Plan your Visit to
Grand Teton National Park
Much More Than Just Your Average National Park
Grand Teton foothills rise steeply through coniferous forests into alpine meadows filled with wildflowers, past white and blue glaciers and naked granite pinnacles. There are three areas that make up the Tetons, the Grand, Middle and South Tetons. Standing around 7000 ft from the Grand Teton National Park valley floor, the highest point of the Teton range represents one of the most daring geologic features found in the Rookies. Unfettered by foothills, they elevate via sheer coniferous forest to alpine meadows scattered with wildflowers, past white and blue glaciers to exposed granite pinnacles. The heart of the range comprises of the Grand, Middle, and South Tetons. However, their neighbours, particularly Teewinot Mountain, Mount Owen and Mount Moran, are by no means less attractive.
When to go
May – June – July – August – September
Wildlife – Scenic Drives – Biking – Bird-Watching – Family – Boating – Climbing – Kayaking – Hiking – Fishing – Horseback Riding – Wild flowers – Winter Sports – History – Stunning Vistas
Set firmly against the sheer foot of the mountains are collections of jewel-like lakes, fed by mountain streams. Beyond these lakes, you can find the broad valley known as Jackson Hole, which is secluded with sagebrush and interspersed by intermittent forested buttes and groves of aspen trees. The Jackson Hole is an excellent habitation for deer, pronghorn, elk and various animals. The Snake River, which begins its journey in southern Yellowstone National Park close to the Teton Wilderness, twists gently past the Tetons as it continues to Idaho. The braided parts of the river produce wetlands, which sustain Canada geese, elk, moose, deer, trumpeter swans, beavers, sandhill cranes and various types of ducks.
The Tetons are considered normal fault block mountains. Over 13 million years ago, two blocks of the Earth’s crust started to shift along a fault line, one of the blocks tilted downwards while the other block lifted upwards. To date, the movement of the blocks has measured around 30,000 vertical feet, with most of it due to the subsidence of Jackson Hole.
Before the arrival of Europeans, the Teton vicinity was a vital hunting ground for many Indian tribes who also used the area for plant-gathering.
Mountain men are known to have spent time in the Teton area in the early 1800s. The name “Jackson’s Hole” is believed to have originated from the mountain men who named the place after the trapper Davey Jackson. Presently, the area is referred to as “Jackson Hole” without the apostrophe and s.
The first people who settled in the area were farmers and ranchers with evidence of some of their historic buildings still present today despite the fact that the present day inhabitants still practice ranching in the area. Only the glacial lakes and mountains were included in the part when it was first established. However, in 1950, portions of the Valley were added to the Park.
Nowadays, much of Jackson Hole and the Teton Range accounts for the park’s 485 square miles. Park roads located in the valley present a constantly evolving scenery of the Tetons. Most of the park visitors stay along the roads and never trail far away from the road. However, there is much to discover besides the roads; hikers frequent the Tetons. There exist backcountry trails that climb into the mountains as well as behind them. Simple trails also lead beside wetlands and around lakes providing visitors with the chance to see elk, moose, deer and various species of birds.
Did You Know?
In 1929 the Grand Teton National Park was established the first time to protect the lakes adjoining the mountain bases as well as the mountain peaks. However, it was established for the second time in 1950 to incorporate the Jackson Hole National Monument (created in 1943) and the adjacent valley floors.
Since 1972, visitors can experience the slopes of the volcanic landscape of Yellowstone and the Tetons. This was after the Grand Teton and the Yellowstone National Parks became connected by the John D. Rockefeller – Jr. Memorial Parkway.
Grand Teton National Park
Established: February 26, 1929
Size: 309,994 acres
The Grand Teton National Park was actually established twice, first in 1929 to protect mountain peaks and the lakes surrounding the mountain bases, then in 1950, when the adjacent valley floors as well as the Jackson Hole National Monument, created in 1943, were incorporated into the park visitors love today. Since 1972, the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway has connected Grand Teton to Yellowstone National Park, enabling visitors to experience both the slopes of the Tetons and the volcanic landscape of Yellowstone.
Grand Teton National Park, Camping, Backpacking, Hiking.
Teton Range: An active fault-block mountain front, 40 miles long (65 km), 7-9 miles wide (11-14.5 km).
Highest peak: Grand Teton, elevation 13,770 feet (4198 m). Twelve peaks over 12,000 ft (3658 m) in elevation.
Jackson Hole: Mountain valley, 55 miles long (89 km), 13 miles wide (21 km), average elevation 6,800 feet (2073 m). Lowest elevation at south park boundary, 6350 feet (1936 m).
Climate: Semi-arid mountain climate. Extreme high: 93 degrees F (34 degrees C). Extreme low: -46 degrees F (-43 degrees C).
Average snowfall: 191 inches (490 cm). Avg. rainfall: 10 inches (26 cm).
Snake River: Headwaters of the Columbia River system, 1056 miles long. Approximately 50 miles lie within Grand Teton NP. Major tributaries: Pacific Creek, Buffalo Fork, and Gros Ventre River.
Lakes: Seven morainal lakes at the base of the Teton Range: Jackson, Leigh, String, Jenny, Bradley, Taggart, and Phelps. Jackson Lake: 25,540 acres (10,340 hectares) maximum depth 438 feet (134 m). Over 100 alpine and backcountry lakes.
Sports and Outdoors: Camping, Bicycling, Bird-Watrching, Boating and Water Sports, Climbing, Fishing, Hiking, Horseback Riding, Winter Sports.
Download a Grand Teton National Park Map
Planning a trip to Grand Teton National Park? Be sure to download the official Grand Teton National Park map, below, or use our interactive maps to find restaurants, hotels, or activities along the route of your choosing in and around the park. Either way, don’t leave home without a map of Grand Teton National Park. This free Grand Teton National Park map shows park roads, attractions, and more.
Average High/Low Temperatures
Official Grand Teton National Park Map – Click on the Map to download