• The Cathedral Group from the Teton Park Road

    Grand Teton

    National Park Wyoming

There are park alerts in effect.
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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 »

Lakes and Ponds

Beaver Pond
View of Teton Range over beaver pond.

Glaciers carved most of the lakes in the park thousands of years ago. As the glaciers moved they gouged out the valley floor. When the glaciers melted they left behind a depression in the ground that filled with water from melting glacial ice. These depressions became the lakes that we see today. Jackson Lake, the park's largest lake, is a natural lake raised by a 39-foot tall man-made dam.

Many different processes form ponds. Ponds may form due to glaciers gougin out a shallow depression, meltwater piling up sediment around a block of ice that later melts forming a depression, part of a river becoming blocked, beavers building a dam, natural sinkholes in the ground, or even human activity. The plant and animal life in a pond area is very diverse and productive.

Ponds and lakes provide a variety of habitat in and around them. From cutthroat trout to crawfish, from great blue herons to moose, almost all wildlife in the park derive some benefit from lakes and ponds. Ponds and lakes also provide recreational opportunities for visitors. Some of the easiest and most popular hikes are around small lakes and ponds. All of the lakes are open to swimming and non-motorized boating. Jackson Lake also allows motorized boats for recreational use.

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.