John D. Rockefeller Memorial Parkway


Grizzly bears
Grizzly bears near the John D. Rockefeller Jr Memorial Parkway
The Snake River

The John D. Rockefeller Memorial Parkway is a scenic 27-mile route that connects Grand Teton National Park with Yellowstone National Park. The Parkway itself is in the heart of a 24,000-acre property lying between the two parks. The western boundary of the property is against the Caribou-Targhee National Forest, the eastern boundary against Bridger-Teton National Forest near the Teton Wilderness. The property was originally National Forest Service property but was transferred to the National Park Service in 1972 to give the National Park Service an unbroken connection (and control) between the two larger park areas.

This area is a geological transition zone between the granitic beds of rock around the Tetons and the volcanic materials that make up so much of Yellowstone. The Snake River flows through the lands of the Parkway and offers visitors world-class fly fishing for trout. The Snake also offers excellent whitewater rafting possibilities in the summer. Winter sees the Parkway used as a starting point for guided snowmobile tours into Yellowstone. As part of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, the John D. Rockefeller Memorial Parkway property is teeming with elk, moose, deer, bighorn sheep, bison, black bear and grizzly bear. The great forest fires of 1988 affected the northern parts of the Parkway property but recovery since has seen an enhancement in wildlife habitat and increased numbers of animals.

The Parkway was named for John D. Rockefeller Jr. in honor of his generosity to national parks like Acadia, Great Smoky Mountains, Grand Teton and Virgin Islands.

The John D. Rockefeller Memorial Parkway is administered as part of Grand Teton National Park.

Bison beside the John D. Rockefeller Memorial Parkway
Bison beside the John D. Rockefeller Memorial Highway,
Grand Teton Range in the background