Grand Tetons recommended reading

(At the bottom of the page are links to online materials, including field guides to Rocky Mountain mammals, birds.)

Almost any local library can order a book for you from another library almost anywhere in the US. There is sometimes a small fee for this service.

Photo below of Oxbow Bend, and the mist we typically kayak out into in the morning, by Fred Hanselmann

Fred Hanselmann photo Purple Oxbow Dawn:

cell phone with app showing
An app for Grand Teton National Park info (best downloaded before you get there when you can find reliable internet) with info about visitor centers, historic places, natural features, and services throughout the park.
“Even without cellular service, the app will be able to share your location on the map and bring up all site content.”

Photos of over a hundred birds of Grand Teton National Park can be seen (and downloaded) at:


Download these instead of buying them at a visitor center, (well worth looking at for info about animals and much more):

Yellowstone Grizzly Bears: Ecology and Conservation of an Icon of Wildness
” . . . Bears can see in color, can hear in the ultrasonic range, and possess an incredible sense of smell.. . Heaviest Known Body Mass in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem: Adult male 715 pounds (324 kilograms); Adult female 436 pounds (198 kilograms)
Speed: 35 to 40 miles per hour (56 to 64 kilometers per hour)
Strength: 2.5 to 5 times greater than humans

$39.95 or a free download

two bears walking
Before a trip to Grand Teton National park, borrow these from the library:

The Story Behind the Scenery has basic and detailed geology infoemation. They wrote one for each of the major National Parks, including Grand Teton and Yellowstone.

Grand Teton National Park: – Where Lightning Walks is a large format photo album. Photographs by Pat O’Hara, Text by Tim McNulty

Grizzlies of Pilgrim Creek, by photographer Thomas D. Mangelsen and writer Todd Wilkinson


Wapiti Wilderness, by Margaret and Olaus Murie, pen-and-ink drawings by Olaus Murie, is their tale of living in the Tetons wilderness, where Olaus conducted studies of elk and other wildlife that in effect sometimes became a part of their household. It includes stories of pioneers, with detailed excerpts from the diaries and letters of Beaver Dick Leigh. If you know how to read a topographical map you can find Olaus’s “place of enchantment” where the ouzel is the “very spirit of the place.”

If you like it, also read Two In The Far North about their previous work and adventures in Alaska.


At least chapter 5, The Song of the White Pelican, of The Abstract Wild by Jack Turner.


One Day at Teton Marsh, by Sally Carrighar, builds a drama around the lives of beavers, moose, birds, ducks, and even a mosquito.


To help plan when to have Tetons trips, try

For Everything There is a Season, a week by week chronicle of the sequence of events (blooming, birthing, weather, etc.) in the Grand Teton-Yellowstone Area by Frank C. Craighead, Jr.

A Guide to Exploring Grand Teton National Park (RNM Press) was written by Ranger naturalist(s) Olson and Bywater.

They have lots of info about birds, wildlife, trees and wildflowers as well as a basic map with trail distances.


Plants of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, by Richard J. Shaw has most of them. The photo of the Lady’s thumb knotweed (an aquatic plant) we saw blooming on the edges of some lakes in September, giving the impression of a pink mist floating on the water, isn’t half as pretty in the book as in real life.

floating pink mist on water: ladys thumb knotweed closeup:

At Cascade Canyon wildflowers you’ll find pictures of Penstemon, Silky Phacelia, Western Serviceberry, Cascade Mountain Ash and Columbine in June and fall colors of Asters, Mountian Ash and Aspen in September.

Plants of the Rocky Mountains (Kershaw, MacKinnon, Pojar) has more pictures than most field guides, including spring/fall and or close ups and general pictures. The start of the wildflowers section has a collage, by color, of all the ones described with page numbers to find larger pictures and read details.

One favorite Rocky Mountains field guide to flowers, trees, fish, birds, mammals and more is The National Audubon Society Field Guide to the Rocky Mountain States.(Peter Alden) We also use Rocky Mountain Wildflowers (Mountaineers Books).

Our copy of A Guide to Field Identification – Birds of North America is well worn and we also use Field Guide to Birds, Western Region (Little, Brown), as well as the three volume Audubon Society Master Guide to Birding.



