Bridger-Teton National Forest Overview
|Bridger-Teton National Forest (Photodisc/Getty)|
With the impressive peaks of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks looming as silent sentinels on the horizon, Bridger-Teton presents its visitors with a wide array of exciting possibilities, from the churning white rapids of the Snake River below to shimmering snow-covered summits reaching heights of over 13,000 feet above sea level. And there are a plethora of spots for adventures in between.
Characterized by colossal skies and a continuum of the untamed Bridger, Gros Ventre, and Teton wilderness areas, Bridger-Teton boasts over one thousand species of rare plants, creating one of the most diverse collections of wildlife in the National Forest System. Though the forest's more than 40 peaks may look formidable, they welcome the novice camper while still providing unforgettable escapades to the veteran climber.
Hike the Wind River Range
The Eastern sector of the Bridger-Teton Forest embraces the legendary Wind River Mountains. This unique mountain range amazingly contains seven of the ten largest glaciers in the contiguous United States. Hiking the Wind River Range has been a celebrated experience by some of the most skilled mountaineers, hikers and adventure-seekers. As result of massive erosion and geological forces, the Wind River Range thrusts jagged granite toward the sky, giving trails variety and challenge, providing both aesthetic and exhilarating adventure to any trailblazer who accepts its dare.
Paddle the Snake River
Composed of both of white crested rapids and calm and soothing waters, the Snake River's dual personality simply cannot be missed. Slithering from the mouth of Yellowstone and through the Teton Wilderness, it offers a kayaker's dream—including river levels for beginners, some for those at an intermediate level, and frothing white rapids for the advanced. Make sure you check out the King Rapid during your trip from South Park Bridge to Pritchard Creek. Don't pass up your chance to experience this remarkable spot.
Bird the Teton Heights
Wildlife in Bridger-Teton not only includes the endangered grizzly bear, bison, wolverine, elk, antelope, deer, bighorn sheep and North American lynx, but it features an astonishing 355 species of birds. Those fascinated with such an array of species can also view endangered birds such as the Bald Eagle, American Peregrine Falcon, and the Whooping Crane. Other noteworthy attractions include the Common Loon—which is a sensitive species—and Sandhill Cranes. Visit Fall Creek Road during the summer season to ensure a matchless experience with some of the most amazing bird species you'll ever see.
Climb the Bridger Peaks
Many of the climbing opportunities in Bridger-Teton are comprised of day climbs and bouldering. Like other ventures that Bridger-Teton offers, climbs range widely from those solely for beginners to the daunting challenges of Gannet Peak in the Bridger Wilderness—the highest point in Wyoming. The granite composition of the rock fosters a favorable climbing experience, varying from unroped climbing in Class 3 to the gutsy challenges of Class 5.9+—as hard as climbing can get. Additionally, the Continental Divide provides a demanding list of climbing sites, including the Cirque of Towers and Fremont Park.
Cross-Country Ski During the Winter Months
The winter months are exciting for those who enjoy snow sports when many of the summer hiking trails are converted to paths opened for skiers. Novices to cross country skiing can explore the learner-friendly Ditch Creek and the mountain range views Cache Creek, while more proficient skiers should check out what Shadow Mountain's North Slope has to offer.
Mountain Bike Shadow Mountain Loop
Alas, mountain bikers can be assured that they have been anything but forgotten. Just east of Moose, Wyoming lies this tricky, infamous route. To locate it, follow forest service road 30340 until you reach the top of Shadow Mountain—an exhilarating experience for any thrill-seeking biker. If you're up for something else, you can find the famous Game Creek Loop in Cache Creek just east of Jackson. Completing the loop yields a breathtaking 23-mile trail. Other renowned rides include the 12.4-mile Cliff Creek Falls ride, decorated by impressive waterfalls along the way.
Drive Along the Scenic McDougal Gap Road
Want to cross the Wind River Range by car? Though Bridger-Teton provides multiple opportunities to experience its beauty from a vehicle, one of these drives clearly stands out for its scenery. Try the McDougal Gap Road, connecting the Green River and the Greys River. As one of the most beautiful drives in the Wyoming Range, this road meets US 189 south of Daniel and crosses the Greys River Road about a mile north of Forest Park. This brings you through a total of 35 miles of breathtaking forests. Don't forget this drive while exploring the Range.
Fish in the Teton Wilderness
The Teton Wilderness offers an amazing fishing experience. The Snake and Yellowstone Rivers, which pass through the Teton Wilderness, offer unforgettable opportunities. The Snake River is so abundant with variety that it even brags its very own species of fish. The trout never cease to astonish an angler, and a 30-40 pounder is not necessarily unheard of in the region. When the Snake River opens for fishing in April, grab your gear and go fish.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication