The Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center, an
innovative public-private initiative between Grand Teton National Park and Grand Teton National Park Foundation,
opened August 11, 2007. The 22,000-square-foot center and its upcoming auditorium is a vastly improved year-round
facility that orients, educates, and inspires, encouraging visitors to make their own discoveries once they move
The new 22,000-square-foot facility’s intriguing design invites the growing numbers of visitors
to come inside, but it’s the captivating interior and state-of-the-art
exhibits that ultimately persuade them to stay. The Craig Thomas Discovery
and Visitor Center emphasizes the interconnectedness of humans and nature—in
our shared past, in our present enjoyment of this natural resource,
and in our duty to be responsible stewards of this magnificent ecosystem.
Three main themes featuring people, place, and protection are explored through
interpretive displays, such as the large relief model of the park that uses
technology to demonstrate glacier movement and animal migration, touchable
objects and artifacts, children’s exhibits, a streaming in-floor video,
and a dramatic photomural tribute to Teton mountaineering that utilizes the
30-foot walls. Each area contributes its own valuable insight into the story
of the Tetons and enables visitors to form connections with the park that
will endure for years to come.
The $21.6 million visitor center was funded with an $8 million congressional
appropriation and $13.6 million in private-sector gifts. As one of the largest
campaigns undertaken by a private foundation in collaboration with a national
park, the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center is receiving national
attention and serving as a model for other national parks and friends organizations
around the country. A donor recognition wall in the new facility shows visitors
that private philanthropy was a major component in the project’s success
and reinforces the idea that our national parks depend on generous supporters
The visitor center campaign generated significant interest, allowing
the Foundation to complete its initial goal early and extend the campaign
to raise an additional $3.2 million for a 154-seat auditorium. The Foundation’s
fundraising efforts for the auditorium are almost complete.
The Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center is located right off Teton Park Road in Moose.
To speak with a ranger at the visitor center, call (307) 739-3399. View hours of operation at their