50 Interesting Facts About Grand Teton National Park

Last updated on February 7th, 2023

40. Grizzly bears numbered about 50,000 in the western United States back in the 1880s, but they became nearly extinct as they were hunted and forced away from encroaching civilization. The population has rebounded due to efforts of conservationists, and there are now around 2,000 grizzlies spread out among Yellowstone and Grand Teton Park.[7]

41. Although they are called buffalo, the American bison isn’t even closely related to true buffalo, which are native to Asia and Africa. You can spot herds of American bison along Moose Road, Kelly Loop, Antelope Flats and Oxbow Bend.[7]

Oxbow Bend, Grand Teton National Park
Oxbow Bend, Grand Teton National Park. Image credit – Charles (Chuck) Peterson

42. Oxbow Bend is a great place to visit for naturalists and wildlife lovers. The scenic vista is one of the most popular areas of the park for spotting wildlife. You can easily catch sight of a bison herd, grizzly bears and moose wading through the wetlands. Hundreds of bird species are easily viewed, and other critters can be found taking a drink or grazing on the lush vegetation.[7]

43. The park’s National Elk Refuge supports the population of more than 7,000 elk, and you can view them as you drive by the refuge. You can buy tickets to take a sleigh ride across the 25,000-acre refuge from mid-December until early April.[7]

44. Touring the National Elk Refuge also allows you to spot bighorn sheep. Bison, wolves and coyotes. It’s fun watching the bighorn sheep climbing up and down Miller Butte.[7]

Snake River, John D. Rockefeller Memorial Parkway, Wyoming. facts about Grand Teton Park.
Snake River, John D. Rockefeller Memorial Parkway, Wyoming. Image credit – Ken Lund

45. There are 152 miles of paved roads, 65 miles of unpaved roads and 242 miles of hiking trails in Grand Teton National Park. There are also seven moraine lakes and more than 100 alpine lakes.[8]

46. The Snake River has a rich history of its own as it played a vital role to the area’s trapping and settling. It’s the largest river in the park, and draws headwater from the Columbia River system. Its tributaries include Pacific Creek, Gros Ventre River and Buffalo Fork.[8]

47. It’s not recommended that you spend only one day in Grand Teton Park. There’s far too much to see and do to settle for a quick peak. You should schedule a time when you can visit and explore.[9]

John D. Rockfeller Jr. Memorial Parkway, Wyoming, USA. facts about Grand Teton National Park.
John D. Rockfeller Jr. Memorial Parkway, Wyoming, USA. Image credit – jb10okie

48. It might seem too overwhelming to visit both Yellowstone and Grand Teton Parks on the same trip, but Yellowstone is just 31 miles away at the closest intersecting points on the John D. Rockefeller Parkway. Visiting both parks seems to make sense while you’re so close, and the two parks share a lot of breathtaking scenery and natural resources.[9]

49. An incredible 97 percent of Teton County’s 3,826,407 acres are owned or managed by the federal and state governments. Only 3 percent of Jackson Hole land is privately owned.[10]

Grand Teton National Park, U.S. Route 191, Wyoming
Grand Teton National Park, U.S. Route 191, Wyoming. Image credit – Ken Lund

50. Jackson hosts the only auction in the world of elk antlers on the third Saturday of May. Loyal scout troops collect the antlers from the National Elk Refuge. The proceeds of the auction return to the refuge to fund the next year’s elk-breeding programs.[10]