Jackson Lake Lodge in Grand Teton National Park, Jackson Hole, Wyoming has recently been listed on the National Historic Register. Here's more info on this premier resort.
Nobody who’s ever ascended the staircase to the upper lobby of Jackson Lake Lodge will ever forget the view of the Grand Tetons through the 60-foot windows that greet them.
Jackson Lake Lodge offers a variety of 385 rooms including view rooms, lodge rooms, and cabins. Amenities include a swimming pool, epic views of willow flats, modern design and comfort in the heart of Grand Teton National Park.
The rooms are spread over the property including the Moose Pond Rooms which are housed in a 2-story building a five-minute walk from the main lodge. The walk through pine trees offers amazing views of the Teton range.
Jackson Lake Lodge
Operated by the Grand Teton Lodge Company (GTLC), Jackson Lake Lodge sits on a bluff on the East side of Jackson Lake with perhaps the single best vantage point of the unforgettable Teton Range in the whole Jackson Hole valley.
GTLC also operates two other National Park System approved concessions in Grand Teton National Park. Jenny Lake Lodge, about 10 miles to the south is the company’s high-end yet rustic offering nestled at the foot of the mountains, while Colter Bay Village, 5 miles to the north is its family-oriented, budget-friendly stopover. Jackson Lake Lodge fills in the gap between the extremes.
Jackson Lake Lodge Hosts Presidents, Diplomats
Opened in 1955, Jackson Lake Lodge has hosted numerous notables through the years, including Presidents Kennedy, Nixon, Reagan and Clinton, as well as Lady Bird Johnson.
It can also claim some historical political significance, as it played host to the 1989 U.S. / Soviet talks between Secretary of State James Baker and Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze. An agreement signed between the two at the lodge meetings ultimately contributed to the end of the Cold War.
In 2003, Jackson Lake Lodge was listed as a National Historic Landmark. Although it is architecturally unremarkable, it is considered a prime example of the “International Style,” not uncommon in mid-century park structures.
The lodge blends well with its surroundings, and it is the placement of the structure, said to have been personally chosen by John D. Rockefeller himself, that makes it special. Rockefeller and his contributions of land, time and dedication were largely responsible for Grand Teton National Park’s existence.
The lodge was also featured on the PBS series Great Lodges of the National Parks in July of 2008. Author, journalist and architectural historian Christine Barnes, who chose Jackson Lake Lodge for the series, call these park lodges “solid functioning examples of American history: museums with beds, restaurants, and places to look at and reflect on the grandeur of it all.”
Lodge Offers Great Rooms, Restaurants and Activities
Jackson Lake Lodge features 385 guest rooms. Rooms with mountain views are in the $300 range, without views about $200, reasonable for the prime season in Grand Teton country. There are also guest cottage rooms on either side of the lodge for similar rates.
Two restaurants, the Mural Room and the Pioneer Grill, offer a wide variety of cuisine, and the Blue Heron Cocktail Lounge has live entertainment most nights during the summer season. The lodge also has several stores, both gift, and apparel, and operates numerous activities, from tours to horseback riding, river floats to swimming.
Located about 20 miles south of Yellowstone National Park and 30 miles north of the town of Jackson, Jackson Lake Lodge is centrally located to everything in the Jackson Hole Valley.
John D Rockefeller would often hike to the top of a small knoll and enjoy his lunch while gazing out at the Teton Range. These lunches influenced Mr. Rockefeller Jr. when he decided to build Jackson Lake Lodge in this area.
Construction of the lodge was done in 1955. The lodge was designed by architect Gilbert Stanley Underwood and is often referred to as the “Grand Experiment”.
The lodge was opened with the mission and goal of preserving and protecting the timeless view of the Grand Tetons for future generations.
Here, in this incomparable area, millions of visitors will find some measure of the peace and solitude which they require.” John D. Rockefeller Jr.
Jackson Lake Lodge Cottages
We stayed in a 1 king bed cottage with a patio and it was fantastic. We were not sure what to expect but were so impressed with our cottage. There was a ton of room to stretch out and really relax in the room.
