Beauty of Grand Teton National Park shaped by rapidly changing weather

Grand Teton National Park is known for its mountain views, wildlife and glacial lakes. The Grand Tetons are the Rocky Mountains' youngest mountain range but still contain rocks nearly 2.5 billion years old.

GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. – Many call this mountain range the most striking in the world – the Grand Tetons rising to almost 14,000 feet.

This valley stretches 55 miles long, just south of Yellowstone National Park, and the weather here continues to change and evolve this landscape.

Descending into Jackson, Wyoming, the Grand Teton mountains stand like skyscrapers. They rule this landscape.

"People from all over the country and all over the world come to Grand Teton National Park," park rangers said.  


From mountain views to lakeshore views to the Snake River to the entire region of the beautiful landscape, there are six glacial lakes at the base of the Teton Range and over 10 active glaciers at the national park.

Warmer temperatures are causing the glaciers to melt at a rapid rate, according to the National Park Service. And some of the glaciers in the park may have lost so much ice volume that they are no longer flowing and active.

Rocks that make the Tetons are nearly 2.5 billion years old, despite being the Rocky Mountains' youngest range. In the fall of 2022, a high-altitude rockslide occurred. What fell is being described as a big chunk of the mountain.

"The mountains are a dynamic environment, and so we can certainly see rock fall, and there's potential for that. And it correlates directly to some of the weather and climate change and all sorts of different things," park officials said.

For serious hikers, locals and photographers, there is a noticeable difference in the appearance of the range, but for most, they are focused on the jaw-dropping beauty of the peaks and wildlife.


This proximity to wildlife is unchartered territory for the millions of yearly visitors. The park has all kinds of wildlife here, but the biggest draw is probably the larger mammals, the bears, the moose and the elk. People come here, especially for the bears.

Distance and a strong presence of mind are imperative when pulling over a vehicle and viewing the animals. And a good reminder, a grizzly bear can run up to 40 mph if provoked.

"We just ask that people give wildlife their distance. We've had a lot of issues this summer in Grand Teton and Yellowstone, with people getting too close to wildlife and actually touching. So for wildlife safety, for visitor safety, please keep your distance," park officials said.

Under the rapidly changing weather systems of the valley, rainbows, rain and bison create what can only be seen as a mystical oasis on the great western landscape of the U.S. The many trails here are open, and the wilderness is the prize in Grand Teton National Park.