About Grand Teton National Park
Congress established Grand Teton National Park on February 26, 1929. It was “… dedicated and set apart as a public park or pleasure ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people of the United States under the name of the Grand Teton National Park of Wyoming” (45 Stat. 1314). The establishment of Jackson Hole National Monument in 1943 was an important part of the park’s history as more than 220,000 acres were transferred to the National Park Service (Presidential Proclamation 2578). The park was enlarged to its present size by Congress on September 14, 1950 (Public Law 81-787, 64 Stat. 849). The expansion was “…for the purpose of including in one national park, for public benefit and enjoyment, the lands within the present Grand Teton National Park and a portion of the lands within Jackson Hole National Monument.”
Public Law 92-404 established John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway (the parkway) on August 25, 1972, “…for the purpose of commemorating the many significant contributions to the cause of conservation in the United States, which have been made by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., and to provide both a symbolic and desirable physical connection between the world’s first national park, Yellowstone, and the Grand Teton National Park.” Legislation designates the parkway as the 82 miles between West Thumb in Yellowstone National Park and the south entrance of Grand Teton National Park.
Grand Teton National Park is in the heart of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, one of Earth’s largest intact temperate ecosystems. The park and parkway are home to some of the greatest populations of wildlife in the world and provide more than 330,000 acres of largely pristine habitat for rare, threatened, and endangered species as well as hundreds of other ecologically vital native species.
The central feature of the park is the Teton Range, an active, fault-block mountain front with12 peaks over 12,000 feet, and the highest in the range over 13,000 feet. The park protects 7 morainal lakes along the base of the Teton Range and more than 100 alpine and backcountry lakes. The Snake River bisects the valley of Jackson Hole and is the headwaters of the Columbia River system.
The park also displays evidence of a rich human history dating back approximately 11,000 years. Early American Indians used the landscape and its resources for subsistence; they hunted, fished, conducted ceremonial activities, and left traces in their pathways and campsites. Hundreds of archeological sites have been found in the small portion of the park that has been surveyed.
More recent developments in the valley of Jackson Hole left their mark through an array of new roads and facilities, as well as nearly 700 historic structures, districts, and landscapes, many of which are still in use. These include former livestock ranches, dude ranches, and “hobby” ranches; homesteads such as the Mormon Row Historic District; visitor accommodations such as Jenny Lake Lodge and Jackson Lake Lodge; the park’s original headquarters located at Beaver Creek; and the Murie Ranch, which was owned and occupied by noted naturalist-conservationists Adolph, Olaus, and Mardy Murie.
Popular visitor activities include hiking and backpacking, camping, fishing, biking, horseback riding, picnicking, auto touring, boating and paddling, wildlife watching, and winter sports. Visitation to the park and parkway is supported by local gateway communities and through partnerships with several nonprofit organizations, commercial services providers, and other land management agencies.
|Date the Park was Established:||February 26, 1929|
|Park Area (as of 2019):||310,044.36 acres (1,254.7 km2)|
|Recreational Visitors (2018 Total):||3,491,151 visitors|