The room has a Keurig with coffee pods and tea bags, a sink, full bathroom, dresser, 2 chairs, and a table and closet space. There is a fan in the closet if the room gets warm. We left the windows open at night and it was cool in the morning.
The bed was really comfortable! Soft but comfortable enough for a great night's sleep. We could hear people heading to their rooms since we had the windows open but it was quiet the rest of the night.
We would definitely stay in a cottage room again. The room had everything we needed for the night.
Jackson Lake Lodge Dining
Mural Dining Room
The Mural Dining Room is the fine dining restaurant in the lodge. It is open for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner with reservations being recommended for dinner.
The restaurant offers epic views of the Teton Range and amazing fresh innovative Rocky Mountain cuisine.
Open daily from 7 to 9 am, 11:30 am to 1 pm, and 5:30 to 9:30 pm.
Don't miss the huckleberry pancakes during breakfast! They are beyond delicious and they have such an amazing heap of huckleberries on top of them.
The eggs benedict was also quite delicious.
The Pioneer Grill
The Pioneer Grill is a 50’s themed diner that offers counter service for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The counter winds around like a snake through the restaurant with diner stools set around it. We found the restaurant to be amazing.
The food tasted amazing and was really fast. Our server was super cheerful and so fun to talk with. We would definitely eat at this restaurant again.
The taco salad in the Pioneer Grill was amazing! Romaine, Sliced Brisket, Cumin Black Beans, Roasted Corn, Red Onion, Roma Tomato, Queso Fresco, Sour Cream, Salsa, Crispy Flour Tortilla covered in Catalina Dressing.
The Blue Heron Lounge
This is the place to go for outdoor seating with a view of the Tetons. You can dine outside on the deck while enjoying locally brewed organic beer, huckleberry margaritas, and delicious food.
During the summer from late June through late August, you can enjoy a pool barbecue under the Wyoming sky. The barbecue features all you can eat Western BBQ and live music in a relaxed setting. Kids are free to play outdoors and enjoy the moment.
Things to know when planning a visit to Jackson Lodge, Grand Teton National Park
Check-in time – 4 pm
Check out time – 11 am
Wifi – Free Wifi is available in the lodge and cottages. It is pretty strong and connected easily. It does get bogged down and slow down during busy times.
Pets – Pet-friendly rooms are available. Pets must be on a leash 6 feet or less.
Smoking – All facilities within Jackson Lake Lodge are non-smoking
Hotel Gym – The hotel gym is the outdoor setting surrounding the hotel. The activities desk has a list of hiking or walking trails for guests to enjoy.
Medical Clinic – There is a medical clinic located near the Jackson Lake Lodge Service Station. They are open from 9 am to 5 pm
Jackson Lake Lodge History
Jackson Lake Lodge is located near the village of Moran, Wyoming within Grand Teton National Park. The Lodge is located just east of Jackson Lake.
Grand Teton National Park was established in 1929, at this time the park only protected the high peaks and some valleys in the area.
In 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt established additional protected land and named it Jackson Hole National Monument.
In 1949, American financier and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller Jr. donated land in the area that he owned to the National Park. Rockefeller was especially interested in conservation and bought and donated many acres of land to create National Parks.
In 1950, Congress combined the original Grand Teton Valley, the monument land, and Rockefeller’s land and called it Grand Teton National Park.
In 1972, Congress created John D. Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway. The road connects two beautiful parks, Grand Teton and Yellowstone.
It was Rockefeller who played a large role in building the current Jackson Lake Lodge. But before Rockefeller, Ben Sheffield came to the Teton area at the start of the 1900s.
He had a hunting lodge on his mind and thought the area was perfect. He bought the homesteads of two couples, the Smiths and the Lovells and created his Teton Lodge in 1903.
Sheffield married in 1906 and he and his wife ran the Teton Lodge. The Sheffields purchased more land and buildings in the nearby town of Moran including the post office and mercantile.
