Mormon Row Area Information & Guide
About the Mormon Row Area
The Mormon Row area of Grand Teton National Park is just east of US Highway 26/89/191, one mile north of Moose Junction. This is an historic area, as well as a great place to see wildlife. Along Mormon Row and Antelope Flats Road, bison and pronghorn can be seen grazing in spring, summer and fall. There will be coyotes, Northern harriers, and American kestrels hunting mice, Uinta ground squirrels, and grasshoppers. Sage grouse, sage thrashers and sparrows also frequent the area.
History of Mormon Row
Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or Mormons, sent settlers from the Salt Lake Valley to establish new communities and support their expanding population. Mormon homesteaders, who settled to the east and north of Blacktail Butte near the turn of the 19-century, clustered their farms to share water, labor and build a community, which is in stark contrast with the isolation typical of many western homesteads. These settlers first arrived in the 1890s and established a community that the U.S. Post office named Grovont, but today is known today as “Mormon Row.”
These hardy homesteaders built 27 homesteads in the Grovont area because of relatively flat and fertile soil, shelter from winds by Blacktail Butte and access to the Gros Ventre River. Despite the harsh conditions of Jackson Hole, Mormon settlers grew crops by using irrigation. Between 1896 and 1937, they dug ditches by hand and with teams of horses to build a network of levees and dikes to funnel water from central ditches to their fields. Water still flows in some of these ditches.
Perhaps the most photographed barns in the United States, the two Moulton barns highlight Mormon Row. Settlers John and Thomas Alma Moulton built these barns on adjacent homesteads. After nearly 30 years of working the land, John Moulton replaced his log home and older barn with a new carpenter-constructed, pink stucco frame house and impressive, two-story gambrel barn that you can see north of Antelope Flats Road. Just a few hundred feet south of John’s homestead, T. A. Moulton took over 30 years to build his gable-with-shed style barn. Photographers from around the world visit this barn to use the morning sun and capture this iconic historic structure with the Teton Range in the background.
Widlife Viewing in the Mormon Row Area
Use binoculars, spotting scopes or long lenses for close views and photographs. Whether you are in your vehicle or on foot, you must maintain a distance of at least 100 yards from bears and wolves, and 25 yards from all other wildlife. Don’t forget that bison can run 30 miles an hour and jump a six foot fence.
Watch for large animals on the road. Drive slowly at night. The speed limit on US Highway 26/89/191 is 45 mph from 30 minutes after sunset to 30 minutes before sunrise. Elk, bison, and mule deer frequently migrate at night and may be difficult to see. Moose use roads as travel corridors. Hitting a large animal at highway speeds has resulted in fatal accidents. Careful driving protects you and the wildlife. Always wear your seatbelt.