Jackson Hole Wyoming
WilsonTeton Village KellyMoran
Moose


Greater Yellowstone - Images by Daryl Hunter

Jackson Hole, Grand Tetons, horseback rider
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.

Sunrise, Grand Tetons, Jakckson Hole, Wyoming
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 bear, in road, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, widlife
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.

History

Pioneer woman fiddling in the wilderness at Jackson Lake - best sellers - jackson hole art for sale

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
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.

stage coach, town square, Jackson Hole WyomingIn 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.

The Gros Ventre Slide

On June 23, 1925, one of the largest fast-moving landslides in generations occurred near the village of Kelly, Wyoming. In just three minutes, huge amounts of rock and debris cascaded down the north slope of Sheep Mountain, changing the area forever. Hurling down the slope at 50 m.p.h., the mile-wide slide carried 50,000,000 cubic yards of debris. The mass rode 300 feet up the opposite slope, blocked the Gros Ventre River, and formed a five-mile long body of water known today as Lower Slide Lake. The piles of debris seen today contain large chunks of Tensleep Sandstone, along with remnants of the original forest.

E. Paul Conine later interivewed the survivors and it is a facinating read, I'd like to thank Dave Conine for permission to publsh his father's copyrighted history of the event.  The Gros Ventre Slide by E. Paul Conine

Yellowstone News
sun eclipse, Jackson Wyoming
Total eclipse of the sun

Locals and visitors share tales from totality

 

It was just two minutes of darkness. But for some, it was months or years in the making and a memory that will last a lifetime. Visitors and locals gathered on top of peaks, along highways in national parks and forests and in Town Square to watch as the moon slid in front of the sun and plunged the valley into a peaceful, yet eerie, dusk. News&Guide staff posted up around the community to capture the experience from those who traveled here, those who live here, those who have never seen an eclipse and those who have seen many. .................. Rest of story

 

Grizzly Bear and cub, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Bridger Teton National Forest

These two grizzlies live in a future hunting zone

Yellowstone region grizzly bears delisted; see you in court

As announced in June, the U.S. government lifted protections for grizzly bears in the Yellowstone region today, though it will be up to the courts to decide whether the revered and feared icon of the West stays off the threatened species list.The Humane Society of the United States and its affiliate the Fund for Animals, filed a notice of intent on June 30 to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over removing federal protections for grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.  Other anti-hunting or animal welfare groups are expected to follow suit, so to speak.................... rest of story

Autumn in Grand Teton National Park

Autumn is coming

October 1st, at dark-thirty shortly before the first hint of dawn, with a crisp nip of fall in the air, I usually find myself at Oxbow Bend in Grand Teton National Park with my ten new best friends. At the Oxbow at this early hour, we are hoping for the first hint of light to reveal an expanse of cirrus clouds above Mt. Moran to stop the warm rays of morning light from spilling over the edge of the world to an un-captureable point beyond the Grand Tetons. ..............rest of story

 

Unnatural Disaster: Will America’s Most Iconic Wild Ecosystem Be Lost To A Tidal Wave Of People?
By Ttod Wilkinson

What Does It Mean For Greater Yellowstone If Bozeman Becomes Minneapolis-Sized And Jackson Hole Becomes An Anchor For Salt Lake City-Like Sprawl?............. rest of story

 

Livingston Montana

The Resort Town Curse
by Daryl L. Hunter

In 1962 as a child my family went through Carmel California, and after my exclaimation how beautiful the place was, my mother explained to me that it was against the law to cut down a tree in the town and it was so beautiful. I wondered why every town didn't do that. A few years later my hometown, San Luis Obispo, did enact all kinds of restricted zoning like Carmel's as a part of an urban renewal plan, and now I couldn't afford to move back there if I wanted to. This town is now populated with what they call "Grey Gold", rich retired people that ran up the property values so high that native born could no longer afford to live there. I have lived in many resort towns since, and I have noticed a trend. I am attracted to them when they are still little, quaint and undiscovered, but it usually isn't long before word spreads about the next great place.

Montana, Wyoming and Idaho Game ad Fish's plan to screw the grizzlies

Wyoming, Montana and Idaho officials contend that federal wildlife managers are overstepping their authority by requiring that grizzly bear hunting regulations be put in place before final “delisting” of the species. The directors of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Idaho Department of Fish and Game and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks jointly urged the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to do away with a focus on hunting in a proposed grizzly delisting rule that’s now on the table. ....... Jackson Hole News and Gude article here.

