A part of the past can be viewed when visiting the Petrified National Forest in the northeast portion of Arizona. Stepping into this “forest” is an experience you won’t have anywhere else. Don’t expect to see standing living trees. Rather you will encounter fossilized trees that were alive over 200 million years ago, but now are rock like.
Guide To Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve
The Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve is located in the Grand Teton National Park in the gorgeous state of Wyoming. This preserve offers it’s visitors an opportunity to see the beauty of the land with less crowds.
The Rockefeller family bought the land in the early 1900’s. In 1949, John D. Rockefeller donated 33,000 acres and his son in 2001 continued with another 1,106 acres. Conservation was a big factor in gifting the land to the Grand Teton National Park.
Here is a guide on what to expect and how to make the best of your trip to the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve.
Why You Should Stop In
You won’t see large crowds here since the average of visitors per day is around 300. The Grand Teton National Park has more than 500 miles of wilderness to explore.
Within the park is the Rockefeller Preserve, which is home to various animals and lakes. As you hike through the preserve, you will come across creeks, meadows, animals, and Phelps Lake.
Honestly, you are in one of the most beautiful places in the Unites States. So get out and hike the Preserve. See what the land has to offer and explore as much as you can.
What To Expect
Breathtaking landscapes with opportunities to see wildlife is what awaits you. The Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve is open to cars from May 1st – October 31st. Due to weather, the center closes in September.
This area is home to the famous Teton Mountain Range, golden aspen trees, and a wide range of animals. In fact, you might see moose, bison, birds, antelope, black bears, or grizzlies. Do not worry, it is very rare to come across bears. Fun fact is black bears are not always black, some are blonde or brown.
The parking lot is very small and can be packed during the summer months. Carpool if you can, otherwise, prepare to wait for a spot to open up. Try to arrive early to avoid waiting.
Next, head to the Visitor Center. Here you can see diagrams of the area, get info from the rangers, and use the restrooms before your hike.
Choose Which Hike To Do
After parking, you will want to grab a map or better yet, have one already downloaded on your phone. At the Visitors Center, you can also ask a Ranger, which would be best.
The Lake Creek Trail offers a easy hike that will take you along a creek, through meadows and past Phelps Lake. Great for families or if you only have a few hours to explore the area. Another hike to consider if your looking for a longer and moderate trek is the Aspen-Boulder Ridge Loop.
Backcountry And Boats Need Permits
Like any other National Parks in the U.S., if you wish to hike the backcountry or take a boat on Phelps Lake, then grab a permit. In fact, not only do you need to get a permit , but you should also bring a can of bear spray. It is bear country and it’s better to be prepared than not have it if a situation occurs.
How To Get Here
Coming from Jackson Hole, you will want to head out of the city on US – 191 South. Next, turn right onto WY -22 West for 4 miles, which is Teton Pass HWY. Lastly, make sure to turn onto WY – 390 North towards Moose Wilson Road, where the Preserve is located. It should take no more than 15 minutes of a drive.
Yellowstone National Park is close as well and worth the 1 to 2 hour drive. Highway 20 West out of the part will lead you to US – 191 South, which puts you in Jackson Hole. From here you will follow the prior directions.
What To Bring
Since you will be hiking some, you will want comfortable cloths that are breathable. Stay away from cotton. Wear a pair of good hiking shoes or something that has a good grip.
In fact, once you get to Phelps Lake, there are benches or areas to have a snack, so bring some munchies. Don’t forget to bring water!
Phelps Lake has crystal clear water. So make sure to bring a swim suit if you want to take a dip. Wonderful for those hot days. Having a camera or your phone ready is a smart move. The views are amazing and you will want to snap a few pictures.
What Not To Do
The trails are marked for a reason, so make sure to stay on them. Wild animals inhabit this area and should not be disturbed. Another good idea is to hike in a group or pairs.
On that note, if you are a parent, do not let your child run ahead of you. Hard to believe, but we did encounter a child run past us and kept going on the trail. It’s bear country! The parents were farther along the path and allowed the child to run back and forth, out of their sight. This is very dangerous and should never be allowed.
Accommodations Close By
The Teton Mountain Lodge and Spa is a beautiful resort that is only 2 miles from the Rockefeller Preserve. Want a view of the mountains while enjoying a dip in the adults only hot tub, then this is the place for you. This resort will cost you around $500 per night.
Other Attractions And Places To Consider
Since you are so close, you must head over to Yellowstone National Park. Honestly, you should dedicate more than one day to this park. If you are on a time constraint, then head out early and prepare for a full day. This park is home to the famous Old Faithful Geyser and many animals like the Bison (Buffalo).
In addition, you are close to the Snake River, which is great for white water rafting. They offer trips for people who want an adventure or for families who only want a relaxing float down the river.
The first time I did a Snake River float trip, our group was fortunate to see a Bald Eagle. Our favorite white water rafting spot in the U.S. is the Snake River. Try Jackson Hole Whitewater Rafting for some info on what to expect.
Explore The Grand Tetons And The Snake River
The Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs can be considered one of New Mexico’s best hot springs. Without a doubt, most people were spot on with that thought. A whisper only resort awaits you with a variety of relaxing mineral pools that are surrounded by Precambrian rocky hills.
Don't Forget To Pin For Later!
Have you visited the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve? Did you enjoy yourself and is there anything you would recommend? Have any other activities or places we should see, let us know in the comments section. From Phoenix? Hi neighbored! Thanks for taking a look at our site and don’t forget to subscribe for future articles and tips.
The information on this website has come from research and by experiencing it ourselves. Opening hours, closures, prices, etc. are always subject to change. We try to keep up to date on any new information, or tips to help make your adventure more enjoyable.