Reptiles

garter snake in the grass
A garter snake, one of a few species that call Grand Teton home.

NPS Photo/J. Bonney

 
Rubber boa snake curled up on ground
Rubber Boa Snake

YELL/Douglass

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.

 
Two mature bull moose with large antlers during the fall rut. Both looking the same diretion

Explore Wildlife

From the tiniest shrew to the largest grizzly bear, wildlife draws visitors from around the world.

mountains rise above a calm body of water

Nature

Learn about nature in Grand Teton.

A mother grizzly and cub walk through a field.

Bear and Wildlife Safety

Learn how to stay safe in bear country.

a moose in trees

Park Species Lists

Find species lists for mammals, birds, amphibians, fish, reptiles, and plants

a ranger in a fleece hat looks through a spotting scope

Science and Research

Learn about research in Grand Teton.

Last updated: October 18, 2022

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 170
Moose , WY 83012

Phone:

307-739-3399
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.

Contact Us

Stay Connected