There’s so much to do at Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming that you should really think about staying over for several days to explore as much as you can and enjoy the numerous outdoor activities at your disposal. This fantastic national park is about 310,000 acres in total size and was established way back in 1929.
There are a lot of diverse landscapes in the park from valleys to mountains. The tallest peaks of the local Teton Mountain Range reach about 7,000 feet in height. You’ll also find thick coniferous forest as well as wildflower-filled alpine meadows, granite pinnacles, crystal-clear lakes, mountain streams, and mighty glaciers.
(photo by byjuli)
Some of the animals you may run into here include elk, deer, grizzly and black bears, rabbits, beavers, otters, moose bison, pronghorn, and bats. There are also many different species of birds and plants on hand. There are plenty of water activities to enjoy such as boating, rafting, fishing, kayaking and canoeing in the lakes and the Snake River also flows past the park on its way from Yellowstone National Park to Idaho.
Some of the animals and birds you’ll often see lazing by the river include deer, moose, beavers, elk, ducks, trumpeter swans, Canada geese, and sandhill cranes. The mountains have been there for millions of years and the Tetons are known as Fault Block Mountains which were created approximately 13 million years ago when the earth’s crust started to move along a fault line.
The first settlers in the area were several different tribes of North American natives. They used to hunt on the land and gather plants until settlers from Europe started to arrive in the beautiful region. Early in the 19th century, the area was popular with mountain men and they named the flat valley below the mountains as Jackson’s Hole in honor of a trapper named Davey Jackson.
The area’s original settlers were farmers and ranchers and some of the buildings they erected in the parkland are now regarded as historic sites. When Grand Teton National Park was first established, it consisted of just the glacial lakes and the mountains. Other areas were then added to it in the 1950s, expanding it in size.
The park’s 485 square miles in size today and it includes most of Jackson’s Hole as well as the Teton Mountain Range. The mountains are very popular with hikers and you’ll find several backcountry trails which climb high up into the mountains as well as behind them. You’ll find that some of the easier trails down in the valley will take you around the lakes and the wetlands.
There are several excellent campgrounds in the park and backcountry camping is also allowed with a permit in many areas. The park itself was actually established two times. It was originally established in 1929 to protect the lakes and mountains. Then 21 years later in 1950, the valley and Jackson Hole National Monument were added. As an added bonus, the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway connects the park with Yellowstone National Park.
Grand Teton is an ideal location for adventurists to enjoy their freedom and explore all this fabulous park has to offer.