• The Cathedral Group from the Teton Park Road

    Grand Teton

    National Park Wyoming

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  • Bears are active in Grand Teton

    Black and grizzly bears are roaming throughout the park--near roads, trails and in backcountry areas. Hikers and backcountry users are advised to travel in groups of three or more, make noise and carry bear spray. Visitors must stay 100 yards from bears. More »

  • Area closure in the area around Baxter's Pinnacle

    An area closure is in effect around Baxter's Pinnacle to protect nesting peregrine falcons. This closure precludes any climbs of Baxter's Pinnacle and usage of the walk-off gully. This closure will be in effect through 8-15-2013. 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?

Beaver Dick Leigh and his family.

Did you know that Jenny and Leigh Lakes are named for the fur trapper “Beaver” Dick Leigh and his wife Jenny (not pictured)? Beaver Dick and Jenny assisted the Hayden party that explored the region in 1872. This couple impressed the explorers to the extent that they named the lakes in their honor.