Established in: 1929
During the 1920s, wealthy travelers and city dwellers began heading to the Grand Tetons in search of a dude-ranch experience. One early visitor was John D. Rockefeller Jr., who came in 1926, fell in love, and promptly purchased 35,000 acres along the Snake River, with the intent of one day giving it to the government for preservation.
The original Grand Teton National Park, including the Tetons and abutting lakes, was created in 1929 by President Calvin Coolidge. Twenty years later, Rockefeller Jr. made good on his promise by gifting his land to the government. The combination of the original property and Rockefeller's land — along with the Jackson Hole Valley — were combined to create the 310,000-acre park that we know and love today.
The road connecting Grand Teton to Yellowstone was named John D. Rockfeller Jr. Memorial Parkway in honor of the man who played such an important early role in the park's development.