Scott Hunter on trail ride in the Gros Ventre Mountains across the valley from the Grand Tetons
Jackson Hole WY is nestled between the magnificent Grand Teton Range on the west and sublime Gros Ventre Mountains to the east, the Wyoming Range on the south eastern flank, the Snake River Range on the southwestern flank and the Absaroka Mountains touching base on the north eastern corner. The Grand Tetons on the west side of the valley isn’t the only breath taking geologic feature, upheavals and erosion in the Gros Ventre range on the east side of the valley have produced an interesting formation. These works of nature have created what appears to be a "Sleeping Indian," complete with mouth, nose, flowing headdress, and folded arms across the chest. With a sharp eye and a little imagination you can see the Indian on the horizon. This Valley is also home of Grand Teton National Park and is the southern gateway to Yellowstone National Park. Jackson Hole is known world-wide as the best of the old west.
The secret is out that Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is a skiers nirvana, especially those who lust for double-black diamond steeps blanketed in deep powder. Equally deserving of a visit or stay, just 12 miles from that mountain masterpiece, is the century-old, authentic Western cowboy town of Jackson.
The town of Jackson (pop. 10,000), with its western ambience and wooden sidewalks, also offers AAA four-diamond lodgings such as the Rusty Parrot Lodge and Wort Hotel. Other town attractions are upscale boutiques, exceptional restaurants, 30 art galleries and the Center for the Arts completed in 2004. Total lodging count is 80+ properties with 5,000 rooms.
Jackson Hole is a Grand Valley below the Grand Teton Mountain Range
Prime entertainment centers are the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, which features live music and saddles as bar stools, and the Silver Dollar Bar. Part of the latter's appeal is the 2,000 silver dollars inlaid in the counter. Jackson also has movie theaters and indoor ice skating.
Most high-end lodging and attractions are within walking distance of the Town Square, defined by its gateway arches made of elk antlers. Those attractions include the Snow King Resort, Wyoming's oldest ski area. It has four lifts, 400 skiable acres, 1,570 vertical feet, a terrain park, halfpipe and tubing hill.
Many who visit Jackson wonder why the town of Jackson isn’t named Jackson Hole, as Jackson Hole is where they set out for. This conundrum deserves an explanation. The mountain men of yore called valleys; “holes,” Davy Jackson was the mountain man that trapped beaver in the valley of the east side of the Grand Tetons; therefore, it became known as Davy Jackson’s Hole or Davy Jackson’s Valley. It has in the ensuing one hundred ninety years been shortened to Jackson Hole; therefore, the town of Jackson is in the valley called Jackson Hole. The community, the valley, and the lake were all named after mountain man, trapper, and trader, Davy Jackson.
The hole or valley is 48 miles long and six to eight miles wide, embracing an area of approximately 400 square miles. The Snake River Flows through the Valley and the Grand Tetons tower 7,500 feet above the valley floor with the Grand Tetons rising to 13,770 feet above sea level.
Grizzly Bears like this one roam the mountains surrounding Jackson Hole. There are about 600 grizzlies in the Greater Yellowstone Eco-system.
Jackson Hole lays a few miles west of the continental divide and lies near the Snake River’s headwaters in Yellowstone. Hundreds of mountain streams converge from the surrounding highlands, adding to the Snake River’s flow.
With so many mountain ranges within a stone’s throw, Jackson is a hub of outdoor recreation opportunity. Skiing is the major winter pastime, and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Snow King and Grand Targhee all offer an excellent skiing experience and accommodations but many locals prefer the Teton Backcountry for their ski mountaineering adventure, skinning up the mountain gives you a greater appreciation for the descent. There is a saying around Jackson; “I came here for the skiing but stayed because of the summer. There is about five fun things you can do in the winter but in the summer there are hundreds, horseback riding, fly-fishing, whitewater sports, canoeing, hiking, and photography just to name a very few.
