• 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 »

Reptiles

Grand Teton National Park is home to an incredible variety of wildlife including several species of reptiles. Reptiles have dry, scaly skin and either lay eggs or bear live young. Reptiles are cold-blooded. They cannot maintain a constant body temperature like mammals. Instead they regulate their body temperature by moving into or out of sunlight. The park's cold climate limits the number of reptile species found here.

There are only four species of reptiles in the park-one species of lizard, and three species of snakes. The most common reptile in the park is the wandering garter snake (Thamnophis elegans vagrans). The valley garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis fitchi) and the rubber boa (Charina bottae) are less common. All three species of snakes typically live near water. There are no species of venomous snakes in the park.

The only known species of lizard in the park is the northern sagebrush lizard (Sceloporus graciosus graciosus). Amazingly, this lizard species that lives in dry, rocky sagebrush habitat was not confirmed in the park until 1992. Although Grand Teton is a heavily visited jewel of the National Park System, this relatively recent "discovery" points to our lack of knowledge about smaller species in the park. Since other reptile species, including the Great Basin gopher snake (Pituophis catenifer deserticola), may someday be found in the park, further study is needed.

Did You Know?

Aspen tree bark close-up

Did you know that the bark on Aspen trees looks green because it contains chlorophyll? Aspen bark is photosynthetic, a process that allows a plant to make energy from the sun, and helps the tree flourish during the short growing season.