Distance: 153 miles • Elevation Change: Jackson 6236 ft.-Gardiner 5225 ft.
You would be hard pressed to find a more scenic stretch of highway anywhere in the world. North of Jackson US Route 89 runs parallel to the spectacular Teton Range in Grand Teton National Park. The mountains seem to rise abruptly from the valley known as Jackson Hole to a towering height of over 13,000 feet. There are many turnouts with information signs along the road. Or take the Teton Park Road, the original route of 89, for a more intimate view of the park and to access the lakes, hiking trails and campgrounds.
In the winter, the National Elk Refuge to the east of US 89, is filled with elk where they congregate along the Gros Ventre River on the west side of the Gros Ventre Range.
Between Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park, highway 89 is known as the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Parkway as it runs along the shore of Jackson Lake and to the south entrance to the park. To stay on US Route 89 through Yellowstone, turn west at West Thumb to Old Faithful, continue north to Madison, Norris and Mammoth Hot Springs exiting the park at the north entrance to Gardiner, Montana.
Grand Teton National Park: The Teton Range rises nearly a mile above Jackson Hole, the valley below the eastern face of the mountains. A dozen of its peaks are over 12,000 in elevation and with no foothills to obscure the view they can be seen reflected in the large lakes at their base. There is no more spectacular and iconic view any where in the Rockies. Visitors to Grand Teton National Park will find numerous recreational opportunities including boating on the lakes and trails for easy day hikes or strenuous backcountry adventures.
Yellowstone National Park: Yellowstone is America’s first national park and nowhere in the world is there a larger concentration of geothermal features. At 3,472 square miles in area, a visitor to the park is hard pressed to see it all in a day or two. Here are the top five attractions that should not be missed: Mammoth Hot Springs, Norris Geyser Basin, Old Faithful Geyser, West Thumb Geyser Basin and Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. In addition to the geysers, hot springs, mud pots and fumaroles, the park abounds with wildlife including moose, elks, bison, bears and wolfs.
Towns, Cities & Reservations:
Public Lands & Historic Places:
Targhee National Forest
Teton National Forest
National Elk Refuge
Grand Teton National Park
Yellowstone National Park
East Gros Ventre Butte
Gros Ventre River
West Thumb of Yellowstone Lake
Upper Geyser Basin/Old Faithful
Lower Geyser Basin
Monument Geyser Basin
Gibbon Geyser Basin
Norris Geyser Basin