Jackson to Gardiner
Jackson Elevation (feet)
Gardiner Elevation (feet)
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.
Basin and Range
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 back-country 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 wolves.
View photo galleries of special attractions along US Route 89 between Jackson and Gardiner…
Cities, Towns and Reservations
Public Lands and 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
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We were fortunate on our first visit to Grand Teton National Park to be there in the fall when the leaves were turning. After a couple of days of exploring the park, we discovered the String Lake Trail. It proved ideal for viewing the trees in fall dress from up close...
Yellowstone National Park is justifiably famous for its spouting geysers and bubbling mud pots. But I was surprised when on the first morning of our first visit to the park, we drove to a viewpoint overlooking the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River. I wasn’t...
I think it is the name that keeps drawing us back to this small geyser basin. Artists Paintpots implies colorful displays and that is certainly true. Each time we have visited Yellowstone National Park, we have managed to walk the short trail that circles the basin....
Yellowstone National Park is famous for many things among which is the wildlife. It is quite common to be driving on one of the park roads and all of a sudden find the road completely block with cars and people standing around looking at a bear or a wolf. One of the...
We arrived at West Thumb late on an August afternoon. The weather had been steadily deteriorating all day. Barbara exclaimed, “It’s snowing!” Not exactly. It was sleet but it seemed cold enough for snow—perfect weather for photographing in Yellowstone. Yellowstone...
US Route 89 in Grand Teton National Park parallels the Snake River to the east and offers spectacular views of the Tetons. There are several turnouts along the road from which to photograph the mountains with the river in the foreground. However there are only a...
by Wayne Ranney Anyone who has visited Yellowstone National Park knows that volcanism is the primary shaper of the landscape there. Volcanic processes drive the numerous geysers and mud pots, are responsible for much of the earthquake activity, and have created many...
The first time I saw the Grand Tetons was in 1998. That was before the US Route 89 project was born. We arrived on a July aftermoon with the naive idea that we would find a campsite in the national park which of course was full. After consulting a map, we found a...
National Geographic selected US Route 89 as the #1 Drivers’ Drive in the world in its recently published book, Drives of a Lifetime: 500 of the World’s Most Spectacular Trips. Having driven over 20,000 miles on Highway 89, I couldn’t agree more. I have my favorite...
We camped three nights in Yellowstone National Park and drove around the park to take pictures in weather that ranged from total overcast to a bright blue sky. Just about the time I would give up and say let's quit for the day, mother nature would throw something new...