In 1910, a devastating fire and then flood nearly destroyed the Lodge. The Sheffields rebuilt and eventually the Lodge garnered great business in the area.
The Sheffields managed the Lodge until 1929 when they sold the Lodge, and essentially the town of Moran, to the Snake River Land Company who sold it to the Teton Investment Company which was eventually called Grand Teton Lodge Company. This is the company that owns it today.
This is where John D. Rockefeller comes in. Rockefeller started the Snake River Land Company in order to buy pristine areas and hold them until they were able to be sold to the National Park Service for protection.
This company hid his intentions for saving land for National Parks. After his purchase, Rockefeller spent much time in this area that he loved. It is said that he would often pack a lunch, hike out to the peaks, and spend the day admiring the valley below.
Soon, thousands of visitors followed suit and wanted to enjoy this area for themselves. The Lodge was not large enough to accommodate so many tourists and Rockefeller knew that he needed to build a much large Lodge/Hotel.
In 1950, Rockefeller hired famed architect Gilbert Stanley Underwood. As World War II was finally over, tourists were ready to get back to traveling.
Rockefeller and Underwood began construction on a new type of National Park lodge.
The 1920s and 1930s lodges showed more of a rustic charm, resort type environment. Rockefeller was going for a new modern building that was accessible by families of all classes to come and enjoy the Teton area.
The lobby, guest rooms and cabins were decorated with a good mix of “luxurious primitive” and 1950s modernism.
The Lodge officially opened in 1955 near what is now called “Lunch Tree Hill,” a nod to the spot that started Rockefeller’s love and appreciate for the area.
Mount Moran, the impressive mountain which dominates the northern view of the Tetons, can be seen from the hotel’s front lobby.
A main draw for mountaineers to the area, many dream of climbing the mountain, but Grand Teton is a much more attractive option.
Trails to Mount Moran are not maintained and it takes a great deal of extremely remote hiking to even begin the ascent of the mountain.
In 1950, a plane transporting 21 people belonging to a Christian group, New Tribes Mission, crashed on Mount Moran during a snowstorm.
The wreckage was able to be seen 4 days later, but the extreme and dangerous location of the crash site made it impossible to recover the plane or bodies of the victims. They were never recovered and remain on the mountain today.
One of the foundations of the Rockefeller Family – Jackson Hole Preserve, Incorporated – purchased numerous impressive artifacts from collector David T. Vernon.
The foundation was committed to preserving the history, stories, and legacies of Native Americans. Portions of the collection are still displayed at the Lodge today.
Rockefeller knew the importance of recognizing the tribes that inhabited the land before them – The North Cheyenne, Shoshone, Blackfoot, and Crow, among others. Their people and culture still play a big part in the region today.
Shortly after opening the Lodge, Rockefeller sponsored a competition for adding mural art to Jackson Lake Lodge. “Fur Traders and Trappers of the Early West” was the theme.
American artist Carl Roters was the winner of the competition and his ten amazing panels of murals, nearly 8 feet long can be seen in the Mural Room of the Lodge.
Called the “Rendezvous Mural,” the scene depict a famous yearly tradition of trappers in the region in the early 1800s. Trappers from across the area would come to sell their beaver pelts and buy supplies to ready for the next year’s hunting season.
Jackson Lake Lodge stands on its own as a gorgeous reminder of how the preservation of lands by both Congress and citizens benefit travelers for years to come.
Rather than expand the Teton land to be included into nearby Yellowstone, the nearby citizens and federal government agreed that Grand Teton, and later the Jackson Lake Lodge, deserved to generate visitors of its own.
Today tourists can stay in the 385 room Lodge or in one of the cabins built in the surrounding woods.
Additional Grand Teton National Park Resources
Things to do in Grand Teton - The must-visit sites within the park.
John D. Rockefeller National Parkway - learn more about the parkway you travel between Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park.
Yellowstone National Park Camping - Our guide to every campground within Yellowstone, site photos, how to make reservations, and more.
Grand Teton Camping - Ultimate guide to all of the campgrounds in Grand Teton NP