Grand Teton National Park
P.O. Drawer 170
Moose, WY 83012
Welcome to the Grand
Located in northwestern Wyoming, Grand
Teton National Park preserves a spectacular landscape rich with
majestic mountains, pristine lakes and extraordinary wildlife. The
abrupt vertical rise of the jagged Teton Range contrasts with the
horizontal sage-covered valley and glacial lakes at their base,
creating world-renowned scenery that attracts nearly four million
visitors per year.
Grand Teton National Park is a National
Park located in northwestern Wyoming, south of Yellowstone National
Park. The park is named after the Grand Teton, which, at 13,770 feet,
is the tallest mountain in the Teton Range.
The name "Tetons" originally
was intended to describe several hills near the town of Arco, Idaho.
They were named by a French trapper who thought that they resembled
the female body. (Ergo t�tons, the French word for
"nipples" or "teats".) Many years later the name
was mistakenly applied to the mountains of present day Grand Teton
National Park due to the poor map-making and map-reading standards of
Grand Teton National Park was
established on February 26, 1929. The park covers 484 square miles of
land and water.
There are nearly 200 miles of trails
for hikers to enjoy in Grand Teton National Park.
Part of the Rocky Mountains, the
north-south-trending Teton Range rises from the floor of Jackson Hole
without any foothills along a 40 mile long by 7 to 9 miles wide active
fault-block mountain front system. In addition to 13,770 ft high Grand
Teton, another eight peaks are over 12,000 ft above sea level. Seven
of these peaks between Avalanche and Cascade canyons make up the
often-photographed Cathedral Group.
Jackson Hole is a 55 mile long by 6 to
13 mile wide Graben Valley that has an average elevation of 6,800 ft
with its lowest point near the south park boundary at 6350 feet. The
valley sits east of the Teton Range and is vertically displaced
downward 30,000 feet from corresponding rock layers in it, making the
Teton Fault and its parallel twin on the east side of the valley
normal faults with the Jackson Hole block being the hanging wall and
the Teton Mountain block being the footwall. Grand Teton National Park
contains the major part of both blocks. A great deal of erosion of the
range and sediment filling the Graben, however, yields a topographic
relief of only up to 7,700 feet.
Native American hunting parties from
the northern Rocky Mountains camped along the shore of Jackson Lake
around 12,000 years ago while following game. For thousands of years
Jackson Hole was used as a neutral crossroads for trade and travel
routes in the area. One route followed the Snake River to its source
in the Yellowstone area where abundant obsidian could be found.
Another major route traversed the Teton Pass at the southern end of
the range, providing a shortcut to the Pacific Northwest region of
what is now the United States. Also, a southern route led to the
Colorado Plateaus region and the Great Basin.
The Tetons were named by French
explorers who called the three highest peaks of the range Les Trois
Tetons (the three breasts). In the 18th and 19th centuries,
Caucasian fur trappers and fur traders called deep valleys rimmed by
high mountains "holes." One such fur trapper was named David
Jackson and his favorite place to 'hole-up' was named after him in
John Colter, a member of the Lewis and
Clark Expedition, is the first white American known to have visited
the area now know as Jackson Hole as early as 1805-1806. Geologist F.V.
Hayden visited the area in 1860 as part of the Raynolds expedition. In
the summer of 1871 he led the first government-sponsored scientific
survey of the Yellowstone area just to the north. One part of that
survey, led by geologist James Stevenson, traveled into Jackson Hole
via the Teton Pass before meeting up with the other half of the
expedition in Yellowstone. While passing through, the team, which
included Yellowstone's first superintendent N.P. Longford,
photographer William Henry Jackson, and artist William Henry Holmes,
among others, mapped the area and surveyed its geology and biology.
These data were later included in the Hayden Survey set of reports.
Homesteaders moved into Jackson Hole
after the reports were published but the short growing season along
with weeks of being snowed-in each winter kept all but the hardiest
individuals away. One of those settlers, a rancher named Pierce
Cunningham, circulated a petition to have Jackson Hole saved for the
"education and enjoyment of the Nation as a whole."
Places to Picnic
- Chapel of the Sacred Heart
- Colter Bay Visitor Center
- Jackson Lake 1
- Jackson Lake 2
- Jackson Lake 3
- Jackson Lake 4
- Jackson Lake Dam
- Leigh and String Lakes Trailhead
- Taggart Lake Trailhead
- Two Ocean Lake
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