The world's largest concentration of geysers, hot springs and other geothermal features is a short drive to the north from Grand Teton National Park on U.S. 89/191/287. Yellowstone also has bison, elk, antelope and bears. Admission to Grand Teton also allows entry into Yellowstone, but be prepared to show your pass at the entrance gate.
city in and the county seat of Bonneville County, Idaho, United States
town in the Jackson Hole valley of Teton County, Wyoming, United States
city in Natrona County, Wyoming, USA
city and the county seat of Park County, Montana, United States
city in Cache County, Utah
town in Gallatin County, Montana, United States
city in Sweetwater County, Wyoming
capital city of the U.S. state of Montana
city in, and the county seat of, Fremont County, Wyoming, United States
city in Carbon County, Wyoming, United States
In the late 1800s, Colonel S.B.M. Young, the acting Superintendent of Yellowstone National Park, suggested the expansion of Yellowstone's park boundaries towards the south. During the following years, various officials introduced a series of proposals to include the Teton mountain range and Jackson Lake in an enlarged Yellowstone. These proposals were met with fierce opposition by local ranchers, who feared that an expanded park would lead to cuts in their grazing areas.
Around this same time, farmers in the region suggested the damming of Two Ocean, Emma Matilda and Jenny Lakes for irrigation purposes. Ranchers became concerned that if the lakes were dammed, it could lead to the destruction of natural resources by way of increased commercial development. This concern led to a key meeting in 1923, when Yellowstone Superintendent Horace Albright and some local residents decided that they could pool private funds to buy up land. This way, they could lock the land away from developers and preserve the natural character of the Jackson Hole region.
Albright was the only person at the meeting who openly supported a national park. The other attendees wanted to make sure that they could continue to use the land for hunting and ranching. As time went by, public support for a national park grew. This support wasn't unanimous, and there were still many holdouts who would not sell their land to the government. Nonetheless, on February 26, 1929, Grand Teton National Park was signed into law by President Calvin Coolidge.
John D. Rockefeller, Jr. became enamored of the Jackson Hole area and decided to help with Superintendent Albright's plan. Rockefeller created a private company as a front to buy land, using the company to hide both his personal involvement and any links to the federal government. That way, local residents would sell their land to the company, not knowing that it was in fact going to be donated to the National Park Service.
When the true nature of Rockefeller's front company became publicly known, it caused outrage in the area. After many legal battles, this controversy was put to rest with a compromise that allowed limited hunting and grazing within the park, as well as the existence of some privately run guest ranches.
The Wyoming landscape in Grand Teton National Park is stunningly beautiful. This range often represents the entire Rocky Mountain range in countless photographs, postcards, and imaginations. This section of the Rockies is a wondrous playground for climbers, hikers, skiers, and nearly all other outdoor enthusiasts.
Flora and fauna
Grand Teton National Park has abundant wildlife, but it is most famous for its populations of elk, bison (buffalo), moose and bald eagles.
Jackson Hole hardly seems the same place when one contrasts the winter and summer seasons. The southern end of the valley averages 15 feet of snow in the winter and often reaches balmy 80 degree temperatures in the summer. Temperatures in higher elevations average four degrees Fahrenheit cooler every 1,000 feet in rise. Raingear is recommended during spring, summer and fall. Sub-zero temperatures are common throughout winter and demand multi-layered clothing, hats, mittens and cold weather boots. Vehicles with four-wheel drive or all-weather tires are recommended for winter travel, roads may be closed during blizzards. Drive at or below posted speed limits at all times; moose and other wildlife are often seen crossing roads during the winter.
Winter doesn’t officially set in until December 21, but the first heavy snows may fall by November 1. Between winter storms the days are sunny and the nights are frigid. Average temperatures range from a daily maximum of 29°F to a minimum of 6°F. Ask at the Moose Visitor Center for road closures during blizzards.
During spring mild days and cool nights frequently come with rain or snow. The spring months average 11 days with measurable precipitation. Temperatures typically range from 22°F to 49°F. Valley trails remain snow-covered until late May.
Between the months of June through August the average daily temperature is 76°F, but high-elevation hiking trails don’t melt out until mid-July. Nighttime temperatures can reach the lower 40s. Most of the year’s precipitation falls during the summer months; afternoon thunderstorms are common.
Sun and occasional rain and snow fill the short fall days. The average daily maximum is 54°F while the minimum average is a cool 25°F. The fall months average 23 days that drop below freezing. For a comfortable trip, bring plenty of layered clothing.