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

Autumn in Yellowstone's Lamar Valley

Autumn is here, Yellowstone's Lamar Valley

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

Grizzly Bear Photos
Autumn Storm, Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Winter is coming

 

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. ..............   Rest of story

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

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

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.
Grizzly sow and cub

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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