• 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 »

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?

Banded gneiss

Did you know that the granite and gneiss composing the core of the Teton Range are some of the oldest rocks in North America, but the mountains are among the youngest in the world?