Teton Trek


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Tentative Opening Date: Fall 2009

If ever a place deserved the term “Wonderland,” it would have to be the 14 million acres that makes up the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. In this spectacularly scenic region lies the nation’s oldest and best-loved national park, Yellowstone, along with one of the mo
st stunning mountainscapes in the world, Grand Teton National Park.

Because of its abundant animal populations, you’ll sometimes hear the term “America’s Serengeti” to describe the area, which is home of the largest concentration of large mammals in the Lower 48.      

The Fred and Diane Smith Family Teton Trek
will take people of the Mid-South on a journey through the history, culture and wildlife of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The 4-acre exhibit will feature grizzly bears, elk, Timber wolves, arctic waterfowl, sandhill cranes and trumpeter swans. The exhibit will be located to the east of the Zoo's Northwest Passage exhibit.     
Entry Plaza and Great Lodge
Visitors will begin their journey in the Old Faithful Entry Plaza. A twenty-five foot geyser will greet visitors, and children will enjoy playing on the waterpark among the boulders that surround Old Faithful. Visitors enter the Teton Trek through the Great Lodge, replicated after the Old Faithful Lodge in Yellowstone National Park. The Great Lodge is a forty-five foot, two-story multi-purpose building which will be used to orient our guests. This five thousand square foot building can be used for after hour events and will feature a large fireplace. A spacious upper mezzanine level will provide additional exhibit space to display photography, artifacts and history of the region.
 webGrand Lodge

Grizzly Bears
Visitors exit the Great Lodge onto one of several prominent overlooks in the grizzly bear exhibit. The first overlook provides a dramatic viewing of grizzly bears on rock outcroppings.

webGrizzly Fishing
The second viewing venue is the Grizzly Fishing Lodge. The Firehole River, which runs through the exhibit and empties into the pond, is stocked with fresh-water fish. The Grizzly Fishing Lodge includes a glass cut-away of the fishing pond and invites visitors to watch the bears swim, play and attempt to catch their evening’s dinner. The exhibit also features a number of additional viewing areas as visitors travel around the perimeter.

The trek along the grizzly exhibit rises in elevation and continues on a twelve-foot high rustic bridge that traverses the Firehole River and crosses under the twenty-five foot tall Firehole Falls. This bridge offers a majestic overlook of the entire grizzly bear exhibit as well as the grey wolf exhibit. 

Grey Wolves
webFire Hole Falls

An elevated walkway meanders along the south side of the grey wolf exhibit from Firehole Falls to the Arctic Marsh. Along this walkway visitors will view the grey wolves and elk below. Usually grey to brown, the magnificent and elusive grey wolves will grace this prominent exhibit. Very social creatures, grey wolves live in small, closely-knit packs with a strict hierarchical order. A hidden drop moat will make the grey wolves appear to be in the same display with the grizzly bears. The grey wolf exhibit will include a wolf den where children can get eye to eye with these magnificent creatures.

Elk Forest
Just past the Firehole Falls is the elk overlook. An elevated walkway with a hidden restraint wall underneath will make the grey wolves and elk appear to be in the same exhibit. A majestic member of the deer family, elk are very abundant in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. With bulls weighing up to 900 pounds and cows up to 600 pounds, these are some of the largest antlered animals in the Americas.

webMarsh Arctic Marsh
In the shadows of snow-capped mountains lies the mist-shrouded marsh. This exhibit reveals the delicate balance of nature from nests in the treetops to cranes and swans preparing for flight. Ducks, geese, trumpeter swans, sand hill cranes, fish and other creatures of the marshlands will find this their new home. The marsh will include a cut-away tank for viewing aquatic life in the ecosystem.


The Great Lodge will greet visitors as the journey into Teton Trek.

Teton Trek is slated for completion  Fall of 2009. 

Current Progress

With the opening of Teton Trek, we’ve made the area south of Northwest Passage and west of the new exhibit available for picnics again and opened up the tram route to foot traffic.

In the early 90s, the area south of Northwest Passage was a picnic area and the location of our “Dinosaurs Live!” exhibit. Infrastructure (such as sewer and water lines) is already present in that location.

Construction continues on several points of the exhibit.  As you can see from the picture, the Great Lodge's construction is moving along. 

The Grizzly Fishing Lodge's viewing area and the pathway around to Firehole Falls are looking great!  The boardwalk around the eastern side of the exhibit through Teton Trek's elk exhibit is nearing completion as you can see from the picture below.

We are already taking reservations for weddings and parties in late 2009. 

Click here to find out more about hosting your event at Teton Trek.

Check back often for more updates!
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