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.
Brooks Lake in the Absoraka Mounains
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,
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.
Ramshorn Peak, Dubois Wyoming
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.
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 beautiful Towgotte Trail, hwy 191 winds its way through the Absoraka Mountains on its way to Jackson Hole and Yellowstone over Towgotte Pass.
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.
Bighorn Sheep, Whisky Mountain just south of Dubois Wyoming
Dogsledding up Horse Creek, outside of Dubois WY in the Absoraka Mountain Range
Wind River Autumn
Brooks Lake Creek, and Pinnacle Peak
You can visit a Sue the Bull Elk at the Antler Gallery on the North side of Dubois Wyoming
The Greater Yellowstone Resource Guide suports Wyoming Wildlife Advocates. Wyoming Wildlife Advocates formed to promote a rational, science-based approach to wildlife management throughout the state of Wyoming. WWA will encourage policies that will maintain a healthy, natural balance — or dynamic equilibrium —between predator and prey species. We acknowledge that fluctuations occur among populations, but we believe this is natural and that the hand of man must lay lightly upon the reins.
Northern lights inspire local photographers
The northern lights put on a show this week, to the delight of sky watchers and photographers from Bozeman to West Yellowstone.
"It looked crazy Monday night," said Jeremy Weber, editor of the West Yellowstone News. "It's one of the most amazing things you get to see in nature."
Weber knew the aurora borealis would be visible thanks to the Soft Serve News website, which forecast about an hour ahead of time when the lights will be strong................ rest of story
Northern lights over Fall Creek Falls in Swan Valley Idaho. Photo by Daryl L.Hunter
Kayakers enjoying a day onLeigh Lake in Grand Teton National Park
If you've ever looked into the eyes of a testosterone-infused bull elk at a distance of about 6 ft, you know what pure wild fury looks like. The last time it happened to me I was too petrified to move (or take photos!). Likewise, the look bison sometimes get in their eyes sends shivers down my spine. This usually happens during the early-autumn breeding period, but bison are completely unpredictable and they can go off at any time of year............ rest of story
At a Yellowstone Ecosystem Subcommittee / Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee meeting last week, James Walks Along who is the historic preservation officer for the Northern Cheyenne tribe, was thrown off the stage and refused opportunity to speak on behalf of his tribe. Photo courtesy of GOAL Tribal Coalition
Tribes 'disrespected' by federal and state officials in Grizzly Bear delisting fight By Elizabeth Wolf
CODY, Wyo. – James Walks Along was forced to abandon an address to the Yellowstone Ecosystem Subcommittee (YES) of the joint federal and state Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC) by Brian Nesvik, IGBC Chair and Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) Wildlife Division Chief, at the committee's spring meeting in Cody, Wyoming.
As usual, the government doesn't give a crap about America's Natives. ................... Rest of Story
Addendum to story ~
Tribes seek removal of federal grizzly bear czar
Publisher's note: The government isn't going to let anyone stand in their way of delisting grizzy bears because hunts will sell for $30,000 and money trumps nature.
Twelve Tribal Nations have called on Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to remove the US Fish and Wildlife Service's (FWS) Grizzly Bear Recovery Coordinator, Dr. Chris Servheen, after questioning his "fitness to participate in this process."........ More
The extreme DISRESPECT shown to the Northern Cheyenne Nation by Wyoming State public officials, extended across Indian Country to all nations as James Walks Along ( a THPO representative speaking on behalf of his tribal president) was asked to leave.
At the YES-IGBC spring meeting in Cody, WY, Dan Thompson of Wyoming Game and Fish gave a presentation entitled '"Grizzly Bear Management on Tribal Lands - Collaborations between WGFD, USFWS, and IGBST." There was no tribal input to the presentation, but alarmingly, when James Walks Along rose on behalf of the Northern Cheyenne tribal government, to present their recently passed tribal resolution, his microphone was unplugged and he was told to get off the stage.
James Walks Along later said... "I was shocked by the disrespect I received from the Fish and Wildlife Service. They disrespected me and my tribe by not allowing me to read the Northern Cheyenne tribe's resolution in opposition to delisting and trophy hunting the grizzly bear... They literally pulled the plug on me and escorted me out. Men approached me and I felt like I was being threatened. I was expecting security to escort me out, and that's the first time anything like that has happened to me. This showed disdain toward the government to government process, and it was disrespectful to all tribes.
The Bears are out
Spring his sprung and the bears are roaming the lowlands. May and June are the best times for bear viewing before the bears head for the high country were we have so few roads.
Wolf pack is biggest in West
The largest wolf pack known to exist in the American West roams the Gros Ventre hill country about 30 miles northeast of Jackson.
At last count there were 24 members of the Lava Mountain Pack, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service annual monitoring reports show. While far from unprecedented historically, a wolf pack two dozen strong has nine more members than any other pack surveyed this year in Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington or Oregon, state and federal reports indicate. "That's a very large pack," said Mike Jimenez, the service's Northern Rocky Mountain wolf coordinator.----------> rest of story
A Case for Collars • By Keith Crowley
As a wildlife photographer I have a real love/hate relationship with radio telemetry collars. All photographers live in a world of aesthetics, and most wildlife photographers try capture natural animal behavior in natural settings with as little apparent human influence as possible. Even something as ephemeral as a jet's vapor trail in the sky can destroy a wild image. The permanence of collars (and ear tags, too) placed by human hands on wild animals is impossible to ignore.......................For my part, I think are few truly valid reasons not to collar wolves in Yellowstone. But there is also one really good one, and in the interest of open discussion, some points are worth exploring:..............rest of story
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
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
Yellowstone National Park: highlights
Locals like to say there's never a bad day in Yellowstone. But some activities are better than others. Near the top of my list is a slow drive along the north shore of Yellowstone Lake. The easy trail to Storm Point is worth a half hour's walk, or more if the wind is calm and the boulders are comfortable for sitting. A few miles east, a side road leads to Lake Butte Overlook which offers views across North America's largest alpine lake to the Teton range 100 miles south. This is a good place to be at sunset........................ rest of story
Yellowstone Volcano Warning?
Yellowstone National Park is fighting viral rumors that the park's bison are fleeing an impending supervolcano eruption. Officials told Reuters that they've been fielding dozens of calls and emails since a video of galloping bison went viral this week in the wake of an earthquake at Yellowstone. They said the video actually shows the animals running down a paved road that leads deeper into the park................. rest of story
Grand Prismatic Spring, the largest hot spring in Yellowstone National Park