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.
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.
Jackson Hole Airport [http://www.jacksonholeairport.com] lies within the park boundaries, on the west side of the Wyoming Centennial Scenic Byway, which carries three US Route designations: 26, 89, and 191. American, Delta, Frontier, and United serve the airport. Some service is seasonal.
From the north, U.S. Highways 89, 191 and 287 share the same road into the park via [wiki=20b2aa719001c6aa18a203d3e7f08207]Yellowstone National Park[/wiki]. This route is closed from November to April due to snow.
From the south, U.S. Highways 26, 89 and 191 share a road from [wiki=5db2915d3cdb145231034a8d8de42c06]Jackson[/wiki].
From the east, U.S. 26 connects to [wiki=31dea8f1e8050b80be82441ba1f6dbe2]Dubois[/wiki].
From the west, Grassy Lake Road, a gravel road, connects [wiki=9cd4100cbab17a318f1803441bf2f7de]Ashton[/wiki], [wiki=47b231eae4bf87fa405e34eb9273b741]Idaho[/wiki], to U.S. 89 near the north end of the park. This route is closed during the winter.
Colter Bay Village, just off U.S. 89/287, +1 307 543-2811 or +1 800 628-9988, [url=http://www.gtlc.com].]Open late May to late September. Facilities range from basic tent cabins to cabins with private baths. Budget to midrange prices. The tents have 4 bunk beds outfitted with decent sleeping pads, but you'll need to provide your own sleeping bag.
* Heart Six Ranch, (888) 543-2477 [url=http://bkpk.me/heart-six-ranch-the-cowboy-life-style-in-wyoming/[/url].]Wooden cabins for independent stays or all-inclusive program with activities for families. Great views in Moran: perfect base for both Teton and even Yellowstone National Parks.
* Jackson Lake Lodge, just off U.S. 89/287, +1 307 543-2811 or +1 800 628-9988, [url=http://www.gtlc.com[/url].]Open from late May to early October. Large hotel with on-site restaurants and heated outdoor pool. Many mountain views. Midrange to pricey for this area.
* Jenny Lake Lodge, accessible via North Jenny Lake Junction off of Teton Park Road, +1 307 733-4647 or +1 800 628-9988, [url=http://www.gtlc.com[/url].]Open early June to early October. Upscale to luxurious cabins and suites with on-site restaurant. Expensive.
* Teton Mountain Lodge, 3385 West Village Drive, PO Box 564, Teton Village, +1 800 801-6615, [http://www.tetonlodge.com/[/url]. A slope-side mountain resort in Jackson Hole, Wyoming that offers rustic lodge rooms and suites. This luxury resort features a luxury spa, extensive meeting facilities, a variety of ski services and fine dining at Cascade Grill House & Spirits.
Flagg Ranch Campground - Located just south of Yellowstone and 5 miles north of Grand Teton National Park on U.S. 89/191/287. +1 800 443-2311. Open May-Sept, call for exact dates. 175 sites in the spruce-fir forest. Call for reservations for both trailer sites and tent sites at this concession-operated campground.
* Lizard Creek Campground - 32 miles north of Moose, at the north end of the park, +1 800 672-6012. Open May-Sept, call for exact dates. 60 sites, usually fills by about 2PM. Vehicle size limited to 30 feet. A less heavily developed campground with sites in the spruce and fir forest. One side of the campground is adjacent to and slightly above Jackson Lake.
* Colter Bay Campground - 25 miles north of Moose, near Jackson Lake, +1 800 628-9988 or [http://www.gtlc.com]. Open May-Sept, call for exact dates. 350 sites, 11 group sites, easier access for campers, trailers & RVs. Trailer dump station, showers, and laundry nearby. Usually fills by about noon.
* Signal Mountain Campground - 16 miles north of Jenny Lake, +1 800 672-6012. Open May-Sept, call for exact dates. 81 sites, and a trailer dump station. Usually fills by about 10AM. Signal Mountain offers a mix of spruce and fir trees, hillsides, and lake and mountain views. Adjacent to Signal Mountain Lodge and marina with a camp store and amenities close by. Sites are generally small and intimate. Vehicles size limited to 30 feet.
* Jenny Lake Campground - 8 miles north of Moose, +1 800 628-9988. Open May-Sept, call for exact dates. 51 sites, tents only. This is the park's most popular campground and is generally full by 8AM. Sites are in among the evergreens and glacial boulders a short distance from Jenny Lake. Only one vehicle, less than 14 feet long, is permitted per site. Trailers are prohibited.
* Gros Ventre Campground 11.5 miles south and east of Moose. +1 800 628-9988. Open May-Sept, call for exact dates. 360 sites, 5 group sites, and a trailer dump station. Generally fills in the evening, if at all. The campground lies along the Gros Ventre River with a mix of sites in sagebrush, beneath cottonwoods and adjacent to but a short distance from the river. If you are arriving in the afternoon of a busy day, just pull in. Seek a better site the next morning.
All backcountry camping requires a permit. These permits are free when applied for in person, on a first-come, first-serve basis. Permits can be obtained at the Moose and Colter Bay visitor centers, and at the Jenny Lake Ranger Station. People who wish to climb mountains must apply at the Jenny Lake Ranger Station.
Requests for advance reservations are accepted from January 1st to May 15th. Send the request by regular mail, fax, or in person. Include your name, address, phone number, number of people, and preferred campsites and dates. Be sure to include alternatives. Requests are processed in the order received. Requests may be faxed to +1 307 739-3438 or mailed to:
:Grand Teton National Park
:PO Box 170
:Moose, Wyoming 83012
A non-refundable service fee of $15 will be charged for each reservation (fee is per trip, not per person). Put credit card information directly on the fax, or mail a check made payable to the National Park Service. If no payment is received with your request, you will be billed. Only one-third of the sites are reserved in advance, leaving two-thirds available for walk-in reservations.