Golden Gate Photo - Grand Teton Gallery
Fine Art Photography from Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.


Grand Teton National Park in west-central Wyoming was established in 1929, protecting much of the Teton Range. In 1950, Congress added the Jackson Hole portion after much debate. The Tetons are one of the youngest ranges in the Rocky Mountains, forming along the Teton Fault as a result of crustal extension. The Tetons are predominantly composed of Precambrian granite and gneiss. On top of these rocks, thousands of feet of sediments were deposited from great inland seas between 550 million years and 320 million years ago (Cambrian Period through the Mississippian Period). These limestone, dolomite, sandstone, and shale deposits have subsequently been eroded from most of the high peaks, but lie both along the western slopes of the range and beneath the fault-dropped Jackson Hole valley floor. Between an older mountain-building event during the Paleocene Epoch (about 50 million years ago) and the more recent activity along the Teton Fault, the total uplift that has occurred along the range front, based on the contact between the granitic rocks and the overlying sedimentary rocks, is about 35,000 feet (over 10,000 meters)! The ruggedness of the range is due to the carving action of glacial ice that occurred during the Pleistocene ice ages, forming the classic arÍtes, cirques, and horns.

Moose at Blacktail Ponds Overlook

Moose at Blacktail Ponds Overlook

A female moose takes a drink in a meander of the Snake River. The Teton Range is in the background.

Print No. A01NW-23-11

Teton Fault

Teton Fault

Taken from the edge of String Lake, along Leigh Lake Trail, the Teton Fault Scarp can be seen as the dark horizontal band just above the bright area at the base of the mountain. The Teton Fault is a normal fault (an angled fault where the side above the fault plane is sliding down relative to the side below the fault plane). This fault, which follows the eastern front of the Teton Range, is responsible for the dramatic uplift of the range over the last 9 million years.

Print No. A01NW-26-8

Snake River Overlook

Snake River Overlook

The Snake River Overlook is probably the most popular spot for photos in the park. Between the Snake River and the Teton Range in the background, several terraces can be seen in the Jackson Hole valley. These terraces were created during alternating episodes of downcutting due to stream erosion during glacial retreats, and filling due to stream deposition during glacial advancements. The highest point in this view of the Teton Range is Grand Teton at 13,770 feet (4,197 meters) above sea level.

Print No. A01NW-24-9

Jenny Lake

Jenny Lake

Jenny Lake is one of a string of lakes along the east side of the Teton Range. Each of these lakes was formed as glaciers poured out of the canyons between the peaks of the Teton Range during the Pleistocene Epoch. The glaciers plowed boulders and broken up rock, forming rings of ridges at the base of the mountains called terminal moraines. As the glaciers receded, these ridgelines formed natural levees around the lakes.

Print No. A01NW-26-2

Jenny Lake and Cascade Canyon

Jenny Lake and Cascade Canyon

Cascade Canyon is an example of a u-shaped valley. This is the valley that glaciers carved out on their way to the basin below, now filled by Jenny Lake. In the foreground are cobbles and boulders of the terminal moraine.

Print No. A01NW-26-4

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