Grand Teton National Park is a national park in northwestern Wyoming. It was named after 13,770-ft (4,197-m) Grand Teton, the tallest mountain in the Teton Range within the park. Grand Teton National Park covers 484 sq mi (1,250 sq km) encompassing land and water. It was established on 26 February, 1929. The park is located to the south of Yellowstone National Park.
The Teton Range is part of the Rocky Mountains. It starts from Jackson Hole, a 55-mile long valley with a width ranging from 6 miles (9.7 km) to 13 miles (21 km) with an average elevation of 6,800 ft (2,100 m). The Teton Range has eight peaks reaching 12,000 ft (3,658 m). Seven of these form the picturesque Cathedral Group.
Evidence of human activity in the Grand Teton National Park area goes back 12,000 years, with the discovery of obsidian used by Stone Age cultures to produce blads and arrowheads. Ancient trade routes and hunting trails traverse the area, through the Teton pass at the southern end of the range, crisscrossing Jackson Hole.
The name Grand Teton may have been named in the 19th century, when French explorers called the three highest peaks Les Trois Tetons, meaning "the three nipples". Fur trappers and fur traders call the deep valleys bordered by soaring mountains "holes". Jackson Hole was named after a fur trapper David Jackson in 1829.
The first white American to arrive in the Jackson Hole area was John Colter, a member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, in 1805-06. Geologist F.V. Hayden visited it in 1860. In 1871 geologist James Stevenson went there on a government-sponsored scientific survey, as part of a team to the Yellowstone area led by Hayden.
Effort to turn the Teton National Forest into a national park goes back to 1927. Imminent philanthropist John D. Rockefeller quietly began buying up land in the area, with the intention of turinging it to the National Park Service as protected forest land. However the effort to establish a national park face a rocky journey, hampered by opposition from resident ranchers.
On 13 March, 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed a 221,000-acre Jackson Hole National Monument. The proclamation was followed by further local opposition and campaign to have the monument abolished, from ranchers concerned over their lost of income and livelihood.
Local attitudes began to change following the end of World War II, when tourism to Grand Teton provided a new source of income for the local economy. On 16 December, 1949, the Rockefeller lands were finally added to the national monument.
On 14 September, 1950, most of Jackson Hole National Monument, except its southern extent, was made the Grand Teton National Park. Thbe highway from the northern border of the park to Yellowstone National Park was named the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway, in recognition of the philanthropist's contribution. In 2001, the Rockefellers donated their Jackson Hole retreat to the national park, and it was established as the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserved which was dedicated on 21 June, 2008.
Visiting Grand Teton National Park, WyomingIf you're coming from Salt Lake City, take the Interstate 15 north to Idaho Falls. From there, continue on US Highway 26 to Swan Valley, then Idaho State Route 31 to Pine Creek Pass and on to Victor. Continue on Utah State Route 33 south. It becomes the Wyoming State Route 22 after the state border, over Teton Pass through Wilson to Jackson.
An alternative route from Salt Lake City is to take Interstate 80 to Evanston. Continue of Wyoming State Route 89 north. It continues in Utah as State Route 16 through Woodruff, then Randolph. From Highway 16, continue on Highway 30 eastwards. Crossing the Wyoming border, it continues as Wyoming Highway 89. Continue north on US Highway 30, pass Cokeville, then Border. Continue on US Highway 89 east and north to Afton, then Alpine Junction, then Hoback Junction and finally to Jackson.
If you are coming from Denver, take the Interstate 25N to Cheyenne in Wyoming. Continue on I-80W to Rock Spring. Continue on US Highway 191/189 to Hoback Junction and onwards to Jackson.
There are a number of visitor centers namely the Colter Bay Visitor Center & Indian Arts Museum, Flagg Ranch Information Station, Jenny Lake Visitor Center, Craig Thomas Discovery & Visitor Center, Laurance S. Rockefeller Center and Jenny Lake Ranger Station. The main one, Colter Bay Visitor Center & Indian Arts Museum (phone 307-739-3399) is open from 8 May to 6 June from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, 7 June to 6 September from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm, and from 7 September to 11 October from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Vehicle permits to Grand Teton National Park is $25 for 7 days, inclusive driver of non-commercial vehicle and passengers. Hikers and bicyclist pay $12 per person while motorcyle permits are $20 per vehicle.
Return to National Parks of the United States
Point - Click - Discover!Thanks for visiting this webpage. To continue exploring, choose another destination!
My World Travel Guides - celebrating a beautiful world beautifully.