- Many visitors are drawn to the Bridger-Teton because of its proximity to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, or for the world renowned downhill skiing at Jackson Hole Ski Area. There are, however, endless other attractions to this spectacular area.
Copyright: USDA Forest Service
Bridger-Teton National Forest
With its 3.4 million acres, the Bridger-Teton National Forest is the second largest National Forest outside Alaska. Included are more than 1.2 million acres of wilderness in the Bridger, Gros Ventre, and Teton Wilderness Areas. The Bridger-Teton is a land of varied recreational opportunities, beautiful vistas, and abundant wildlife. Its crystal blue skies are punctuated by awesome mountain ranges which include the Gros Ventre, Teton, Salt River, Wind River, and Wyoming Mountain Ranges, which reach from 5,900 to over 13,000 feet. Gannet Peak at 13,804 ft is the highest point in Wyoming; it is located in the Wind River Mountains. From these ranges, spring the headwaters of the Green, Snake, and Yellowstone Rivers. The Bridger-Teton National Forest is part of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, the largest remaining area of undeveloped lands in the continental United States.
Recreation - An abundance of trails and wilderness await the adventurous. Backcountry solitude can be found throughout the Forest. Trails of all ability levels exist, from an easy stroll along Cache Creek to climbing Gannet Peak.
Many of the lakes and rivers on the Bridger-Teton are navigable. Access sites are provided at the larger lakes and rivers of the Forest. Canoes, driftboats, kayaks, motorboats, and rafts all test the waters. Floating the Snake River is an experience that should not be missed.
Sport fishing is a popular activity on the Forest, with over a thousand lakes and hundreds of fishable streams to tempt anglers. Cutthroat trout is the most popular game species. Other highly sought species include brook trout, brown trout, golden trout, grayling, lake trout, and rainbow trout.
Many of Bridger-Teton's visitors wish to view wildlife. Summer visitors are likely to see trumpeter swans, sandhill cranes, coyotes, bald eagles, and elk. Examples of wildlife more visible in winter include moose, mule deer, and bighorn sheep. Although widely known for its large mammals, including grizzly bears, Bridger-Teton also supports over 355 species of birds. Autumn big-game seasons attract many hunters to the Bridger-Teton National Forest.
Excellent downhill skiing can be found at Jackson Hole and Snow King Mountain Ski Areas, which both operate on the Forest near Jackson. Cross-country skiing and snowmobiling opportunities also abound.
Climate - As throughout the Rocky Mountains, the climate varies drastically depending on elevation. Summers generally offer warm clear days with cool nights. Afternoon thunderstorms are often a possibility in the summer. In the winter, sunshine, with heavy of snow in the higher elevations, are ideal for winter activities. Harsh weather - including wind, cold, and snow - is possible throughout the winter and even throughout the year, in the highest elevations.
The enormous Bridger-Teton National Forest lies in western Wyoming south and east of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Jackson, Pinedale, Big Piney and Afton are some of the towns located near the Bridger-Teton and there are Forest Service offices in each of these towns.