Grand Teton National Park birds has photos and details about the most common ones we can hope to see
including Bald Eagle, Red-winged Blackbird, Canada Geese, Clark’s Nutcracker, Golden Eagle, Great Blue Heron.Great Gray Owl, Harlequin duck, Loon, Magpie, Merganser, Northern Flicker (woodpecker), Osprey, Ouzel, Pelican, Peregrine Falcon, Ptarmigan, Raven, Sandhill Cranes, Steller’s Jays, Trumpeter Swan, Western Meadowlark and Western Tanager, with links to calls / songs from most of them to listen to.

and you can Download photos of over a hundred birds of Grand Teton National Park

We always recommend reading about the brains and abilities of corvids (Crows, Ravens, Magpies and Jays)
Gifts of the Crow How Perception, Emoton, and Thought Allow Smart Birds to Behave Like Humans.

hawk flying



grizzly bear scat photo by J Schmidt: See also: animal sign comparisons
(how to use tracks and scat to distinguish species)

Please do not handle scat. Wolf scat, for example, can transmit tapeworm eggs to humans.

Watch a Grand Teton National park video identifying and comparing animal tracks


We bring the Colter Bay map and trail guide and the Cascade Canyon map and trail guide along with the U.S.G.S. topographical maps.




Which peak is that one?
To print yourself a larger, more readable copy of three profile drawings

drawings of the Grand Teton range from three locations with peaks named

of the Teton Range with the names of peaks seen from these three views:

1) Highway 89, one mile south of Moose Junction

2) Teton Point turnout on Highway 89

3) from Jackson Lake Lodge

go to:

and click on Teton Profile

mountain peaks

Teton Science School has many online articles of interest in the wildlife section:
“Moose . . . have thick fur coats with long hollow hairs to insulate them down to temperatures of -60F. This also makes moose fur tremendously buoyant. All the air molecules trapped in moose fur do what air wants to do in water – rise to the surface. So the coat of a moose acts as a lifejacket, a constant force that tugs the moose to the surface. . .

. . . moose are incredible swimmers, at least as hoofed animals go. They are capable of hitting speeds of at least six miles per hour. That sounds like no more than a jogging speed for humans, but most humans can only swim two miles per hour. High School swimmers hit three to four miles per hour. Olympic swimmers win medals above five miles per hour.”


You can read about John Colter, Jackson Hole and more stories, including campfire tales of Jackson Hole (history) at:


scroll down to Grand Teton

The Grand Teton National park brochures

common plants brochure

mammal finding guide

bird finding guide

Teewinot, the park newspaper, is at:


A National Public Radio program about Mardy Murie is at:


How to ID Birds Learn some of the secrets of bird identification using silhouettes, posture, flight pattern, size and habitat, in addition to key field marks.

Where to Bird, Bird Guide, Gear Guide, Attracting Birds, Conservation Links


The International Wolf Center advances the survival of wolf populations by teaching about wolves, their relationship to wild lands and the human role in their future.


NPS photo of Moran's castle geyser:
The diary of artist Thomas Moran is at:


nps drawing bears: drawing of a black bear and a grizzly for comparisonWas that a black bear or a grizzly, a coyote or a wolf or a fox we just saw?

NPS photo Yellowstone wildlife montage Robert Hynes 560 pxls: Rocky Mountain mammal size comparisons has photos and comparisons of beavers, squirrels, pika, marmot, elk, moose, bison, fox, coyote, wolf, golden-mantled ground squirrel, chipmunk, Red Squirrel (also known as) Chickaree, Unita Ground squirrels, bobcat, lynx, mountain lion (cougar), pine marten, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, pronghorn, grizzly and black bears, tundra swan, trumpeter swan, adult and juvenile Bald Eagles.


See also Yellowstone

For info about the next Outdoor Club Grand Tetons trip go to Grand Tetons

Grand Tetons trip pages index has brief descriptions of most of the pages about this trip.

Grand Tetons kayaking

Grand Tetons sightseeing

Backpacking in Grand Teton National park has maps and details about getting permits.