Grand Teton National Park

Seven peaks of the Tetons rise to more than 12,000 feet. Grand Teton is fully 13,770 feet. Impressive, but in Colorado there are 50 or more that are 2,000 feet taller; the Swiss Alps and the Himalayas reach considerably higher too. Yet the sheer , thrilling verticality of the Tetons makes them some of the world’s most magnificent mountains. Classic block -fault formations, they seem to explode directly from the prairie on the eastern side, with no intermediary foothills to soften the visual blow. Fairly recently , at least geologically speaking, massive but regionalized tectonic forces split the earth’s crust at Grand Teton into a series of faults. The largest of these was the Teton Fault; the prairie side of this fracture sank, as if on a hinge somewhere to the east. That depression became the Jackson Hole valley. On the west side , the country rock rose, pivoting upwards steeply and sharply. There is a evidence that the combined displacement may have reached more than 25,000 feet before slumping, glaciating and erosion took their toll. Tectonic activity is still going on, and earthquakes occasionally shiver through the Teton region.

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