Stop by a visitor center
to check current information about park conditions. Rangers are available to answer questions and provide information regarding all aspects of safely visiting Grand Teton National Park.
- Always wear your seat belt.
- Obey posted speed limits. Be aware that the night speed limit is only 45 mph on the main highway.
- Check road conditions before you leave on a trip.
- Be prepared for changing weather conditions.
- Watch for animals on the road, especially in evening and morning.
Viewing Wildlife Safely
- Maintain a distance of at least 100 yards (300 feet) from bears and wolves and 25 yards (75 feet) from all other wildlife.
- Never put yourself between an adult animal and its offspring.
- Do not feed any wild animal.
- Don't approach or chase wildlife.
- Watch our video podcast about safe wildlife viewing.
Hiking Safely in the Mountains
- Hiking alone is not recommended.
- Stay on established trails for your own safety and to prevent soil erosion.
- Horses have the right of way; step off the trail and remain quiet while they pass.
- Take a map, drinking water, and extra clothing.
- Be prepared with appropriate equipment (ice ax, hiking boots, crampons, etc.).
- Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return.
- Practice responsible bear etiquette while traveling through the park; do not leave food or backpacks unattended for even a moment.
- Avoid surprising bears and other wildlife by making noise while hiking.
- Do not run from bears, do not drop your pack if a bear charges you.
- Check at visitor centers for complete bear safety information.
- Watch our video podcast about summer weather safety.
- Visit the Jenny Lake Ranger Station to speak to a climbing ranger about weather and route conditions.
- Leave an agenda with friends or family.
- Solo climbing and backcountry travel is not recommended.
- Be prepared with appropriate equipment such as an ice ax, mountaineering boots, crampons, etc.
- Wear a lifejacket at all times.
- Check bulletin boards for flow rates and caution areas.
- Boaters floating the Snake River should check conditions before every trip, as the river can change hourly.
- Take an extra paddle or oar, a waterproof container with extra clothes, a first aid kit, and a waste receptacle.
- Inflatable boats should have an air pump, bucket for bailing, and patch kit.
- Swimming in the river is not recommended.
- For information on Snake River flows, call 1-800-658-5771.
- Download the Boating brochure and/or Floating brochure.
- For information on boating outside the park contact the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce at 307-733-3316.
- Wear a helmet at all times.
- Ride bicycles only on the multi-use pathway and roadways, not on trails.
- Ride on the right side of the road in single file.
- Obey the rules of the road at all times.
- Use hand signals to communicate with other drivers.
- Afternoon storms are common in summer, get to a safe place before storms hit.
- Avoid mountain tops, ridges, open areas, and lone trees; forested areas with trees of similar height are safer.
- Do not stand on tree roots.
- If boating, get off the lake.
- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) provides a variety of material and links through their website at: http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/outdoors.htm. This site contains critical lightning safety and medical information.
- Watch our video podcast about summer weather safety.
Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome
Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS)is a rare, but frequently fatal disease of the lungs. The virus is spread by rodents, primarily deer mice, due to breathing in dust contaminated with rodent droppings, urine, or saliva.
- Giardia, Camphylobacter, and other harmful bacteria may be transmitted through untreated water.
- If you use water from lakes or streams, boil 3-5 minutes to kill microorganisms, use water treatment tablets or filter with an approved device.
Prevent Human-Caused Fires
- Build campfires only in designated areas, monitor them, and make sure they are completely extinguished.
- Grind out cigarettes, cigars, or pipe tobacco, then properly dispose of them.
- Ashtrays should be used in vehicles and should never be emptied on the ground.
- Fireworks and other pyrotechnic devices are prohibited at all times in the park.
- Obey posted fire restrictions. Restricts are posted as Alerts at the top of this page and at all visitor centers.
A Special Message about Backcountry Safety
Travel in Grand Teton's backcountry has inherent risks; hikers assume complete responsibility for their own safety. Rescue is not a certainty. Your safety depends on your own good judgment, adequate preparation, and constant attention. Backcountry users should be in good physical condition and should be prepared to survive on their own. Appropriate equipment and the knowledge of how to use it are essential for a safe trip. Your safety is your responsibility. Watch our video podcast about backcountry trip planning.
If You Get Lost
- Stay calm and stay put . . . you will be found sooner.
- Stay in a clearing or on a large outcrop where you will be most visible.
- Attract searchers by making noise and signaling with colorful clothing or a mirror.
- If someone is injured, provide whatever treatment you can.
- If possible, do not leave the injured party alone.
- Send for help with the exact location marked on a map, description of injuries, list of equipment, and treatment given.