A beginner's guide to Wyoming's Grand Teton National Park
An ethereal mountain landscape where jagged peaks tower more than a mile above the Jackson Hole valley, Grand Teton National Park is located in northwestern Wyoming just south of Yellowstone National Park and just north of the town of Jackson. Visitors can reach the park through U.S. 191. The park's mountain range is very popular among climbers, hikers and photographers.
Grand Teton National Park offers hiking, camping, climbing, boating, kayaking and numerous photography opportunities. A road winds through the park, but the best way to experience the park is to take one of its shorter trails.
Grand Teton's history
Located at the heart of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, the Rockefeller Parkway connects Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. The late conservationist and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller, Jr. made significant contributions to several national parks including Grand Teton, Acadia, Great Smoky Mountains, and Virgin Islands.
In 1972 Congress dedicated a 24,000 acre parcel of land as John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway to recognise his generosity and foresight. Congress also named the highway from the south boundary of Grand Teton to West Thumb in Yellowstone in honour of Rockefeller.
The parkway provides a natural link between the two national parks and contains features characteristic of both areas. In the parkway, the Teton Range tapers to a gentle slope at its northern edge, while rocks born of volcanic flows from Yellowstone line the Snake River and form outcroppings scattered atop hills and ridges.
Nature and beauty
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 iconic 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 colours. 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.
More information and to book: Travellers of all ages can enjoy a journey through the cowboy towns of Jackson, Cody, Sheridan and Keystone, as well as Yellowstone, Rapid City and Grand Teton National Park on the family-friendly Wild West Cowboys & Buffalos escorted tour.
Article courtesy of Wyoming Tourism.