Monument." The conservation battle for Jackson Hole coupled with the philanthropic dedication of John D. Rockefeller, Jr. shapes the character of this valley to the present day. Imagine how different the Teton landscape would look if unbridled development had prevailed over preservation of natural resources. In celebrating the Fiftieth Anniversary of Grand Teton National Park, we recognize and honor the dedication, perseverance and aspirations of visionary men and women who believed that the greatest good for the Teton countryside was as a "public park or pleasure ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the American people." As Crucible for Conservation author Robert Righter suggests, what these visionaries achieved was "perhaps the most notable conservation victory of the twentieth century."
 Hiking Trailyes
Grand Teton National Park has several choices when it comes to cabins and other lodging options:

Colter Bay Cabins:

Open: 05/27/2005 - 09/25/2005. Reservations can be made online or by phone, at (800) 628-9988.

Details: Located by the shores of Jackson Lake, Colter Bay offers a variety of units, from 208 snug log cabins to several tent-cabins. Call for reservations and descriptions. Nearby activities include horseback riding and marina.

Dornan's Spur Ranch Cabins:

Open All Year. Reservations can be made online or by phone: (307) 733-2522.

Details: Log cabins located on the Snake River. Year-round availability, fully equipped kitchens, hand-crafted lodgepole furnishings. (Not a park concessioner.)

American Alpine Club Climber's Ranch:

Open between 06/11/2005 - 09/30/2005. Reservations can be made online or by phone: (307) 733-7271.

Details: Dormitory accommodations, cooking area, and showers for climbers. No pets allowed. Ten dollars per night.

Triangle X Ranch:

Open between 05/22/2005-10/31/2005 & 12/26/20045-03/31/2006. Reservations can be made online or by phone: (307) 733-2183.

Details: A dude ranch, with arrangements weekly on the American Plan. Enjoy horseback riding, hikes, float trips, western cookouts, meals, fishing, dancing and other western ranch activities.
Grand Teton National Park has several campgrounds from which to choose. Check below to find out which campground best fits you or your party's needs:

Colter Bay Campground:

Open 05/27/2005 - 09/25/2005. Phone: (800) 628-9988

Details: 25 miles north of Moose, with 350 sites, 11 group sites, trailer dump station, showers, and laundry nearby. Fills about noon. Colter Bay is a wooded campground with larger sites and easier access if you are traveling with a camper, trailer, or RV. Close to Jackson Lake with plenty to do close by.

Flagg Ranch Campground:

Open 05/27/2005 - 09/30/2005. Phone: (800) 443-2311

Details: Concession operated, located in the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway, just south of Yellowstone National Park's south boundary and five miles north of Grand Teton National Park. 175 sites in the spruce-fir forest. Call for reservations for both trailer sites and tent sites.

Gros Ventre Campground:

Open 05/01/2005 - 10/15/2005. Phone: (800) 628-9988

Details: 11.5 miles south and east of Moose, with 360 sites, 5 groups sites, and a trailer dump station. Generally fills in the evening, if at all. The campground lies along the Gros Ventre River with a mix of sites in sagebrush, beneath cottonwoods and adjacent to but a short distance from the river. If you are arriving in the afternoon of a busy day, just pull in. Seek a better site the next morning.

Jenny Lake Campground:

Open 05/27/2005 - 09/25/2005. Phone: (800) 628-9988.

Details: 25 miles north of Moose, with 350 sites, 11 group sites, trailer dump station, showers, and laundry nearby. Fills about noon. Colter Bay is a wooded campground with larger sites and easier access if you are traveling with a camper, trailer, or RV. Close to Jackson Lake with plenty to do close by.

Lizard Creek Campground:

Open 06/03/2005 - 09/06/2005. Phone: (800) 672-6012.

Details: At the north end of Grand Teton National Park, about 32 miles north of Moose, has 60 sites and fills by about 2:00 p.m. A less heavily developed campground with sites in the spruce and fir forest. One side of the campgound is adjacent to and slightly above Jackson Lake. Vehicle size limited to 30 feet.

Signal Mountain Campground:

Open 05/07/2005 - 10/16/2005. Phone (800) 672-6012.

Details: 16 miles north of Jenny Lake, 81 sites, and a trailer dump station. Fills by about 10 a.m. Signal Mountain offers a mix of spruce and fir trees, hillsides, and lake and mountain views. Adjacent to Signal Mountain Lodge and marina with a campstore and amenities close by. Sites are generally small and intimate. Vehicles size limited to 30 feet.
There are lots of opportunities for enjoying water in Grand Teton National Park. The Snake River flows through the park and features world-class fishing, unparalleled wildlife viewing, and mild rapids. Many of the more accessible lakes are open for a variety of activities.

Rock Climbing and Rappelling
Permits are not required for mountaineering, but climbers on overnight trips must have a backcountry permit to camp or bivouac. Download the Backcrountry Camping brochure for more detailed information.

Current and detailed information is available at the Jenny Lake Ranger Station in the summer, (307) 739-3343. In the winter call (307) 739-3309.

From June through September, all Garnet Canyon permits and permits for any trip involving technical climbing or mountaineering should be picked up at the Jenny Lake Ranger Station.
Nature Programs
Park rangers provide a wide variety of activities for park visitors including hikes, slide shows, childrens's activities, and wildlife viewing. While most programs are offered during the busy summer season, fall brings wildlife caravans for elk watching and spring is the time to visit if you would like to see the sage grouse strut.

December through March, rangers offer guided snowshoe hikes from the Moose Visitor Center. Call (307) 739-3399 for more details and to make reservations.

Look in the current park newspaper, available on the web or at any park entrance stations, for a detailed listing of available programs.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews


Plane - Fly into Jackson Hole Airport via commercial and charter air service. Local taxi, shuttle, and rental car services are available from the airport. Reserve your rental car when reserving your flight. Rentals are often in short supply. <P> <br>Car - From Salt Lake City, Utah (approximately 275 miles / 5-6 hours): I-15 to Idaho Falls. Highway 26 to Swan Valley. Highway 31 over Pine Creek Pass to Victor. Highway 22 over Teton Pass, through Wilson to Jackson. To avoid the 10% grade of Teton Pass, take Highway 26 from Idaho Falls to Swan Valley. Continue on Highway 26 to Alpine Junction. Highway 26/89 to Hoback Junction. Highway 191 to Jackson. <P>or <P>I-80 to Evanston. Highway 89/16 to Woodruff, Randolph, and Sage Creek Junction. Highway 30/89 to Cokeville and then Border. Continue on Highway 89 to Afton, and then to Alpine Junction. Highway 26/89 to Hoback Junction. Highway 191 to Jackson. <P>From Denver, Colorado (approximately 550 miles / 9-10 hours): I-25N to Cheyenne. I-80W through Laramie to Rock Springs. Highway 191 North through Pinedale. Highway 191/189 to Hoback Junction. Highway 191 to Jackson. <P>or <P>I-25N to Fort Collins, Highway 287 North to Laramie. I-80W to Rawlins. Highway 287 to Muddy Gap Junction. Continue on Highway 287 to Jeffrey City, Lander, Fort Washakie, Crowheart, and Dubois. Highway 287/26 over Togwotee Pass to Moran. Highway 26/89/191 to Jackson. <P> <br>


Wyoming State Parks