Animal Awareness

Voted the #1 National Park for viewing wildlife, Grand Teton National Park is home to year-round moose, bison, elk, bear, pronghorn, eagle, and various other birds and animal species. Needless to say, the opportunities to view wildlife here are endless.

With this opportunity comes obligation. As millions visit Grand Teton National Park each season, we must all learn to respect wildlife in their “home environment.”

Wildlife Viewing

The Park is Not a Petting Zoo. Animals here are not tame, no matter how docile they may appear. Although a car doesn’t offer complete protection, it is a much safer viewing point than standing alongside an animal.


View Animals from Safe Distances. Use binoculars, spotting scopes or long lenses for close views and photographs. Always maintain a safe distance of at least 100 yards from wolves and bears, and at least 25 yards from all other wildlife.


If an Animal Changes It's Behavior, You Are Too Close. When wildlife look up or stop any action, it means they are assessing danger. Although your actions may seem harmless, your encounter may have adverse affects long after your visit. Use the Rule of Thumb – hold your thumb up at arm’s distance between you and the animal. If your thumb covers the outline of the animal, you are a good distance away.


Never Feed Animals. Animals here are wild. Feeding them changes their instinct and behavior for foraging, thus putting them at risk. We encourage you to not feed anything ever, even a scrap or a potato chip to a squirrel.


Be Bear Aware. Grand Teton National Park is home to many bears. Bears have very keen smell, and can be attracted by un-kept campsites and improperly disposed garbage. Please help protect them, and you, by properly storing your food, drinks, coolers, toiletries, trash, dishes and pet food in your vehicle or campsite bear box. Your efforts can help save a bear!


Please SLOW DOWN! On average in the greater Yellowstone eco-system, one large animal is struck by a car every day. The impact of hitting a moose can equal that of hitting a small car. Protect yourself and your property by driving cautiously and watching out for wildlife. Wildlife are most active on the road during dawn and duskTo avoid hitting animals: please follow all park speed limits, including the nighttime speed limits!


Remember, this is their home—please be respectful. Often wildlife is just as startled to see you, as you are excited to see them.



Animal Awareness and Safety

As you enjoy your time here in Grand Teton National Park and the surrounding area, we encourage you to make safety a top priority. While the vast array of wildlife is one of many reasons thousands of people come here each summer, you should be aware that some wildlife can pose health risks to humans.


Bats and Mice are common residents of the park, and important to our ecosystem. Unfortunately, they sometimes find their way into guest rooms/cottages and other buildings. Bats and mice have the potential to carry serious diseases that can be transferred to humans including rabies and Hantavirus. While transmission to humans is rare, it’s important you take precautions to minimize the risks to you and others. Here are a few tips to help you stay safe throughout your visit:

  • Please do not leave or prop room/cottage entry or patio doors open. Open doors are an invitation to wildlife to enter.
  • Do not leave food and drinks out in the open. Coolers and food storage containers must be kept inside your room/cottage, in a bear box, or in a locked vehicle with the windows up. The only exception is during the transport, preparation and eating of food.
  • If you find a bat in your room/cottage, please alert our staff immediately. Our team will safely capture the bat and discuss possible precautionary options with you depending on the situation. DO NOT attempt to capture, drive-out, or otherwise interact with the bat.
  • If you see a mouse in your room/cottage, or find evidence of rodent activity, alert our staff. Do not attempt to clean up droppings. Our team will use proper practices to ensure you have a room that is clean and safe to occupy.

Please contact our staff immediately if you see a bat, mouse or evidence of rodents in your room/cottage, or if you have questions or concerns:



Food Storage

Bears can be anywhere in the park at any time, even if you cannot see them. Odors attract bears. When not in immediate use, all food, drinks, garbage, toiletries, cookware (clean or dirty), stoves, grills, food containers, coolers (empty or full), pet food/bowls, and any odorous item needs to be properly stored. Proper storage includes:

  • A hard-sided vehicle with doors locked and windows closed
  • In your cabin or room with the door closed
  • A bear-resistant food storage locker (provided at most campsites.)

Only have the food and supplies out that you are actually using. If you are not using it, store it in one of the places mentioned above. Any food items, including empty coolers, left unattended will be collected by park rangers or staff for the safety of our guests.

Pets in the Park

You are welcome to travel with your pet in the Tetons.  However, please be aware that the National Park Service does have strict regulations on where you can take your pet, for the safety of both your pet and the wildlife.  View Pet-Friendly Accommodations & National Park Service Regulations