Discover Yellowstone & Grand Teton
If ever a place deserved the term “Wonderland,” it would have to be the northwest corner of Wyoming. In this spectacularly scenic region lies the world’s oldest national park — Yellowstone — along with one of the most stunning mountainscapes on the planet, Grand Teton National Park. Jackson Hole is a prosperous and bustling center for recreation and commerce; it’s one of the most popular vacation destinations in North America.
The region attracts more than three million visitors each year from around the globe.
The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is a mountainous region bisected by the Continental Divide. Several peaks — including Grand Teton — top 13,000 feet. Powerful geological forces crafted this landscape; their energy is especially visible in Yellowstone. The park sits atop a geologic hotspot that caused three stupendous volcanic eruptions in the last two million years, covering thousands of square miles with ash and affecting the global climate for years thereafter.
There’s no evidence that it will erupt anytime soon, but the heat from this seething cauldron creates the geysers, hot springs, and fumaroles for which Yellowstone is famous.
The Teton Range provides an incredible skyline that rises abruptly above Jackson Hole, a relatively flat basin through which the Snake River flows. In summer, the sagebrush flats are a garden of flowers set against the mountain backdrop. Autumn turns the cottonwoods and aspens into swaths of yellow and orange, and winter transforms everything a glorious, sparkling white.
With activities ranging from mountain biking to river rafting to gourmet dining, it’s impossible to be bored here. The country is so beautiful that you may just want to kick back, tip back your new cowboy hat, and sip a Teton Ale while taking it all in.
Welcome to one of the world’s great wonderlands. You may never want to go home.
© Don Pitcher from Moon Yellowstone & Grand Teton, 5th Edition