Top Ten Alternative National and State Parks
|Slide Lake in the Bridger Wilderness, administered by the Bridger-Teton National Forest (Wikimedia Commons)|
5. Bridger-Teton National Forest, Wyoming
(Instead of Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming)
Bridger-Teton National Forest is an immense swath of wildlands in the northwest corner of Wyoming. Its 3.4 million acres of mountains, forests, and meadows make up a large part of the critical Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (Yellowstone National Park borders the park to the north). Grizzly and black bears, elk, bighorn sheep, moose, and even grey wolves can be spotted from more than 2,200 miles of trails. Bridger-Teton is loaded with serrated granite peaks (including the state's highest, 13,804-foot Gannett Peak) and tons of glacier-carved cirques and valleys that hold more than 2,300 cold, crystalline ponds and lakes. Paddlers can battle white water on the Gros Venter, Hoback, and Lower Snake rivers, and anglers can ply more than 800 streams for rainbow and native cutthroat trout and others. Seasonal rock climbing, mountain biking, ice climbing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, and dog-sledding are all doable among Bridger-Teton's aspen, spruce, fir, and pine forests, where bald eagles, yellow-bellied marmots, beavers, and energetic pika outnumber humans.
GORP's Bridger-Teton National Forest Guide
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication