Park Chapel Named Most Beautiful in Wyoming
National magazine offers kudos to the Chapel of the Transfiguration in Grand Teton National Park.
Jackson Hole has been pronounced the “best” in a number of areas by national magazines and websites — such as Forbes Magazine naming Jackson Hole Mountain Resort the No. 1 ski resort in North America for an astounding seven years in a row — and Travelocity declaring Jackson Hole one of the Best Family-Friendly Cities in the country.
And now a new kudo has been bestowed upon the area, this time by Architectural Digest, which recently named The Chapel of the Transfiguration in Grand Teton National Park the “Most Beautiful Place of Worship in Wyoming.”
The log structure — built in 1925 — was sited to frame a view of the peaks of what is called the “Cathedral Group” of the Teton Range in a large window behind the altar. It is so stunning that it seems amazing every bride and groom who are lucky enough to marry there are able to get their vows out, what with all that jaw-dropping magnificence witnessing their wedding!
The unique, rustic chapel is owned and operated by St. John’s Episcopal Church in Jackson. Holy Communion is on Sundays, but only from Memorial Day through September. The church seats just 65 people.
Located mere minutes from the Moose entrance to Grand Teton National Park, the chapel was built to serve guests and employees of the dude ranches that once stretched north of Jackson along the base of the Teton Range. The land on which the chapel sits was eventually donated by Maud Noble — owner of nearby Menor’s Ferry — predating the establishment of Grand Teton National Park in 1929 and its expansion into the Moose area in 1950.
The whole area in which the chapel is located is called the Menor’s Ferry Historic District. It is well worth taking an hour or two to explore as it offers up a wonderful look back into the rich history of Jackson Hole’s homesteading and pioneering past.
The half-mile Menor’s Ferry Trail leads you from the chapel to Bill Menor’s cabin and country store. Menor came to Jackson Hole in 1894 and homesteaded beside the Snake River, constructing a ferryboat that became a vital crossing for early settlers of the valley. Today you can ride a replica of the ferry (dependent on water levels).
In 1918, he sold his homestead and ferry operation to Maud Noble, the daughter of a prominent Philadelphia family who ventured solo out to Jackson Hole in 1915. She built her cabin on nearby Cottonwood Creek, moving it to Menor’s homestead when she bought it from him. Today, period furnishings fill the cabin and the storekeeper still sells period goods to visitors who venture to the store. You can also check out exhibits on the history of Grand Teton National Park. It is open seven days a week during the peak summer season.
During your visit to Jackson Hole, be sure to check out the chapel and take a step back into history. You’ll discover immediately why Architectural Digest deemed this house of worship the best in the Cowboy State!