• The Cathedral Group from the Teton Park Road

    Grand Teton

    National Park Wyoming

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  • Seasonal road closures in effect

    Seasonal road closures are in effect for motorized vehicles. The Teton Park Road is closed from the Taggart Lake Trailhead to the Signal Mountain Lodge. The Moose-Wilson Road is closed from the Granite Canyon Trailhead to the Death Canyon Road. More »

  • Avalanche hazards exist in the park

    Avalanche hazards exist in the park, especially in mountain canyons and on exposed slopes. A daily avalanche forecast can be found at www.jhavalanche.org or by calling (307) 733-2664. More »

  • Bears emerging from hibernation

    Bears are beginning to emerge from hibernation. Travel in groups of three of more, make noise and carry bear spray. Visitors must stay at least 100 yards from bears. More »

Winter Activities - Countdown: 6 Days

August 19, 2012 Posted by: DL

Winter scenery
NPS Photo

If you are one of the few visitors who visits the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway during the winter, your experience will be vastly different than that of a summertime visitor.  Gone are long lines of cars and motorhomes filling the park roads.  Gone is the twittering of birds, the rustling of aspen leaves, or the background hum of voices.  Instead, you are experiencing a cold, white wonderland.

Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing
Opportunities abound for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the Flagg Ranch area of the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway.  Unmarked trails follow scenic terrain that ranges from easy to difficult.  These activities are great ways to experience the exhilaration of winter.  Watch for wildlife such as moose, coyote, and ermine, and look for signs of wildlife in the snow.  Be safe, be prepared, and enjoy your time exploring the quiet beauty of winter.  A map of available parkway trails is posted at the Flagg Ranch Information Station.

Cross-country skier
Cross-country skier.  NPS Photo/Jim Peaco

Flagg area cross country ski and snowshoe routes:
Polecat Loop Route: Not maintained
--Easy, 2.5 miles roundtrip, elevation change 50'.  

Flagg Canyon Route North: Not maintained
--Difficult, 4.0 miles roundtrip, elevation change 120'.
--Use caution to avoid cornices where the trail follows the edge of cliffs above the Snake River.
--Return via the snowmobile trail to make a loop.  

Flagg Canyon Route South: Not maintained
--Easy, 4.0 miles roundtrip, elevation change: 40'.
--Return via the snowmobile trail adjacent to the road to make a loop.  

Pine tree
NPS Photo

Snowmobiling
Grassy Lake road is open for snow-mobiling between Flagg Ranch and Ashton, ID. Snowmobile trips on Grassy Lake Road are not required to use Best Available Technology (BAT) snowmobiles.

Snowmobiles
Snowmobiles (NPS Photo/Jim Peaco)

Yellowstone Access
Flagg Ranch is the closest point to Yellowstone National Park open to automobiles in winter. Automobiles may not travel beyond Flagg Ranch. In winter, Yellowstone is accessible only by guided snowmobile and snowcoach tours, or by self-guided cross-country ski tour.  Contact an outfitter for further details about guided tours. Commercial guide services operate out of Jackson, WY and other Yellowstone gateway communities.

Snowcoach
Snowcoach (NPS Photo)

-DL

Did You Know?

Close-up of trumpeter swan head

Did you know that Grand Teton National Park is home to the largest bird in North America? The Trumpeter Swan weighs 20-30 pounds and lives in the valley year-round in quiet open water.