The first thing you’ll notice as you approach the mountains of Grand Teton National Park are the mountains. That is to say, there are no foothills obscuring your view of the magnificent mountains of the Teton Range in the northern Rockies. The park itself contains four ecosystems: alpine, forest, sagebrush flats and wetlands.
Located in northwestern Wyoming between Yellowstone National Park to the north and Jackson, Wyoming, to the south, the park’s 310,000 acres offer more than 200 miles of trails for hiking, mountains with nearly 100 routes to climb (many requiring technical rock-climbing skills), lakes and rivers to boat and float upon, and more wildlife than you can shake a stick at. (Shaking sticks at wildlife is not recommended.)
Bears (both black and grizzly), bison, pronghorn, moose and elk are among the 61 species of mammals in the park. Also keep your eyes on the skies for the more than 300 species of birds in the Grand Tetons, including eagles and osprey soaring above the Snake River.
Start your outing at one of the visitor centers or ranger stations where you can plan your day with maps, information from park rangers on trail conditions, tips on encountering (or avoiding) wildlife, and any backcountry camping or boating permits you may need (not available at all visitor centers).
For much more on Grand Teton National Park, visit nps.gov/grte.