About the Site
Grand Teton National Park  


Park History

Teton Range

Grand Teton Peak

Mt. Moran

Scenic Turnouts

Jackson Lake

Other Lakes

Snake River

Oxbow Bend

Signal Mountain

Main Lodges

Other Buildings

Willow Flats


Park Features


Fall Foliage





Grand Teton Peak

The tallest and most recognizable mountain in the range is Grand Teton itself. This peak is 13,770 feet, the tallest mountain in the park and the second highest in Wyoming.

The Grand Teton is sometimes compared with the Alps' famous Matterhorn, and its jagged peak certainly resembles that European mountain.

It is possible that the first attempt at an ascent of the Grand Teton took place in 1843 when a French trapper named Michaud tried unsuccessfully to climb the peak with rope ladders. Or, the first ascent of the peak may have occurred in 1872 by James Stevenson and Nathaniel Longford.

The accomplishment of Stevenson and Longford was disputed by another man, William O. Owen who successfully climbed the Grand Teton in 1898 with 3 companions and claimed to be the first to reach the top. Owen lobbied strongly to be recognized as the first and eventually was successful. He may actually have been the third to climb the Grand Teton, as another man, Charles Kieffer, may also have climbed the peak prior to Owen in 1893. Geraldine Lucas, a 59 year old, was unquestionably the first woman to climb the peak.

Even among the spectacular peaks of the Grand Teton, the Grand Teton stands out in a panoramic view of the range, of which there are many in the park.

The view from the top of the Grand Teton is impressive, as this is the highest point of land within sight.

On many occasions the clouds may obscure portions of the Grand Teton and neighboring peaks.

Below is a closer view of the summit of the mountain with low clouds.

The timberline, above which trees do not grow on the mountain, can easily be seen below.

The Cathedral Group is a cluster of peaks for which the derivation of the name is obvious. The group includes Teewinot Mountain, Grand Teton, and Mount Owen.

Mt. Moran

Besides Grand Teton, the other most recognizable mountain in the park is Mt. Moran. This mountain is 12,605 feet in height and has a distinctive flat top, quite different from most other mountains in the range.

Mt. Moran was named for the famous landscape artist Thomas Moran, who accompanied the 1872 Hayden Survey expedition. Moran made a number of sketches and watercolors which were later instrumental in drawing attention to the beauty of the area for people in the east.

Mt. Moran is actually one of only 2 peaks of the Tetons which is flat, the other being Bivouac Peak. Mt. Moran is still capped by the remains of the ancient sea bed which existed in this area.

Mt. Moran is draped by 5 glaciers, some of which can be seen in the picture below. The large glacier in the center of the face of the mountain is the Skillet Glacier.

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  • All photographs ©Patrick Holleran, Shannon Digital Imaging, 1994-2013

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