Teton County is located in the northwest corner of Wyoming. The federal government owns 97 percent of the land, including two national parks–Yellowstone and Grand Teton. The region is mountainous and geologically active; there are numerous small earthquakes, most of which are not felt by residents.
The best-known natural wonders in the county are the thermal, scenic and wildlife features of Yellowstone Park, established in 1872, and the mountains of the Teton Range, the county’s namesake. Those striking peaks were created fewer than 10 million years ago—recently, in geological terms—by great pressure of blocks of rock on opposite sides of the Teton fault line pushing against each other.
An ad for stage service from Victor, Idaho over Teton Pass to Jackson, 1917. Wyoming Tales and Trails.
Teton County’s human history can be geographically divided, similarly, into two sections: Yellowstone and Jackson Hole, which includes Grand Teton National Park. (Around 40 percent of Yellowstone National Park lies in Teton County; the rest is in Park County.) The history of Yellowstone is the stuff of western legend, as it was used and sometimes occupied by all sorts of people from paleo-Indians to trappers and explorers.