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Photo: Winter Wonderland in the Teton Range

national parks, teton range
(Image credit: D. Lehle, National Park Service )

For a picturesque winter scene, the Teton Range of northwestern Wyoming is hard to beat.

Rising within Grand Teton National Park to 13,770 feet (4,200 meters) is the stunning Teton mountain range, seen above covered in snow. The Tetons are home to extraordinary wildlife, pristine lakes and alpine terrain. Visitors to the park can explore over 200 miles (322 kilometers) of trails, float the Snake River (in warmer seasons, of course) or simply enjoy a moment's peace.

While on the trails, look for some of Grand Teton's world-renowned wildlife. The park is home to moose, black and grizzly bears, pronghorn, elk, bald eagles, gray wolves, coyotes and bison. Park officials say to always stay a safe distance of at least 300 feet (91 m) from wolves and bears, and 75 feet (23 m) from all other wildlife.

To enjoy the park during winter, bring an adventurous spirit. Many of the facilities and roads close for the long, cold winter season. The average December snowfall at the park's Moose, Wyo., weather station is 40 inches (102 centimeters). The coldest temperature ever recorded in the park was minus 63 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 53 degrees Celsius).

For visitors looking for a little more guidance through the harsh terrain, park rangers lead snowshoe hikes from late December to mid-March.

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Brett Israel was a staff writer for Live Science with a focus on environmental issues. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from The University of Georgia, a master’s degree in journalism from New York University, and has studied doctorate-level biochemistry at Emory University.