The Cathedral Group is a term applied to a collection of most of the tallest mountains of the Teton Range, all of which are located in Grand Teton National Park, in the U.S. state of Wyoming. The collection of mountains known as the Cathedral Group are classic alpine peaks, with pyramidal shapes caused by glacial motion. The highest peak in the group is Grand Teton, which rises more than 7,000 feet (2,100 m) above Jackson Hole valley, and is the second tallest mountain in Wyoming, after Gannett Peak. The Cathedral Group is separated by other tall peaks of the range by the Cascade Canyon to the north and Death Canyon to the south.
Half the remaining dozen glaciers in the Teton Range are located in this cluster of high peaks, including the Teton Glacier which is the largest one in the range. Other glaciers such as the Middle Teton Glacier, Teepe Glacier, and Schoolroom Glacier are also located here. The Cathedral Group has several high cirques, arêtes as well as hanging and U-shaped valleys which are all the work of glacial activity. At the base of the Cathedral Group, several glacial lakes can be found, including Jenny, Bradley and Taggart Lakes, all of which were formed when the glaciers of the last ice age retreated, leaving behind terminal moraines which acted as natural dams. A few high altitude lakes can also be found scattered among the peaks.
Grand Teton National Park is a United States National Park in northwestern Wyoming. At approximately 310,000 acres (130,000 ha), the park includes the major peaks of the 40-mile-long (64 km) Teton Range as well as most of the northern sections of the valley known as Jackson Hole. It is only 10 miles (16 km) south of Yellowstone National Park, to which it is connected by the National Park Service-managed John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway. Along with surrounding National Forests, these three protected areas constitute the almost 18,000,000-acre (7,300,000 ha) Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, one of the largest intact mid-latitude temperate ecosystems in the world.
Human history of the Grand Teton region dates back at least 11,000 years, when the first nomadic hunter-gatherer Paleo-Indians began migrating into the region during warmer months pursuing food and supplies. In the early 19th century, the first White explorers encountered the eastern Shoshone natives. Between 1810 and 1840, the region attracted fur trading companies that vied for control of the lucrative beaver pelt trade. U.S. Government expeditions to the region commenced in the mid-19th century as an offshoot of exploration in Yellowstone, with the first permanent white settlers in Jackson Hole arriving in the 1880s. Efforts to preserve the region as a national park commenced in the late 19th century, and in 1929 Grand Teton National Park was established, protecting the major peaks of the Teton Range. The valley of Jackson Hole remained in private ownership until the 1930s, when conservationists led by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. began purchasing land in Jackson Hole to be added to the existing national park. Against public opinion and with repeated Congressional efforts to repeal the measures, much of Jackson Hole was set aside for protection as Jackson Hole National Monument in 1943. The monument was abolished in 1950 and most of the monument land was added to Grand Teton National Park.