Grand Teton In Winter
The regal peaks in Grand Teton National Park are spectacular during winter, when they are enshrouded by deep snow and ice. Impressive views can be seen from automobiles driving plowed roads and from cross country ski and snowshoe trails.
Wildlife can be seen inside the park and in adjacent areas. Seeing wildlife in its natural habitat adds to the enjoyment of a visit to Grand Teton.
Popular Winter Activities
- Auto touring
- Cross country skiing
- Wildlife watching
Average Winter Temperatures F°
Snow comes early here and lingers long into spring. Highways US 89/191 and US 26/287, the main travel routes in the park, are plowed and open in winter from the town of Jackson to Flagg Ranch, just south of Yellowstone National Park. They offer outstanding mountain vistas and wildlife viewing opportunities. These roads are often snow-covered and icy so be prepared for winter driving conditions. Always carry emergency supplies in your vehicle.
Most of the Teton Park Road (also called the Inner Park Road) is closed to vehicles during winter. The section of the road from Taggart Lake parking area to Signal Mountain Lodge is not plowed. That section covers a distance of 15 miles and is is open to travel using cross country skis and snowshoes. A variety of other routes and trails in the park offer outstanding opportunities for ski and snowshoe adventures.
Ranger-Guided Snowshoe Walks
Park naturalists offer guided snowshoe walks on a scheduled basis throughout the winter. The walks are a great way to learn about the park and its unique ecology while enjoying safe adventure.
Inquire at the Craig Thomas Discovery & Visitor Center for information about the walks. The center is open year-round. Winter hours are 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
The National Elk Refuge, located just south of the park, is one of the best places in the world to observe elk, bison and other wild animals. During winter, sleigh rides are offered to allow visitors to see and photograph animals. Sometimes the sleighs get quite close and provide the opportunity for outstanding photos.
Wildlife can often be seen as you drive Hwy 191 through the park and into the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway.
Many animals spend the winter in the Snake River bottomland. The highway follows the river in some areas and wildlife can often be viewed from the road. Much of the bottomland is closed during the winter to protect the animals. You can view them from the roadway and from designated turnouts, but you cannot leave the highway.
Regardless of where you are, remember that harassing wildlife is prohibited. Winter conditions stress animals. Approaching too closely increases stress and may reduce their chance of surviving the harsh winter weather. For closeup views and photographs use binoculars and telephoto lenses.
In Grand Teton National Park, snowmobiling is allowed only on the frozen surface of Jackson Lake to best available technology (BAT) snowmobiles to provide access for ice fishing.
In the adjacent John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway, the Grassy Lake Road is open to any snowmobile. BAT is not required.
Guides are not required on either Jackson Lake or the Grassy Lake Road.
Snowmobiling is popular on many trails just outside of the park. Guided trips and rentals are offered by many local businesses.
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