Teton Range, from the Snake River overlook, by Ansel Adams
|Elevation||13,770 ft (4,200 m)|
|Parent range||Rocky Mountains|
The principal summits of the central massif, sometimes referred to as the Cathedral Group, are Grand Teton 13,770 feet (4,200 m), Mount Owen 12,928 feet (3,940 m), Teewinot 12,325 feet (3,757 m), Middle Teton 12,804 feet (3,903 m) and South Teton 12,514 feet (3,814 m). Other peaks in the range include Mount Moran 12,605 feet (3,842 m), Mount Wister 11,490 feet (3,500 m), Buck Mountain 11,938 feet (3,639 m) and Static Peak 11,303 feet (3,445 m).
Between six and nine million years ago, stretching and thinning of the Earth's crust caused movement along the Teton fault. The west block along the fault line rose to form the Teton Range, creating the youngest range of the Rocky Mountains. The fault's east block fell to form the valley called Jackson Hole. The geological processes that led to the current composition of the oldest rocks in the Teton range began about 2.5 billion years ago. At that time, sand and volcanic debris settled into an ancient ocean. Additional sediment was deposited for millions of years and eventually heat and pressure metamorphosed the sediment into gneiss. Subsequently, magma was forced up through the cracks in the gneiss to form granite, anywhere from inches to hundreds of feet thick. Other intrusive igneous rocks are noticeable as the black dikes of diabase, visible on the southwest face of Mount Moran and on the Grand Teton. Starting during the Cambrian period, deep deposits of sedimentary rock were deposited in shallow seas over the metamorphic basement rocks. Erosion and uplift have exposed the metamorphic and intrusive igneous rocks now visible on the east slope of the range and in the Cathedral Group and the paleozoic and cenozoic sedimentary rocks on the west slope. 2.1 million years ago the Huckleberry Ridge Tuff was deposited along the west slope of the north part of the range.
One reason the Teton Range is famous is because of the great elevation above the eastern side. Unlike most mountain ranges, the east side of the teton range lacks foothills, or lower peaks which can obscure the view. This is due to the Teton Fault at the base of the range on the eastern side, and the range being too young to have eroded into soft hills. The east slope of the Teton range rises sharply, from 5,000 to 7,000 feet above the valley floor. The view is most dramatic from the east; on the west side, the Teton range appears as high rolling hills that transition smoothly into flat pasture.
Jackson Hole and the Tetons have been the setting for a number of films, including John Wayne's movie acting debut in The Big Trail in 1930 and Shane in 1953. Mount Moran and the surrounding mountains were used as a backdrop for the lake/swamp setting in the original series of Land of the Lost (1974 TV series).
- "Creation of the Teton Landscape: The Geologic Story of Grand Teton National Park (The Story Begins)". Nps.gov. Retrieved 2013-10-17.
- "Teton range peak names". DeAnza College. 2013-09-22. Retrieved 2013-10-17.
- Goetzmann, William H. (July 24, 2004). "Picturing Jackson Hole and Grand Teton National Park". A Place Called Jackson Hole. Grand Teton Natural History Association. Retrieved 2011-05-15.
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