Celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service are happening across the country this summer and Grand Teton National Park is no exception. The park is offering a variety of ranger-led activities from now until Labor Day weekend, and some will specifically focus on the centennial. For example, join a ranger any day at 11 a.m. at the Colter Bay visitor auditorium for Celebrating National Parks—a discussion about the history and value of national parks.
Here is just a sampling of what the park is offering this summer. All ranger-led programs are grouped by park district—Moose, Jenny Lake, Colter Bay, and Laurence S. Rockefeller Preserve. For more detailed information or for upcoming special programs, take a look at the park newspaper or check at a visitor center. Many of the programs are wheelchair accessible and all programs are family friendly.
A Walk into the Past (offered daily at 2:30 p.m.)
Discover the history of the Menor’s Ferry homestead, settlement of the valley, and formation of the park. Meet at Bill Menor’s General Store, just north of the Moose entrance station, for a 45-minute tour of the homestead and historic ferry which crosses the Snake River. If it’s a hot day and you are thirsty, you can purchase a cold Jackson Hole Root Beer at the store.
Nature in a Nutshell (offered Sunday, Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday at 1 p.m.)
Join a ranger in the courtyard of the Craig Thomas Discovery & Visitor Center for a 20 minute talk to learn about the park’s natural world. Wheelchair accessible.
Jenny Lake District
Inspiration Point Hike (offered daily at 8:30 a.m.)
This is a great activity for families and is limited to the first twenty-five visitors who obtain a token at the Jenny Lake Visitor Center the morning of the hike. You will take the shuttle boat across Jenny Lake (fee charged). A ranger will lead you on this one mile hike which climbs about 400 feet to Inspiration Point, talking along the way about the magnificent Teton landscape. The views are incredible.
Bear Safety (offered Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at 1:30 p.m.)
Discover techniques that will help you stay safe while traveling and camping in bear country. This program includes instruction on how to use bear pepper spray. Meet on the Jenny Lake Visitor Center deck.
Colter Bay District
Indian Arts & Culture (offered Tuesday at 1:30-2:15 p.m.)
Learn about American Indian art and culture in the visitor center.
Grand Teton Kids (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at 4 p.m.)
Watch your kids connect to some of the wonders of Grand Teton! Meet on the visitor center back deck for the 45-minute program.
Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve
Explore the Preserve Hike (daily, 9:30 a.m., reservations required)
Hike the Lake Creek Trail through forests and meadows to the shores of Phelps Lake and take in dramatic views of the Teton Range. This easy to moderate three mile hike takes almost three hours. Call 307-739-3654 for reservations. Group size is limited to 10.
Nature Explorer’s Backpack (daily at 9 a.m., recommended for children ages 6-12)
After a brief orientation, your child will receive a journal full of activities to guide them as they explore the Preserve trails with your family. These are available for checkout at the Preserve Center desk every day starting at 9:00 a.m. (they have to be returned by 5 pm that same day). The packs are limited to one per family.
The National Park Service turns 100 on August 26, 2016. Look for celebrations around the country that day.