Grand Teton

Grand Teton National Park

Crowning glory of the park, the dagger-edged Grand Teton (13,775ft/4199m) has taunted many a would-be mountaineer. The first white men to claim to have summited were James Stevenson and Nathanial Langford, part of the 1872 Hayden Geological Survey. However, when William Owen, Franklin Spalding and two others arrived at the top in 1898, they found no evidence of a prior expedition. So they chiseled their names in a boulder, claimed the first ascent, and ignited a dispute that persists today.

Today, climbers speckle the mountain's multiple routes throughout the summer season, and even very fit non-climbers can reach the summit with a little training and a competent guide. The most popular route requires a combination of scrambling, easy 5th-class climbing and a few rappels, but should not be taken lightly. The park rescues 15 to 20 people a year, and fatalities are not uncommon.

Day climbers don't need to register, but those staying overnight need a backcountry-use permit (available at park visitor centers).

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Grand Teton National Park attractions

1. Jenny Lake Overlook

4.64 MILES

Perched on the lake's glacial moraine, this overlook offers good views of the Tetons and tall Ribbon Cascade to the right of Cascade Canyon, and shuttle…

2. Grand Teton National Park

4.73 MILES

Awesome in their grandeur, the Tetons have captivated the imagination from the moment humans laid eyes on them. While their name is often ascribed to…

3. Chapel of the Transfiguration

6.96 MILES

Built in 1924, this chapel has aspen pews and views of the Tetons through the altar window. In summer, Episcopal services are held on Sundays.

4. Schwabacher's Landing

6.99 MILES

Seen from this popular rafting put-in, the jagged Tetons, reflected in the meandering river, rank as some of the park's most sublime scenery. Access the…

5. Menor's Ferry Historic District

7.17 MILES

In 1892, entrepreneurial Ohioan Bill Menor took advantage of this narrow channel in the Snake River and established a homestead, ferry and general store…

7. Laurance S Rockefeller Preserve Center

8.03 MILES

In contrast to other visitor centers, this beautiful center is a meditative experience. Sitting on 3100 acres donated by the Rockefeller family, the…

8. Mormon Row

8.66 MILES

This is possibly the most photographed spot in the park – and for good reason. The aged wooden barns and fence rails make a quintessential pastoral scene,…