Wyoming's Wind River Valley

The wind river winding through the badlands of Dubois Wyoming during a brilliant autumn
The wind river winding through the badlands of Dubois Wyoming during a brilliant autumn
Hiker, Absaroka Mountains, Jade Lake, Dubois Wyoming
A hiker takes in the beauty of the Braccia Cliffs ofthe Absaroka Range west of Dubois

The Wind River Valley a is where ancient geology meets today’s adventurer, where an adventurous day of moving cattle from horseback, can be followed by an evening of fine dining and fine art. Wide expanses of country enrich the senses, from sage on the morning air, or the cry of an eagle, to the sight of majestic snow-covered mountain peaks. The vivid landscape is rich with the juxtaposition of a festival of the color, sounds, and sights of breathtaking wonder. The Red Desert’s Badlands stand starkly against the stark contrast of the magnificent Absaroka and Wind River Mountains that serrate the skyline in the background. The deep curve of the Wind River Valley is shaped by the snowcapped Wind River Range to the West and the Absaroka and Owl Creek ranges on the east, forming a cottonwood-lined bottom that many consider one of the most beautiful areas in Wyoming.

From the highest peak in the state (Gannett Peak, at 13,785 feet), down through a valley laced with1850’s wagon train routes, still showing signs of deeply rutted wagon tracks, and on across the authentic cultural sites of the starkly beautiful Wind River Indian Reservation,

Spring Creek, Badlands, Dubois Wyoming
A spring creek reflects the glory of the badlands of Dubois Wyoming

The west is alive and well in the Wind River Valley, a traveler may find a highway briefly blocked with a cattle drive, right through town. When you experience firsthand the vast array of terrain and geological wonders, it’ll become clear why so many activities center on our great outdoors. The Wind River Valley hosts a couple thousand miles of great fishing streams, plenty of trails for riding or hiking, and It is home to two state parks and two national forests for even more recreational opportunities! Vacation highlights that range from rodeos and Powwows to sled dog races, jazz festivals, a mountain man rendezvous and hot air balloon rally! And with pronghorn antelope numbering nearly as high as the human population, you’ll find there’s plenty of elbowroom during any season, to enjoy your vacation. The only thing Wind River Country doesn’t have is the crowds of its famous neighbors, Jackson Hole and Yellowstone.

A sizable portion of the valley belongs to the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho Indian tribes of the Wind River Indian Reservation, a place of productive ranches and spectacular wilderness reaching up to the Continental Divide. The Wind River Indian Reservation hosts a couple of casinos and some great, permit only, trout water.

Togwotee Trail, Pinnacle Peak, Dubois Wyoming
The beautiful Towgotte Trail, hwy 191 winds its way through the Absoraka Mountains on its way to Jackson Hole and Yellowstone over Towgotte Pass.

The largest towns of the Wind River Valley are Riverton is a thriving community of 10,000 people located in the heart of Wyoming’s Wind River Country. Lander, which is nestled against the foothills of the Wind River Mountains on the banks of the Popo Agie River where Fremont County history began. Lander saw the first white trappers in 1811 became a small military post in 1869 and now borders the Wind River Indian Reservation. Dubois is an authentic old west town with historic buildings and the mighty Wind River running through. Majestic high mountains surround the area and down town has boardwalks that you can stroll and become acquainted with the variety of stores and wares. Then there are the smaller communities like Shoshone, Fort Washakie, and the historical gold-mining town of Atlantic City.

The Togwotee Trail, US highway 26-287, west of Dubois is one of the West's most beautiful and diverse regions, abundant wildlife, geographic wonders and a rich history makes it one of the most popular routes to Yellowstone National Park; some stay and never travel any farther.

Backpackers and hikers to the Wind River Mountains can choose from nearly 800 miles of trails in the range's vast, stunning beauty. Over 150 glaciers work the Winds, calling out to hikers and climbers alike. Naturally, the Winds are studded with lakes and creeks, themselves teeming with rainbow, cutthroat, golden, brook, German brown, and Mackinaw trout. Being part of the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem visitors often see the prodigious wildlife this eco-system is host to. One of the world's most magnificent big game animals, the Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep, is showcased in the Dubois area, both indoors and outdoors. The Whiskey Mountain Wildlife Habitat Area, just minutes from town, is home to North America's largest wintering herd of Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep. And the National Bighorn Sheep Interpretive Center, in downtown Dubois, provides an awe-inspiring venue for the country's most impressive display of these majestic creatures.

Hunters will find remote wilderness elk like Teddy Roosevelt did when he hunted Wyoming in the late 1800's. The Wind River Valley also has top quality Antelope, Mule Deer, Bighorn Sheep, and Moose hunts.

There is never a shortage of magnificent views and adventures to match in the Wind River country.

Badlands, Dubois Wyoming, Absaroka Mountains, panorama
Ramshorn Peak, Dubois Wyoming
Dunior Valley, Absaroka Mountains, Dubois Wyoming
Dunior Valley
Whisky Mountain Sheep, Dubois Wyoming dogsledding Absoraka Mountains, Dubois Wyoming
Bighorn Sheep, Whisky Mountain just south of Dubois Wyoming
Dogsledding up Horse Creek, outside of Dubois WY in the Absoraka Mountain Range
Sinks Canyon, Wind River Mountains, Lander Wyoming
Lander Wyoming, downtown
Sinks Canyon, Wind River Mountains, Lander Wyoming
Old Town, Lander Wyoming
You can visit a Sue the Bull Elk at the Antler Gallery on the North side of Dubois Wyoming
Yellowstone News

Yellowstone Food Fight from Daryl-Hunter on Vimeo.

Canyon Pack alpha female, Yellowstone Food Fight

White female of the Canyon Pack has been killed.

Park staff investigated the situation and concluded the wolf was in shock and dying from the injuries. “Staff on scene agreed the animal could not be saved due to the severity of its injuries. The decision was made to kill the animal and investigate the cause of the initial trauma,” said P.J. White, Chief of the Wildlife and Aquatic Resources Branch. At this time, the nature of the initial injuries is unknown. An investigation into the cause of the injuries has begun which will include a necropsy.
 
Park staff identified the wolf as the white alpha female of the Canyon Pack, one of three known white wolves in the park. This wolf lived to 12 years, twice the age of an average wolf in the park and had a broad range that extended from Hayden Valley to the Firehole River area to the northern portion of the park. For these reasons, the wolf was one of the most recognizable and sought after by visitors to view and photograph.

Wolves eating bison carcass at the Gibbon River
Wolves sharing a meal

Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to call the Yellowstone National Park Tip Line at 307-344-2132 or e-mail us. For more information, visit http://go.nps.gov/tipline.
 
The park will provide more information about the investigation when it is available.  

Wolf haters around the region are sipping champaign and toasting each other, I though will no longer be able to share the joy  showing this wolf to my Yellowstone visitors who have always dreamed of seeing a wolf in the wild.

I get it, wolves eat elk outfitters would like to sell to tourist hunters, and they eat some cows; hoever, these loses don't compare to the losses of the revenue grizzlies and wolves bring to their own neighbors in the tourst industry.  Oh well.

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

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

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