Description - Grand Teton National Park, located in the Snake River Valley of northwestern Wyoming, offers an unlimited amount of outdoor activities and facilities in a beautiful setting beneath the stately Grand Teton.
Copyright: National Park Service
Grand Teton National Park
- The best known and very striking attraction of Grand Teton National Park is rugged and stately Grand Teton. The mountain rises to a height of 13,770 feet and lies within a range of other lofty peaks. Twelve peaks in the Teton Range reach 12,000 feet elevation and support a dozen mountain glaciers. These are the youngest of the mountains in the Rocky Mountain system.
The rise of the Teton Range as well as the erosion caused by eons of glaciation have created the conditions that allow several plant communities to thrive in the region. The wide range of plant communities create habitat for a wide variety of animals, from the tiniest insects, to fish, birds and large and small mammals.
Humans have taken advantage of the mountain setting and its abundant resources for approximately 11,000 years. Early residents occupied the valley during the short spring, summer and fall seasons. During the other eight months of the year, they moved to lower elevations and warmer winter climates. Beginning in the late 1800's, homesteaders, ranchers and later dude ranchers moved into the valley, bringing the technologies of irrigation and insulation, to allow them to stay through the long, harsh winter.
Recreation - The mountain setting of this park supports outdoor activities in every season. Visitors of all skill levels will find facilities for hiking, walking, wildlife viewing, photography, backpacking, camping, climbing and biking. The alpine lakes, streams and rivers within the park support water-oriented opportunities such as, fishing, swimming, boating, floating and canoeing. Winter activities in the park include skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling. Some activities such as overnight backpacking, boating, floating, canoeing, fishing and snowmobiling require fee permits, licenses or registration.
An excellent place to gather information about park facilities is at one of the visitor centers. Moose Visitor Center features exhibits and information on the Greater Yellowstone Area and rare and endangered species. The Jenny Lake Visitor Center features Geology exhibits and a relief model of the region. At the Colter Bay Visitor Center you'll find an Indian Arts Museum, an auditorium and a large book store. The Flagg Ranch Information Station features information about John D. Rockefeller and the Greater Yellowstone area. Visitor Centers are located along main park roads and are indicated on the park map.
There are approximately 100 miles of park roads, which are usually very congested during the summer season. Always consider driving time and distance to your next destination before setting out. Trail mileage in the park nears 200 miles. Most park trails are rough rock or dirt and are not accessible to visitors with disabilities. There are many asphalt trails in the Jenny Lake area, some of which are accessible. Some trails may begin as asphalt and change to dirt or gravel shortly thereafter.
Lodging within the park is available through park concessioners at Flagg Ranch, Grand Teton Lodge Co., Signal Mountain Lodge Co. and Dornan's Spur Ranch Cabins. Five National Park Service campgrounds are available within the park: Gros Ventre campground, south of Moose; Jenny Lake Campground, north of Moose, Signal Mountain campground, north of Jenny Lake; Colter Bay campground, north of Jackson Lake Junction and Lizard Creek campground, at the north end of Grand Teton National Park. During the summer season all lodging and camping facilities throughout Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks fill by early afternoon, including overnight lodging in Jackson, Wyoming. Many dining establishments recommend or require reservations during summer.
Climate - This region of the West is characterized by its long, cold winters. The first heavy snows fall by November 1 and continue through March with snow and frost possible during any month of the year. Summer days usually reach 70 to 80 degrees F with cool nights in the 40's. Summer afternoon thunderstorms are common. These can bring cool temperatures especially if your activities take you to high elevations.
Autumn brings mild to cool temperatures. If your visiting the area at this time bring winter layers especially for night time. Rain gear is recommended during spring, summer and fall seasons. Subzero temperatures are common throughout winter and demand multilayered clothing, hats, mittens and cold weather boots.
Grand Teton National Park is located in the Snake River Valley of northwestern Wyoming. The site is south of Yellowstone National Park and north of Jackson, Wyoming, in Teton County.