Just south of Yellowstone National Park, is one of the most recognizable skylines in the United States, topped by 13,772-foot tall Grand Teton Peak. The Teton Mountains were established as a National Park in 1929, but the rest of the park has a strange history. Land in the Jackson Hole valley was bought up by the Rockefeller family and attempted to be donated to the U.S. government for decades. In 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt created Jackson Hole National Monument under the Antiquities Act, but it did not include the Rockefeller holdings. It was not until 1950 that a deal was struck merging everything into Grand Teton National Park as we know it today. Part of that negotiation was a requirement that in the future no land in Wyoming would ever be established as a National Monument under the Antiquities Act.
Jenny Lake, Inspiration Point, Jackson Lake Lodge, Oxbow Bend Turnout, Mormon Row
One of our favorite places in the park is Jenny Lake, which sparkles below 12,325-foot Teewinot Peak. This is the trailhead for Cascade Canyon, but there are plenty of activities other than hiking, which include boating, horseback riding, mountain climbing, whitewater rafting, or cross-country skiing in the winter.
You can hike around Jenny Lake to the lake to Hidden Falls and the waterfalls of Cascade Canyon, or you can take the shortcut aboard a shuttle boat (fee). This popular trail can get very busy in the summer, which is true of most of the trails in the park.
Oxbow Bend Turnout is found along Highway 89/191/287, north of Moran Junction Entrance Station. It overlooks a curve in the Snake River towards the Teton Mountain Range, which is why we chose it for our original logo design (see below).
$35 per vehicle or America the Beautiful pass
The only main road that are not paved is the short segment that connects Phelps Lake with Jackson Hole Ski Area, but there are other rough gravel roads that follow the Snake River.
The first-come, first-served tent-only campsites at Jenny Lake or Signal Mountain are usually full, so you can always try Gros Ventre Campground which has 350 sites and rarely fills up. Reservations for sites with hook-ups are accepted at Colter Bay RV Park and Headwaters at Flagg Ranch, which is just north of the park boundaries on the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway.
Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming-Montana-Idaho)
Fossil Butte National Monument (Wyoming)
Devils Tower National Monument (Wyoming)
Explore More – How did the valley of Jackson Hole (and the city of Jackson) get its name?
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