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.
Last updated: April 29, 2020
P.O. Box 170
Talk to a Ranger? To speak to a Grand Teton National Park ranger call 307–739–3399 for visitor information Monday-Friday during business hours.