Jackson is the prefect North American Wildlife Safari destination; elk, deer, bighorn sheep, mountain goat, pronghorn antelope, moose, grizzly bears, black bears, and many other small mammals can be found throughout the valley. A plethora of bird species hangs also can be found in the valley throughout the year including various ducks, eagles, geese, and trumpeter swans. Jackson Hole is also home to the National Elk Refuge where thousands of elk winter right outside the town of Jackson. The National Elk Refuge, northeast of Jackson, provides a home for thousands of elk each winter. Visitors can take sleigh rides among the elk from mid-December through April.
Pioneer woman fiddling in the wilderness at Jackson Lake
Until shortly after 1800, Jackson Hole was a favorite spring, summer, and fall hunting ground of the Indians, but the Indians, unlike us, always had the common sense to move to warmer places for the winter. There is a mountain in the Grand Tetons named Mt. Teewinot The name of the mountain is derived from the Shoshone Indian Tribe word meaning "many pinnacles" and Teewinot is thought to be the name the Shoshone Indians called the whole Grand Teton Range.
John Colter was the first American to see Jackson Hole In 1807, originally a member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, a fur trader named Manual Lisa, who had recently set up a trading post on the Yellowstone River recruited Colter to do some PR work with the Indians and let them know where his trading post was and that he was open for business. He traveled south down the Bighorn River, west up the Wind River, over Togwotee Pass, down through Jackson, over Teton Pass and down through eastern Idaho telling the Indians he encountered along the way of the trading post on the Yellowstone River. He then backtracked through Jackson Hole, then veered northwest into Yellowstone but that is another story.
Chief Washakie's Shoshone tribe was one of the tribes that spent summers in Jackson Hole.
The decades that followed are frequently called the "Fur Trade Era," for the Teton region became the scene of intensive exploration and trapping activities. The mountain men of Jackson Hole were hardy characters who, over a period of about two decades contributed to the opening of the western frontier. Among these frontiersmen were Jedediah Smith, Jim Bridger and Davy Jackson. William Sublette (a partner of Davy Jackson's) who, named Jackson Lake and Jackson Hole after Jackson in 1829. Jackson Hole was a crossroad of trapper trails of the fur trade era, because six trapper’s trails converged as the spokes of a wheel upon their hub.
By 1845, because of the declining supply of beaver pelts, the corresponding increasing price and the new popularity of silk top hats spelled the demise of the beaver trapping business. During the next four decades, the valleys near the Tetons were largely deserted, except for Indians who still-hunted here.
As the American frontier expanded and one government expedition after another surveyed the west, the most important of these for Jackson Hole was the Hayden Surveys of 1871, 1872, 1877, and 1878. These survey parties named many of Jackson Hole's natural features, including Leigh, Jenny, Taggart, Bradley and Phelps lakes and Mount St. John. William H. Jackson, a member of the 1872 Hayden Expedition, took the first known photographs of the Tetons. In 1879, and Expedition artist Thomas Moran put them on canvas.
In the mid 1880s, the first settlers came. They entered by the Gros Ventre River Valley from the east and Teton Pass from the west, most were Mormon, the villages of Kelly, Jackson, Wilson and Moran were established by these pioneer homesteaders. Among these early settlers was Nick Wilson who became failure with Jackson Hole when he ran away from home to live with the Chief Washakie’s Shoshone tribe in the 1950’s.
Jackson Hole, once over shadowed by Yellowstone, due to it’s embarrassment of riches has become a destination resort in it's own right. Many visitors passed through Jackson Hole on their way to Yellowstone then return to Jackson Hole year after year because of the plethora of recreational opportunities it offers the visitor.
Grizzly Bear at Oxbow Bend in Grand Teton National Park
Featuring sixteen photos by Daryl L. Hunter the publisher of the Greater Yellowstone Resource Guide
Wyoming's Seven Greatest Natural Wonders
Wyoming's BEST photos of Wyoming's BEST places by Wyoming's BEST photographers. These three short phrases sum up this book about Wyoming's most scenic and natural places.
