Winter Trip Planner
Winter is a wonderful time to experience Grand Teton National Park. As the snow drapes a wintry blanket across the Teton Range, a peace settles over the landscape, offering a sharp contrast to the busy summer season. Winter recreation activities abound, as the park becomes a popular destination for cross-country skiers, snowshoers and photographers who wish to capture the beauty of a Teton winterscape. If you are planning a visit during the winter season, make sure you check current weather forecasts and road conditions to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.
The park's main roadways, Highway US 89/191 and Highway US 26/287, are plowed and open for winter travel from the town of Jackson to Flagg Ranch just south of Yellowstone National Park. These travel routes offer outstanding mountain vistas and wildlife viewing opportunities. Park roads are often snow-covered and icy. Be prepared for winter driving conditions and carry a winter safety kit in your vehicle for emergencies. In addition, wildlife can linger near park roads, so be alert, and drive slowly for their safety and yours.
Much of the Teton Park Road (also called the inner park road) is closed to vehicles during winter. The unplowed section of the road from Taggart Lake Trailhead parking area to Signal Mountain Lodge-a distance of 15 miles-is open to non-motorized use only (skiers and snowshoers). A variety of other trails throughout the park offer winter visitors many ways to experience a snowy Teton wonderland. As a safety precaution, outdoor enthusiasts should carry-at a minimum-water, high energy snacks and extra winter clothing during any backcountry excursion. Please see the Cross-country Skiing & Snowshoeing brochure (Adobe PDF), visit our Cross-country Skiing & Snowshoeing web page or stop by the Jackson Hole and Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center in Jackson, Wyoming to speak with a park representative about suggested trails and safety tips, or to pick up a ski/snowshoe trail brochure.
Winter driving may be challenging; park roads are often covered with ice or hard-packed snow; winter storms create white-out driving conditions. Make sure your vehicle is equipped with winter or all-season tires and carry tire chains when driving over mountain passes. For updated road information in the park call: (307) 739-3682. For Wyoming Department of Transportation information, visit their website: http://www.wyoroad.info/ or call (888) WYO-ROAD (only available in Wyoming) or (307) 772-0824.
Teton Park Road (Taggart Lake Trailhead to Signal Mountain Lodge): closed to vehicles, open to skiing and snowshoeing access.
Highway 26/89/191 (outer park road): open year-round from Jackson to Flagg Ranch or Togwotee Pass and Dubois, WY.
WEATHER & AVALANCHE INFORMATION
Winters are long and cold in Jackson Hole. The first heavy snows fall by November 1 and continue through April; snow and frost are possible any month.
If you are planning to travel in the backcountry during the winter, be sure to check the local avalanche forecast. Avoid known avalanche paths. All skiers and climbers travelling in avalanche terrain should be equipped with, and know how to use, an avalanche beacon, probe pole and shovel. For current conditions call (307) 733-2664 for the U.S. Forest Service avalanche report or go to: http://www.jhavalanche.org. Current conditions are also posted on the Jenny Lake Climbing Rangers blogspot.
Hypothermia is caused by exposure to cold and is aggravated by wind, exhaustion and wet clothing. Warning signs include: uncontrollable shivering, incoherent speech, lethargy and exhaustion. Remove the victim from the elements as soon as possible. If in doubt, seek immediate medical attention.
Safety in the Backcountry
Cross-country Skiing & Snowshoeing
Proper preparation and planning ensures a great winter experience in Grand Teton National Park. Download the Cross-country Skiing brochure (Adobe PDF) for a listing of trails, safety information and other detailed information or visit our Cross-country Skiing and Snowshoeing page.
Ranger-guided Snowshoe Walks
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort: http://www.jacksonhole.com/
VISITOR CENTER HOURS & WINTER LODGING FACILITIES
Craig Thomas Discovery & Visitor Center
Jackson Hole and Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center
For lodging facilities in the Jackson Hole area visit the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce at: http://www.jacksonholeexplorer.com.
Areas Closed to Protect Wildlife
For more information on enjoying winter in the Tetons, download the winter issue of the park newspaper (Adobe PDF document). The newspaper includes a map of winter closure areas.