Final Fee-Free Weekend in Grand Teton

August 10, 2009

Grand Teton National Park will once again waive entry fees this Saturday and Sunday, August 15 and 16, in keeping with Interior Secretary Salazar’s decree to allow free entry into national parks on three weekends during the 2009 summer season; the program was designed to provide an extra incentive for visitors to travel to America’s national parks for a cost effective family vacation. As with the previous fee-free weekends, Grand Teton will offer special ranger-led activities to encourage visitors to explore interesting features of the park.

Ranger-led activities scheduled for the coming weekend include:

Lake Solitude Hike
Join a ranger on an all day hike to Lake Solitude in Cascade Canyon for a chance to explore the spectacular Teton backcountry. Visitors will be hike beside Cascade Creek while learning about park wildflowers, wildlife, and the expansive mountain scenery and geology. This is a moderate to strenuous hike that includes an elevation gain of 2,950 feet and a roundtrip distance of 14.7 miles. Approximate time for the hike is eight hours. Due to the length, this hike is recommended for experienced hikers. While the ranger will set a steady pace up to Lake Solitude, visitors can return at their own speed. The hike begins with a shuttle boat ride across Jenny Lake at 7:30 a.m. Boat fares are: $10 for adults (roundtrip); and $5 for children (age 2-11). No reservations are required. Participants are required to bring water, sunscreen, raingear, hiking boots, and a lunch/snacks. For more information please call the Jenny Lake Visitor Center at 307.739.3392.

Astronomy Day
As part of the International Year of Astronomy, Grand Teton National Park and the Jackson Hole Astronomy Club are partnering to provide two “Astronomy Day” programs on Sunday, August 16, at the Colter Bay Visitor Center. Telescope demonstrations will be available throughout the day on the back deck of the visitor center. In addition, there will be an evening ranger program at 9 p.m. at the Colter Bay Amphitheater, followed by a stargazing session on the shore of Jackson Lake. For information on Astronomy Day activities, please call the Colter Bay Visitor Center at 307.739.3594.

Living Simply
Take a deep breath, unwind, and reflect on the simple things in life. Meet on the porch at the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve at 10 a.m. on Saturday, August 15 to enjoy a relaxing hike with a ranger to discover simpler ways of living in harmony with the environment. The ranger-led stroll is 1.5 miles roundtrip and lasts for 2 hours. For more information contact the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve at 307.739.3654

Special ranger-led activities are being offered in addition to the regularly scheduled programs that are listed in the park's newspaper, the Teewinot. Please visit online at to see a complete list of ranger-led activities for the 2009 summer season.