• 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 effect for trails in the Jenny Lake Area

    A temporary area closure will be in effect for several trails in the Jenny Lake area due to construction activities involving helicopter-assisted transport of heavy material. The closure will last from October 27 through October 30, and possibly longer. More »

  • Multi-use Pathway Closures

    Intermittent closures of the park Multi-use Pathway System will occur through mid-October during asphalt sealing and safety improvement work. Pathway sections will reopen as work is completed. Follow the link for a map and more information. More »

  • Moose-Wilson Road Status

    The Moose-Wilson Road between the Death Canyon Road and the Murie Center Road is currently open to all traffic. The road may re-close at any time due to wildlife activity. For current road conditions call 307-739-3682. More »

JY Dude Ranch

JY Boathouse
JY Ranch boathouse on Phelps Lake with Death Canyon behind.
 
Moving Buildings

Removing buildings from the historic JY Dude Ranch, 2004

JY Dude Ranch: The First and The Last

Dave Spalding established a homestead near Phelps Lake in 1903. The picturesque setting could not make up for poor, rocky soils that were unsuitable for agriculture. In 1906, he turned the land over to Louis Joy who partnered with Princeton-educated Struthers Burt opening the first dude ranch in Jackson Hole. Joy and Burt brought together western ranching experience and eastern connections to attract visitors. The ranch earned its name from the abbreviation of Joy’s last name to “JY”.

Jackson Hole was a center for dude ranching from the early 1900s until the 1940s. During the first summer, the JY Ranch housed six dudes. In 1927, they housed 65 guests each paying $65 per week for food, lodging, and the use of boats and horses. Dude ranches provided a western outdoor experience without the discomforts of actual ranch life, and a more relaxed atmosphere than Eastern hospitality.

In the 1920s, attitudes began to change. John D. Rockefeller, Jr. toured Jackson Hole with Yellowstone Superintendent Horace Albright. Disturbed by the development he saw, Rockefeller founded the Snake River Land Co. to purchase land for conservation in the valley. Over a six-year period, Rockefeller purchased 35,000 acres including the JY Ranch in 1932. The JY Ranch became his family’s private summer retreat for nearly 70 years. Between 1969 and 1983, Laurance S. Rockefeller transferred roughly 2,300 acres to Grand Teton National Park through a variety of means. The final 1,106 acres passed to the park in 2007 marking the end of the JY Ranch. The cabins are now relocated throughout the park as housing, warehouses and work centers.

How to get there: All of the buildings have been removed from the JY Ranch and the land returned to its natural habitat. The JY Ranch has been converted to the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve at Mr. Rockefeller’s behest. Visit the LSR Preserve for a contemplative natural experience that begins at the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve Center and follows trails to Phelps Lake. Drive on the Moose-Wilson Road four miles south of Moose to access this site.

Did You Know?

Pronghorn

Did you know that pronghorns are the fastest mammals in the western hemisphere? They can run up to 70 mph, but do not like to jump fences! In the summer, pronghorn live along Antelope Flats Road, but in fall they migrate almost 200 miles to central Wyoming.