Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve and Moose-Wilson Road

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A wood cabin with mountains in the background.
The Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve offers a unique opportunity to connect with Grand Teton.

NPS Photo

Explore the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve

The Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve provides a special opportunity to connect with nature in an environment designed to reduce congestion and provide an opportunity for solitude and reflection.

Several trails can be accessed from the Preserve and Moose-Wilson Road. Take an easy hike to Phelps Lake or enjoy a strenuous trek into Granite or Death Canyon.

The Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve is located down the Moose-Wilson Road. This slow, winding road is closed to RVs and trailers (vehicles over 280 inches/23.3 feet in length) and is unpaved for 1.5 miles. Parking at the Preserve is limited and often full from before 9 am to 4 pm. Consider carpooling to help alleviate congestion and reduce our environmental footprint.
 

Hike the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve and Moose-Wilson Road

 
A women takes a photo at a lakeshore.

Hike the Preserve

Hike to Phelps Lake and explore the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve.

A hiker walks down a trail in a meadow.

Hike Granite Canyon

Hike Granite Canyon to access Marion Lake and the Teton backcountry.

A lake as seen from a high vantage point.

Hike Death Canyon

Hike from the Death Canyon Trailhead to access Phelps Lake and Death Canyon.

 
A ranger talks to a family in a building.
Visit the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve Center for a unique Grand Teton experience.

NPS Photo

Visit the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve Center

Visit the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve Center to learn more about Mr. Rockefeller's vision for the Preserve and his legacy of conservation stewardship. The center will orient you to the area and offers a series of unique sensory exhibits that highlight the visual, auditory and tactile qualities of the Preserve's plants and wildlife. Learn about the innovative design techniques and features that make the center a model for energy and environmental design.
 
A bear eats berries off of a bush.
Bears frequent the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve and Moose-Wilson Road.

NPS Photo/S. Wilcer

Bear and Wildlife Safety

Do you know what to do when encountering a wild animal? The Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve and Moose-Wilson Road are home to black bears, grizzly bears, moose, deer, and other large animals. Bears are often seen on trails and in the developed areas. Being prepared for an animal encounter can help ensure the safety of you and the wildlife.

Learn more about how to stay safe in bear country.

Safety tip: never approach a wild animal. Always maintain a distance of at least 100yds/91m from bears and 25yds/23m from other wildlife.
 
A moose walks across a road in front of a car.
The Moose-Wilson road is a common place to view wildlife.

NPS Photo/C. Adams

Drive the Moose-Wilson Road

The Moose-Wilson Road is a corridor road connecting the towns of Moose and Wilson. The road winds through forest and marsh habitats, and is home to various species of wildlife. The Moose-Wilson Road provides access to the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve, and the Granite and Death Canyon Trailheads.

This slow, winding road is closed to RVs and trailers (vehicles over 280 inches/23.3 feet in length) and is unpaved for 1.5 miles. Exercise caution when driving and be alert for wildlife and other vehicles. The Moose-Wilson Road occasionally has closures. Check the road information page for updates.
 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • When did the Center open? The Preserve Center was dedicated on June 21, 2008 and opened to the public on June 22nd.
  • What construction practices were used? The Preserve Center is LEED (Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design) certified at the platinum-level, the highest level of green building certification.
  • What is the history of this land? Lewis Joy and Struthers Burt established the valley's first dude ranch on the eastern shore of Phelps Lake in 1908. John D. Rockefeller, Jr. purchased the land in 1932 with the intentions of it being donated to Grand Teton National Park, but later decided to keep it as a family retreat. In 1990, Laurance S. Rockefeller, John's son, donated approximately 2,000 acres through the Sloan-Kettering Foundation, and in 2001 announced his intent to transfer the remaining 1,106 acres of the JY Ranch to Grand Teton National Park. Between July 2004 and May 2007, thirty buildings, roads, utilities, and other structures were removed from the ranch to restore the land, opening the way for construction of the new Perserve Center and trails to access the restored landscape. In November 2007, the land was officially transferred to Grand Teton National Park.
  • Can I pick up permits at the Center? The Preserve Center does not offer permits. Please visit one of the other visitor areas for backcountry and boat permits.
  • Are there bears on the Preserve? Yes, both black and grizzly bears, but don't be tricked! Black bears may be blonde, cinnamon, brown or black, and grizzly bears may be brown to black. Ask a ranger for all the details. Please follow the park's bear Safety recommendations.
  • How did Phelps Lake form? During the ice age, glaciers flowed down canyons and carved out depressions on the valley floor, depositing terminal moraines along the valley floor. Today water fills these depressions forming lakes. Phelps Lake is about 160 feet deep.
 

Stay Here

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Find A Campground

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Lodging

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Additional Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve and Moose-Wilson Road Information

 
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Attend a Ranger Led Program

Learn more about Grand Teton by attending a ranger led program.

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Become a Junior Ranger

Experience Grand Teton and become a Junior Ranger. Open to all ages.

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Explore the Backcountry

Travel into the Teton backcountry for an overnight stay.

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Plan Your Visit

Learn more about Grand Teton and plan your trip here.

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Last updated: October 23, 2019

Contact the Park

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.

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