Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton National Park is 300,000+ acres of spectacular mountains, lakes, rivers, and valleys. While Yellowstone just 10 miles up the road gets most of the love, you could easily spend an entire vacation in Grand Teton National Park. The park contains the major peaks of the 40 mile long Teton Range, and is named after 13,775 ft Grand Teton, the tallest peak in the range. The park also includes several lakes, a long portion of the Snake River (great rafting), and the northern half of the valley known as Jackson Hole. I was never an avid mountaineer, but for those who are the Tetons are close to paradise. There are numerous climbs for rock scramblers and hard core technical climbers alike.

I've been to Grand Teton National Park four times, spanning the years 1981 to 2020.

Jackson Entrance Sign (1991)

Park Sign at Moose Junction

Moran Entrance Sign

Teton Park Road

The Teton Park Road runs from Moose Junction at its south end to Jackson Lake Junction at the north end. Park headquarters and the Moose entrance station and visitor center are located about a mile from Moose Junction. Interesting stops along the road (from south to north) include the Chapel of the Transfiguration, Menor's Ferry Historic Site, the Jenny Lake area, Signal Mountain, and the Chapel of the Sacred Heart. There are also several turnouts and overlooks that offer outstanding views of the Teton range. Taggart Lake, Lupine Meadows, Jenny Lake, String and Leigh Lake trailheads are accessed from Teton Park Road. Teton Park Road is closed to traffic November 1 to April 30 from Taggart Lake Trailhead to Signal Mountain Lodge. The road is open for skiing, snowshoeing, and hiking from mid-December to mid-March.

Moose Junction

Menor's Ferry Historic Site

Teewinot Mountain (right)

Jenny Lake Area

Jenny Lake is located about halfway along Teton Park Road. Here you will find the Jenny Lake Visitor Center, the historic Jenny Lake Ranger Station, and Jenny Lake Store. Several trailheads can be accessed from Jenny Lake.

Jenny Lake Store

Jenny Lake Store

Jenny Lake Ranger Station

Storm Point above
Jenny Lake

Teewinot Mountain
Jenny Lake

Cascade Canyon
View from Cascade Canyon Turnout

Mount Moran
View from Mount Moran Turnout

Lilly Pond along
Teton Park Road

Chapel of the Sacred Heart

Chapel Interior

Stained glass window

Signal Mountain

Signal Mountain rises to a height of 7,720 feet on the eastern side of Jackson Lake, about 10 miles east of its nearest mountain neighbors in the Teton range. A paved road off Teton Park Road winds to the top of Signal Mountain. There are spectacular panoramic views of the Snake River, the Teton range, and much of Jackson Hole from the summit. Signal Mountain Lodge is located on Jackson Lake at the base of Signal Mountain, and there is a moderate 6.8 mile out and back trail starting at the lodge and ending at the summit. Elevation gain is about 850 ft. I spent a night in one of the cabins at Signal Mountain Lodge, so naturally I've included a couple of photos of the accommodations.

Cabins at Signal Mountain Lodge

Cabin Interior

Signal Mountain Parking Area

Mules Ears in Bloom
Signal Mountain June 1991

View from Signal Mountain July 2020

Controlled burn (hopefully)
View from Signal Mountain Sept 2014

View from Signal Mountain
Snake River foreground July 2020

View SE from Signal Mountain
Snake River center July 2020

Jackson Hole
View from Signal Mountain July 2020

Sticky Geranium
Signal Mountain

Silvery Lupine
Signal Mountain

Colter Bay Area

Colter Bay is located about 5 miles north of Jackson Lake Junction on U.S. 191. Colter Bay Village and nearby Jackson Lake Lodge provide all sorts of services and amenities for vistors to the park. Here you can find lodging, gasoline, general store, campground, stables, marina, and picnic areas. The Colter Bay visitor center is located a short distance from the marina. There are numerous short hiking trails in the area. Boating, fishing, hiking, and wildlife watching are the most popular activities at Colter Bay.

Jackson Lake is the largest lake in the park, being some 15 miles long, 7 miles wide, and over 400 feet deep. The lake was enlarged by construction of the Jackson Lake Dam, originally built in 1911 and rebuilt in 1989. The Snake River flows into the lake from the north, and flows out at Jackson Lake Dam. The lake contains several species of both native and non-native trout.

Jackson Lake

Colter Bay Marina June 1991

Mount Moran above Jackson Lake
July 2020

Mount Moran above Elk Island
Early Evening Sept 2014

Jackson Lake

Colter Bay Marina July 2020

Lakeshore Trail

Jackson Lake Lodge Lobby

Jackson Lake Lodge Lobby

John D. Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway

John D. Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway is a 24,000 acre strip of land that connects Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, and includes the highway (U.S. Highways 26,89, and 191) running from the southern end of Grand Teton National Park to West Thumb in Yellowstone. It's named in honor of John D. Rockefeller Jr., who was instrumental in the creation of many national parks, including Grand Teton. We will pick up the parkway out of Colter Bay and follow it south to Moose Junction, completing a circuit of the park. The road parallels the Snake River on the eastern side of the park for most of its length. On our way south we will pass Willow Flats, Jackson Lake Junction, the Oxbow Bend turnout, Moran Junction, Cunningham Cabin Historic Site, Snake River Overlook, and several other turnouts before reaching Moose Junction. Look for wildlife along the entire length, but especially at Willow Flats, Oxbow Bend, and the southern turnouts.

Moran Post Office

Jackson Hole Fire/EMS

Mount Moran view from
Willow Flats Turnout

Tetons viewed from
Willow Flats Turnout

Somewhere along the Parkway

Bar Flying U Ranch

Cunningham Cabin

Stampede at any moment

Cathedral Group of the Teton Range
June 1991

More Mountain Views

Can't have too many photos of the Tetons.


Teton Range
Snake River in foreground

(l to r) Middle Teton, Grand Teton, Teewinot Mountain

The Tetons Oct 2014

Tetons in the Evening
View from Jackson Lake

Tetons Oct 2014
View from Willow Flats Overlook

View from Moose Junction

Tetons July 2020
View from Mount Moran Turnout

View from Teton Point Turnout

Tetons Named
Hopefully I got them right

Some Wildlife

Wildlife commonly seen in Grand Teton National Park include deer, elk, mooose, bison, black bears, grizzlies, otters, and beavers. Gray wolves and cougars are present but rarely seen. There are some 300 species of birds.

Solitary Elk
(Cervus canadensis)

Elk in the Distance

Moose Cow
(Alces alces)

Moose cow and calf

Black-billed Magpie (Pica hudsonia)
Either Heckle or Jeckle - can't tell which

American White Pelicans
(Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)

Wapiti (Elk)
(Cervus canadensis)

Bison (no audio)
(Bison bison)

Bull Moose
(Alces alces)

Mr. Magpie

White Pelicans (no audio)
(Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)

Bonus - A Blast from the Past

Here are some photos I took during a 1981 winter trip to Grand Teton with my dad. I had a tiny pocket camera that took slides about the size of postage stamps.

Jackson Lake

Man on a snowmobile

Man jumping a snowmobile

Lonely coyote

Jackson Lake Dam

Jackson Lake Dam 1981

Snow machines
Notice the propeller driven ones

Background information provided by Wikipedia and the National Park Service
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