Grand Teton To Waive Entrance Fees During Three Summer Weekends-June, July & August

Grand Teton to waive entry fees
during June, July & August weekends

June 15, 2009
Grand Teton National Park will waive entrance fees during the weekends of June 20-21 (Fathers Day), July 18-19, and August 15-16, as part of a nation-wide initiative launched by Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on June 1st. In concert with the fee-free weekends, Grand Teton will offer educational programs that are designed to highlight special features of the park.

In an effort to encourage Americans seeking affordable vacations to visit their national parks, and explore the treasures that these unique places safeguard, Interior Secretary Salazar declared that national parks across the country will offer three separate fee-free weekends this summer. “National Parks serve as powerful economic engines for local communities,” said Secretary Salazar during a formal announcement about the new initiative at Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio. “We hope that promoting visitation will give a small shot in the arm to businesses in the area.”

During each of the upcoming fee-free weekends, Grand Teton park ranger naturalists will offer interpretative programs at various park locations— the Moose area, Jenny Lake, Colter Bay, and the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve. Visitors will be invited to learn about the park and its natural and cultural features by joining one of the regularly scheduled programs listed in the park’s newspaper, the Teewinot. These programs offer visitors the chance to: ponder the challenges of protecting public lands and natural resources during a “Conversation on Conservation” walk from the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center to the Murie Ranch; hear about mountain climbing in the Tetons in the Jenny Lake area; discover the role of geology and fire ecology by taking a “Fire and Ice” cruise from the Colter Bay marina; learn about American Indian culture during a tour of the David T. Vernon Indian Art Collection at the Colter Bay Visitor Center and Indian Arts Museum; or catch the “Explore the Preserve” hike at the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve to gain insight into the power of place.

In addition to regularly scheduled programs, the following special programs will also be available:
“Experience nature through art” on Saturday, June 20. Sketch the natural world during a walk along Lake Creek on the Laurance S. Rockefeller (LSR) Preserve. Bring art supplies (sketching paper, pencil, and pen). Meet on the LSR Preserve Center veranda at
10 a.m. Space is limited, so please call 739.3654 to reserve a spot.

“Celebrate International Year of Astronomy” on Saturday, June 20. Ranger Bob Hoyle will provide a program on Native American sky mythology and the use of the sky and its celestial bodies throughout human history. Large telescopes will be set up for participants to view stars, nebulas and other cosmic phenomena. Meet at the Signal Mountain Amphitheater at 9:30 p.m.

“Enjoy a Bird Walk” on Sunday, June 21. Take an early morning bird walk along the Snake River. Meet at the flagpole at the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center at 7 a.m. Learn to “bird by ear” on a two-hour bird walk at the LSR Preserve at 8 a.m. Reservations are recommended; call 307.739.3654.

“Many Americans are facing tough economic times right now. Our hope is that these free-entry weekends will give some financial relief, while providing a memorable vacation experience,” said Grand Teton National Park Superintendent Mary Gibson Scott. “We encourage families to bring their children to Grand Teton, attend one of the ranger-led programs, and discover how rewarding and special a national park visit can truly be.”

For more about fee-free weekends in national parks, go to