High Life at the Grand Teton Wyoming

The Rocky Mountains form a gigantic spine down the western side of North America extending from Alaska to New Mexico and they are indeed a mighty barrier. Within the Rockies are a number of smaller ranges; one of the most impressive is called the Tetons, which are today preserved as part of the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

Located just south of its better known neighbour Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton NP covers an area of 310,000 acres (130,000 ha) and includes all of the peaks in the Teton Range as well as some of the Jackson Hole Valley.

What is very impressive about this park is the size of the mountains and huge variation in altitude. From an altitude of 6,400 ft in the valley, the heights climbs over a mile to 13,770 feet on top of the windswept peak of the tallest mountain in the range, Grand Teton itself.

The official entrance to the park is in Moose, Wyoming where the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Centre is located. The centre is open all year round and is the perfect place to visit to get information about conditions in the park and maps for hiking and other endeavours.

To see the park by car, plan a trip along the John D Rockefeller Jr Memorial Parkway which connects Grand Teton National Park with Yellowstone. 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 so the road was built with a grant from the federal government to honour Rockefeller’s generosity.

There are a number of rivers and lakes within the park, and boating is allowed on all the lakes in Jackson Hole but motorised boats can only be used Jackson and Jenny Lakes. Because several invasive species have infected the lakes boast now have to be certified as clean to be able to use the lakes.

There are several campgrounds which can accommodate large recreational vehicles and there are other, smaller, campsites which can be used solely for tents. Most campground are open only from early spring to late fall, but the Colter Bay campground near the visitors centre is open all year round for those hardy souls who like their winter sports.

The Grand Teton National Park is still moistly unspoilt. It is spectacularly beautiful and still has an abundance of wildlife. A visit to the park still gives you that true sense of adventure and a realisation of just how impressive nature is when seen at its finest.

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