Mount Rainier National Park is located in the far northwestern region of Wyoming, United States. The park is just south 10 miles (16 km) of Yellowstone National Park. The park covers an area of 480 square miles (1,300 sq km).
The heart of the park rests in the 40-mile (64 km) long range of mountains. Portions of the Jackson Hole valley make up the rest of the park’s boundaries. This Teton range of mountains is one of the most perfect postcard-like displays of nature.
Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and the neighboring national forests work together to create one of the world’s largest mid-latitude temperate ecosystems. This is a 28,125 square mile (72,843 sq km) of protected natural habitats.
According to the National Parks Service, this is where extraordinary wildlife interacts with pristine lakes, bogs, and alpine terrain. The Snake River meanders along with the front range of the Tetons and sets up some of the splendid landscapes that often find their way into paintings, travel books, and other artistic expressions.
There are over 300 species of birds that keep the over 60 mammalian wildlife species company across the park. Some of the larger more exciting wildlife opportunities include black bear, grizzly bear, gray wolf, moose, bighorn sheep, bison, pronghorn, cougar, coyote, and lynx.
The smaller animals which are often intriguing to people include badger, beaver, porcupine, river otter, marmot, muskrat, and chipmunk. Some of the more popular bird species include the golden eagle, bald eagle, osprey, red-tailed hawk, peregrine falcon, and the great horned owl.
Grand Tetons Highlights
The Tetons Range is one of the most picturesque collections of mountains in the world. These have served as the focal and backdrop of many stunning images and paintings. Standing along the road and looking out across the meandering river with the Tetons behind them is one of the most famous lookouts.
Grand Teton is the tallest mountain in the Tetons Range. It reaches a summit of 13,775 feet (4,199m), which is approximately 850 feet (260 m) higher than Mount Owen which is the second tallest peak in the Tetons.
Jackson Lake is the largest lake in the park. The lake stretches 15-miles (24 km) in length, 7 miles (11 km) wide, and reaches a depth of 438 feet (134 m). The Snake River feeds into the lake from northern Wyoming. The lake has over 15 islands scattered across its area.
Snake River traverses across the northwest 1,078 miles (1,735 km). It is the largest North American river that empties into the Pacific Ocean. It originates in Wyoming and is a pinnacle attraction of the park. One of the most photographed lookouts appears across the Snake River toward the Tetons.
John Moulton Barn
The John Moulton Barn is also known as the T.A. Moulton Barn. It is a historic barn located in the valley with the Tetons located as the backdrop. The estate was constructed between 1912 and 1945, and the barn is the only thing that remains. For those that one to add an element of culture or history into their nature photography, this is one of the most photographed barns. It is always fun to try and come up with unique perspectives.
Trails of Grand Tetons National Park
There Tetons have over 200 miles (320 km) of hiking trails with trails that range from easy to difficult providing something for everyone.
Taggart Lake Loop: This is an easy 4.1-mile (6.60 km) loop trail traverses through forests and along the lake. There are chances to see moose, many of the different species of birds, and of course the astounding landscape around the lake. It does have 429 feet (130.7 m) of elevation gain.
String Lake Trail: This is a 3.7-mile (5.95 km) loop trail that meanders around the lake and over a bridge giving additional views of the lake and mountain backdrop. The loop has an elevation gain of 262 feet (79.8 m).
Cascade Canyon Trail: This is a moderate rated trail with an elevation gain of 1,128 feet (343.8 km). You will have a remarkable view of mountainous landscapes while overlooking a lake below. The trail is out and back.
Lake Solitude Trail: This is a challenging 16-mile (25.7 km) with an elevation gain of 2,637 feet (803.76 m). The out and back trail ascends through forest and over rocky terrain. There are chances to see wildlife, wildflowers, and wilderness. There is a beautiful waterfall to add to the intrigue of the trail.
Grand Teton Highlights
- Teton Range
- Grand Teton
- Jackson Lake
- Snake River
- John Moulton Barn
- All Trails, Best Trails in Grand Teton National Park, https://www.alltrails.com/parks/us/wyoming/grand-teton-national-park, retrieved June 2020.
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- National Geographic, Complete National Parks of the United States, National Geographic Publishing, Washington DC.
- National Geographic, Guide to the National Parks of the United States, National Geographic Society, 2003.
- National Geographic, National Parks of North America, Canada-United States-Mexico, National Geographic Society, 1995.
- National Park Service, Grand Teton, https://www.nps.gov/grte/index.htm, retrieved June 2020.
- Recreation.gov, Grand Teton National Park, https://www.recreation.gov/camping/gateways/13525, retrieved June 2020.
- US News, Grand Teton National Park Travel Guide, https://travel.usnews.com/Grand_Teton_National_Park_WY/, retrieved June 2020.