Difference Between Yellowstone and Grand Teton

National parks preserve the biodiversity and ecosystem of a region. They are rich in flora and fauna since activities like hunting and poaching are prohibited here.

Both Yellowstone and Grand Teton are national parks located in the United States. They are protected and governed by state laws.

Given the proximity betweem them, Grand Teton is often mistaken to be a part of the Yellowstone national park.

Yellowstone vs Grand Teton

The main difference between Yellowstone and Grand Teton is that, the tours and activities offered are diverse. A contributing factor is the vast difference in the topography of the two national parks. Yellowstone proposes several key sightseeing attractions and naturally occurring phenomena. While the terrain of Grand Teton engages in an outdoor activity-based route.

Yellowstone vs Grand Teton

As the first national park in the world, Yellowstone is popular because of its various geothermal activities. It houses several geysers, hot springs and also has an active volcano.

It creates an apt environment for the proliferation of a certain species of bacteria. The vivid colours of the springs, described as “prismatic”, owe their appearance to these bacteria.

Other features include its Grand Canyon and rich wildlife.

Grand Teton was established to preserve the mountain peaks of the Teton range and the valley of Jackson Hole. The history of Grand Teton national park traces back to the migration habits and patterns of the nomadic tribes.

The rugged terrain offers activities like hiking, camping, fishing, and winter sports like skiing.

The landscape of this national park is interspersed by snow-capped mountains, forests, glaciers, and lakes.

Comparison Table Between Yellowstone and Grand Teton

Parameters of ComparisonYellowstoneGrand Teton
Year of establishmentThe Yellowstone national park was established in 1872.Grand Teton was classified as a national park in 1929.
LocationLocated predominantly in Wyoming, it spills into regions of Idaho and Montana.It is located in the Wyoming mountain range.
AreaApproximately around 3468 square milesApproximately around 310000 acres
Unique featuresContains naturally occurring geothermal features and attractions.Boasts of jagged snow-capped mountain peaks and crystal-clear lakes.
Activities undertakenFamous for its sought-after hot springs, geysers, and waterfalls.It offers scenic routes for trekking, trails, kayaking, and hikes.

What is Yellowstone?

As the heart of the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem, the Yellowstone national park attracts tourists by flaunting its natural features. Yellowstone is said to be the world’s first national park.

The prime attraction is the Old Faithful, a large geyser, named due to its predictable eruptions. The approximate time frame between eruptions is 90 minutes.

The park’s various hydrothermal features include hot springs, mud pots, fumaroles, and travertine terraces.

Another area of focus is the view from the artist’s point of the Yellowstone Grand Canyon. Yellowstone is famous for its petrified forests and caldera.

The deposits of volcanic material on vegetation created upright fossil forests, otherwise known as petrified forests. The calderas are formed as an aftermath of volcanic eruptions.

The site also has historical significance and has recorded several expeditions in the earlier years.

Yellowstone has an observatory that constantly monitors the seismic activities of the area since it houses an active volcano. The array of fauna includes wolves, elk, fox, and bison.

What is Grand Teton?

There are three main features of the Grand Teton national park. They are the valley of Jackson Hole, the Teton Range, and the lakes.

The fauna is comprised of elk, moose, and grizzlies.

The name of the Teton mountain range has a French origin that literally translates to “the three teats’ ‘. The ranges were shaped by the glaciers in early times.

Initially a privately owned property, Jackson Hole was integrated as a part of the national park to preserve the region.

The popular trail that covers Jenny Lake and the Hidden falls, is accessed via hiking or by boat.

A large area of the Grand Teton remains untouched by humans and preserves flora dating back to prehistoric times. Apart from trekking, activities like kayaking and canoeing are in demand.

Most of the lakes here were formed from glaciers. Snake River, the largest river in Grand Teton meanders through and offers scenic views.

There are twelve small glaciers in this national park.

Main Differences Between Yellowstone and Grand Teton

  1. The major attraction in Yellowstone is the world’s largest geyser and the super volcano. On the other hand, Grand Teton national park brags about its picturesque rocky mountain range.
  2. Grand Teton extends a range of outdoor activities that vary depending on the season. Summer activities are mountain climbing, camping, water sports, and walking trails. Winter activities comprise skiing, sledding, and snowshoeing. Yellowstone contains its activities to a select few attractions.
  3. While Yellowstone is considered the earliest national park, Grand Teton was only established over 50 years later. Parts of the Grand Teton that were initially private property were later on included as part of the protected land.
  4. Grand Teton is not a part of Yellowstone, they are two different national parks based in Wyoming. These national parks are located 31 miles apart. Together they are a part of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
  5. Yellowstone embraces the geyser basins, mud-filled hot springs, the grand prismatic spring, and the Grand Canyon. In stark contrast, the Grand Teton has numerous winding paths, mountain trails, rivers, and lakes.
Difference Between Yellowstone and Grand Teton


Yellowstone and Grand Teton have a rich variety of vegetation, wildlife, volcanic and hydrothermal locations. Due to these contributing factors, they form a geo ecosystem.

While the terrain of Yellowstone highlights its volcanic and hydrothermal assets, the trademark of Grand Teton is its mountain range.

The tall mountain peaks and adjacent deep valley offers a contrast that appeals to its visitors.

Yellowstone and Grand Teton provide spectacular views and bountiful resources. In comparison to Yellowstone, the ventures in Grand Teton are more activity-oriented.

The opportunities to visit sites emphasize on physical activities and outdoor efforts.

An interesting contradiction is that both the national parks are located in Wyoming. While one is popular for its natural “hot spots, ” the other is well known for glaciers and lofty summits.


  1. https://books.google.comhttps://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=ZTHZfDcxXHAC&oi=fnd&pg=PR7&dq=yellowstone+and+grand+teton+national+parks&ots=3dUriopp34&sig=6lTDKjPqM4K3g94O5sUcCQRXKKE/books?hl=en&lr=&id=ZTHZfDcxXHAC&oi=fnd&pg=PR7&dq=yellowstone+and+grand+teton+national+parks&ots=3dUriopp34&sig=6lTDKjPqM4K3g94O5sUcCQRXKKE
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=gCpwDwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA10&dq=about+yellowstone+national+park&ots=88fiwKt1_o&sig=L_PSGP8GY7JDSEGXQU3MUBw3jCQ

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