It all started with a newspaper column Bill Sniffin wrote in 2007 called Wyoming's 7 Greatest Natural Wonders, which include Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park, Thermopolis Hot Springs, Devils Tower National Monument, the vast Red Desert, historic South Pass and the high impact North Platte River system.
This book features an introduction by Governor Matt Mead and a chapter by U.S. Senator Mike Enzi.
Grizzly 399 produces triplets again, or so it seems. Absent is the red ear tag bling that positively identified her in the past. Nonetheless a 400-pound road tolerant grizzly sow has shown up in Grizzly 399’s territory with three new adorable cubs. With my caveat stated, we will assume this is 399. This prolific sow produced her first cub around 2001 and her first triplets in 2006, the second set of triplets in 2011 and now a third bunch of fur balls for spring of 2013. ............rest of story
Spring has sprung it Yellowstone and now its time to go for a drive. Most of the gates are open and all soon will be. The weather is shaping up, and Yellowstone’s peak predator viewing is in full swing.Around the first of April Grizzlies without cubs started coming out of their dens followed shortly by sows with older cubs. We are still waiting for the bears with new cubs to emerge from their dens with new little balls of fur, but the wait won’t be long.
The Canon Pack wolves are moving back into the Hayden Valley after wintering elsewhere with less snow. The Lamar and Blacktail packs have been seen throughout the winter and continue to put on a nice show for the lucky who find them......................... Rest of story
The T. A. Moulton Barn the most photographed barn in the world is in need of restoration work.
The T.A. Moulton Barn
Foto foder for millions of us photographers it is time for us to give back. Due to age and weathering, it is deteriorating rapidly. The T. A. Moulton Barn Celebrating 100 years “An Icon of Jackson Hole” In 2013 the iconic T. A. Moulton barn celebrates it 100th birthday. Started out of necessity to shelter his horses against the harsh winters of Western Wyoming and Jackson Hole, Thomas Alma Moulton didn’t know he was building a future landmark to a nation and Mecca for photographers to come to.
For more information on the Moulton Barn Centennial Party on July 20th is coming along very well. I will be posting details of events here and on the website soon. We are excited about the possibility of Wyoming Gov Mead possibly attending. He is not confirmed yet, but the event is on his calendar.
A stranger was roaming around. Black-haired, big, and handsome, he'd wandered into town a few days earlier and was looking for some action. Right now he was hanging out near some young females – twins, by the looks of them – and hoping to get to know them a little better. But unfortunately for him, it wasn't to be. Just as he was getting comfortable, their mom and dad showed up.
Two gray wolves, a few hundred yards south, their thick winter fur silhouetted against the snow. They took off toward the interloper at a dead sprint, two blurs racing along the frozen creekbed. The new wolf, sizing up the scene, tucked his tail between his legs and ran away. rest of story
Haden Valley's alpha male of the Canyon wolf pack wolf 712m
Eight years ago, John Kerr had no idea what to do next when he retired from his job as a public television executive in Boston at age 65. For four decades, he had worked at WGBH, most recently appealing for funds on the air, turning him into a highly recognizable mendicant...................After flummoxing around for about a month, he put his belongings in storage, loaded up his camper truck and drove west to Jackson Hole, Wyoming where his family owned a small condominium. During his travels, he stopped by the Yellowstone National Foundation, which raises funds for Yellowstone National Park, and happened to hear that it was hiring people to educate visitors about wolves........................He immediately applied for a position -- and landed it...................... rest of story
When I envisioned life in Yellowstone, I saw wild animals struggling to survive in the cold, snowy winter landscape. I knew that watching nature under harsh conditions would not always be pretty but I prepared myself to meet the realities of nature head on. Wolves, of course, played the top role in my mind but I had only seen them in the wild a couple of times and so the learning slate was clean and I couldn’t wait to learn. Never did it occur to me that there would be a small group of humans who spent their winter in Lamar Valley watching wolves and claiming ownership of them. Negative encounters with people was the last thing on my mind................ rest of story