Be prepared to address safety concerns before your trip to Grand Teton National Park to ensure that your visit runs as smoothly and safely as possible! There are several potential dangers to watch out for in this park, ranging from wildlife concerns to severe weather, including intense bouts of lightning.
You’re likely to encounter your fair share of wildlife at Grand Teton, from bears and wolves to bison and elk. The best ways to stay safe when you come across wildlife are as follows:
- Keep your distance. It’s important to keep a safe distance from wild animals you encounter in the park. Be especially wary of animals with offspring as they’re likely to be more protective and aggressive.
- Don’t feed the animals. It’s also important to adhere to Leave No Trace principles when visiting the park to avoid negative environmental impact.
- Store food safely. Keep food and all scented items (deodorant, lotions, perfumes, toothpaste, empty food wrappers, etc.) stored safely in your car or tied up in a bear bag out of reach for bears and wild animals. This will prevent animals from being attracted to your campsite.
- Make noise while hiking. The last thing you want to do is sneak up on a bear or wild animal on the trails. Clap your hands, sing, and make plenty of noise to alert bears to your presence as you hike.
Be prepared for rapidly changing weather in Grand Teton National Park, and take special note of lightning precautions. The mountainous terrain makes for unpredictable weather, so wear plenty of layers to be ready for anything.
In the summer storms are common in this area, so it’s essential to take shelter before a storm hits. Avoid lightning by keeping away from mountain tops, lone trees, and staying off the water.
There are several other safety concerns to make note of before heading out on your trip to Grand Teton:
- Altitude: Be wary of the altitude as you hike, as this mountainous region has peaks reaching up to more than 13,000 feet. Prepare for altitude sickness; make sure to bring the necessary medications with you and remain hydrated during your trip.
- Water: Do NOT drink water from lakes or streams unless you’ve purified it first, even if it looks clean! Waterborne diseases like Giardia are common when drinking untreated water.
- Driving: Practice safe driving while in the area. Grand Teton can get quite crowded, especially during peak season, so it’s important to drive safely to avoid accidents. Keep an eye out for animals crossing the road, be wary of road conditions, and mind the local speed limits.
- Stay on the trails. Stay on marked trails to avoid getting lost and damaging the environment.