Originally established in 1929, Grand Teton National Park is located in northwestern Wyoming, about 275 miles northeast of Salt Lake City, and covers more than 310,000 acres. The John D. Rockefeller Memorial Parkway connects Grand Teton National Park to Yellowstone National Park; the two are separated by about 82 miles.
The best known feature of Grand Teton National Park is the mountain range bearing the same name. The Tetons are a unique range in that no foothills surround the base of the mountains. The peaks rise from the valley floor, and are reflected in clear lakes, creating breath-taking views. The Teton Mountain Range is about 40 miles long, and about 7 miles wide. It includes 12 peaks rising over 12,000 feet in elevation; tallest among these is the Grand Teton, at 13,770 feet.
There are over 100 lakes within the Grand Teton National Park, including seven glacial lakes: Bradley, Leigh, Jackson, Jenny, Phelps and Taggart Lake. The Snake River winds through about 50 miles of the Park as well, and is known worldwide as a fishing destination.
Wildlife is abundant in the Park, including black bears, grizzly bears, elk, deer, big horn sheep and moose. Over 300 species of birds reside in the Park as well; particular species vary depending upon the time of year. Visitors should keep in mind that bears, moose and other large animals can be dangerous.
There are many activities to be enjoyed in the Park, including camping, biking, bird watching, boating, hiking, fishing, mountain climbing, horseback riding, cross country skiing, canoeing, rafting and snowmobiling.
Over 200 miles of hiking trails are maintained in Grand Teton National Park. Some of the most popular trails circle one or more lakes. The Jenny Lake area boasts trails suitable for family day hikes as well as rugged mountain climbing. A number of backcountry campsites are also available, along with canoe and kayak rentals. The Bradley-Taggart Loop trailhead is accessible by car, making it a popular cross-country skiing trail in the winter months as well as a moderately easy hiking trail in warmer weather.
Five Visitors’ Centers are located within the Park, where Rangers can be consulted about backcountry excursions. Several Centers have educational video presentations and exhibits profiling resident species, Indian arts, and geology. Most Visitor Centers also have gift shop. There is also a Ranger Station at Jenny Lake.
In addition to campsites, a number of lodges, hotels and cabins are available within the Park. Whether camping or staying in a lodge, advance reservations are recommended.
For kids, the National Park Junior Ranger program is active at Grand Teton National Park. Age-appropriate workbooks are provided at no charge; upon successful completion of the exercises, children are sworn in as Junior Rangers and provided with a commemorative Ranger badge.
Teton Science School is a non-profit institute located in the park. The School offers courses related to the animals, birds, geology, natural history, plants and photography of the Tetons. Classes for all ages are held year round, usually lasting from three to five days.
Pets are allowed in specific areas within the Park; they must be leashed at all times and are not allowed on backcountry or hiking trails. Pets are allowed on some hiking trails in the adjacent Bridger National Forest.
Entrance fees are $25 per vehicle for a seven day pass that is also valid for Yellowstone National Park. Motorcycle fees are $20 and a $12 fee is charged per person for hikers or bicyclists.