Montana, Wyoming and Idaho Game ad Fish's protest to get rid of federal oversight so they can kill grizzlies as they see fit...........  Read PDF Here

Momma grizzly, baby grizzly, swimming, grizzly sow, and cub
Grizzly 399 and her cub swimming in roadside pond
http://www.grizzlytimes.org/#!Partisan-Scientists-in-Public-Service-I-The-Strange-Case-of-the-Interagency-Grizzly-Bear-Study-Team/c1ou2/56fd9f780cf2b279cdbaa208
Yellowstone Grizzly Bear

Partisan Scientists in Public Service I: The Strange Case of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team

(Pull Qoute) Interestingly enough, Chris Servheen has a doctorate in wildlife ecology. Moreover, the IGBST scientists at the time, led by Dr. Charles Schwartz, were deeply involved with and fully complicit in, not only putting together the 2007 delisting Rule, but also in crafting court briefs. In other words, ignorance or lack of education can't be plausibly invoked as an explanation for why the government scientists involved in authoring the 2007 Rule so egregiously misrepresented the relevant science................. rest of article

A Protective Firewall For Grizzlies
By Daryl L. Hunter

The delisting of the Yellowstone Grizzly Bear is imminent and this we should celebrate (''''dancing''''). Now that our happy dance is complete, we must ensure the grizzlies' recovery is permanent. To ensure "continuity of achievement," the grizzlies need a firewall to protect the success of this achievement from human foible.

The Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee was formed in 1983 to help ensure recovery of viable grizzly bear populations and their habitat in the lower 48 states through interagency coordination of policy, planning, management, and research. Many people have been working on this recovery for decades, for some; it has been most of their career. I can understand why the delisting of the grizzly before their retirement is their goal. A metaphorical gold watch if you will.

Many will argue differently,............................. Rest of Article

Blondie the Grizzly Bear and her three cubs
Blondie the Grizzly Sow and her three cubs, where these four bears roam in the Teton Wilderness is likely to open to hunting someday soon, this must not happen.

Yellowstone roadside grizzlies worth rangers' hassle???

Yellowstone visitors would pay an additional $41 to ensure seeing roadside grizzlies, a study shows, and the attraction creates 155 jobs and more than $10 million a year for the regional economy. The $41 visitors would pay is on top of the $25-per-vehicle entrance fee. If Yellowstone no longer allowed grizzly bears to use roadside habitat — and instead chased, moved or killed them — the regional economy would lose more than $10 million a year and 155 jobs according to the paper "The economics of roadside bear viewing."............................Rest of story

Helpful ebook for photographers

The Grand Teton Photo and Field Guide is an encapsulation of the flora, fauna, and photography of Jackson Hole Wyoming and Grand Teton National Park. Also included are thumbnails of the history and geology of the valley. This book is for all visitors with a desire to seek out wildlife, photograph the landscape, or merely learn about the history, geology, and lay of the land of Grand Teton National Park. The author provides general overviews including hot links with more in-depth descriptions of subjects of individual interest.

In the “Lay of the Land” section, includes the obvious highlights along the loop through Grand Teton Park. Hot links to side roads will give you more in-depth description of side roads and feeder roads and their highlights. Also included are descriptions of all two-rut roads that are legal to travel on in Grand Teton Park. GPS links to Google Maps are provided throughout.

As a field guide, profiles of most of animals and birds in the area are described. Jackson Hole is full of wildlife but there are places where animals are, and there are places where they are not. It is a waste of time to scrutinize a landscape devoid of what you are looking for, so this guide narrows options down to the hot spots. I provide maps of the likeliest places to find the popular critters of Grand Teton National Park. I also touch on trees, shrubs, and wildflowers with minimal explanations.  

The grandeur of Grand Teton Park has made it one of the most photographed places in the world. The opportunity to harness multiple juxtapositional elements has drawn photographers for over a century since William Henry Jackson took the first photos here in 1878. Grand Teton Park’s plethora of famous vistas are profiled as well as many which are less clichéd that can bring new perspectives of a well-documented landscape. Grand Tetons’ iconic landscape photo opportunities are described in detail; however, they barely scratch the surface of opportunities as it takes a photographer with an artist’s eye to unveil as they follow their own intuition and vision.  The author who shies away from clichéd landscapes provides a chapter of his favorite places that aren’t landscape clichés.

In the photography section the author includes chapters on composition, exposure basics, when to shoot and why. Daryl has summarized what he teaches in his, half day, Grand Teton workshops in a simple concise way.

If you are only in Grand Teton Park for a day there is a chapter called the “Portfolio Packer Morning Trip,” that does just that, all the icons and several favorite places in a five our blitz.  But it is better to spend more time and dig deep into the embarrassment of riches of Grand Teton National Park................. More Info

 

 
Custom Search
Bookmark and Share

This Page

jumping trout