The Scenic Beartooth Highway in the Sky!

 

Image: Yellowstone NPS

The Beartooth Highway, officially named US Route 212, is recognized as a National Scenic Byway! It meanders for almost 70 miles through Montana and Wyoming, starting in Red Lodge, Montana, and stopping at #Yellowstone’s Northeast Entrance.

Arguably the best spot along the route is Beartooth Pass in our great state at nearly 11,000 feet! Due to weather, the Pass is usually open only mid-May through mid-October.

The road opened in 1936, basically following the 1872 route of Civil War General Philip Sheridan and his 120 men after returning from an inspection of Yellowstone National Park and wanting an easier route through the Beartooth Mountains back to Billings. An old hunter named Shuki Greer gave the directions (take a left at the 3rd snow-capped mountain kinda thing?), so thank you Mr. Greer!

Have you traveled on and taken in the beauty of the famous Beartooth Highway?

Fall Colors & Winter Powder!

   

So, we get a lot of questions about when Autumn kicks into gear with its vibrant colorations here at the Hole, and also when the snow starts its annual powdery reign of white. Excellent questions asked in order to properly plan whatever itineraries you have in mind.

A couple things to keep in mind because of our dramatically mountainous topography. First, we can only offer ranges, not specifics. Second, we’ve actually gotten flakes falling even at lower elevations at various times over the years–sometimes we get some flakes in May and October. They don’t stick around, but it happens. Second, when it comes to foliage, all the valleys, canyons, etc., will pop at different times, let alone the maples, aspens, cottonwoods, etc., working through their colors in their own ways. The resplendent changes happen over the same period of time, but not necessarily all synchronized across the expanse.

Okay, First, Fall. You can expect to find colors starting to come out in early September and the stragglers hold out until mid-October. Historically, the third and fourth weeks of September tend to be our peaks. During this entire time, average high temperatures will generally range from the high 50s to the low 70s. Expect nighttime temps to be 20 to 30 degrees cooler.

 

Second, Winter. We expect regular and constant snowfall here starting at the end of November and lasting through early April. It’s hit-and-miss before and after that timeframe. Mid-January through early March is definitely our peak time for snowfall. And we get lots and lots…and lots of powder! Highs will range from the low 20s through the mid 30s, and expect lows hovering just above zero.

We hope we’ve given you some perspective so you can plan with a little more clarity. Can’t wait to have you here!

 

10 Jackson Hole Must-Sees For Your Bucket List

You may only have the opportunity to only visit Jackson Hole once (the horror!) or quite a few times (we hope!). Here are 10 must-see spots to add to squeeze onto your itinerary–hey, we may not be New York City, but we’ve got plenty of spots you want to snap a picture for the ol’ photo album!

In no particular order, here are 10 spots we highly, highly, highly recommend seeing, touching, smelling, and listening to (but definitely not tasting) with your time:

1. Town Square.

Image: Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce

Great storefronts, legendary bars, iconic antler arches (read more about those here), stagecoach rides, outdoor concerts, the world’s longest-running shoot-out, sled-dog racing, and being on live cameras for all the world to see , what more do you need?! Route 191, East Deloney Ave, Center Street, and East Broadway Ave, make up its perimeter.

 

2. Moulton Barn

Image: Holly Fischer Photography

It’s the world’s most photographed barn! We can think a bunch of reasons why. The barn is also part of a group of historic buildings on what is called Mormon Row, of which construction began at the end of the 19th Century.  Along Highway 89, right above Moose, is a road on the right called Antelope Flats Road–FYI, it’s closed between November and May. You’ll soon make a right onto Mormon Row, and you’ll see the structure with its impressive background on the right.

 

3. The Chapel of Transfiguration

Image: WeddingPlanner.com

Along Highway 89, there is a left before the Antelope Flats Road’s right. There sits the Chapel, allso known as St. John’s Episcopal Church. This small log chapel is 15 miles north of Jackson in Moose just inside Grand Teton National Park’s southern entrance. Behind the altar is a wide window framing the Tetons’ world-renowned Cathedral Group of peaks–a sight to behold!!! Yep, you can get married here (we get that question a lot).

4. The National Museum of Wildlife Art

Image: The NMoWA

Another national treasure, the 51,000-square-foot NMWA is world-renowend for its stunning works, including the outdoor pieces along its walkways. Read more here! The views overlook the nationally-recognized National Elk Refuge. It also houses Palate, an excellent, highly-rated eatery! Watch our LIVE cam there! You’ll find the museum north of Jackson off of Route 191 on the left.

 

5. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort’s Aerial Tram & Gondola Ride

Image: JHMR

Located at 3275 West Village Drive in Teton Village, this ride can hold 100 people (suspended over the valley!) and takes just 9 minutes to reach the top. Also known as Big Red, this tram is the second one, with the first one having retired in 2006. The cables’ length is almost 5 miles! The view from 4,100 feet up is beyond words breath-taking!

 

6. Snow King Mountain’s Chairlift Ride

Image: SKM

See Jackson directly from above, watch the valley spread out before you, and soar with the Tetons! This open-air ride will take you between 15 and 20 minutes to climb over 1,500 up to Snow King’s summit. Yes, paraplegics can ride it also, alongside a handler. Head to 402 East Snow King Ave! See it LIVE here!

 

7. Grand Teton National Park Sign

Image: Explore GTNP

What more anticipated sign can you think of than GTNP’s?! Nope, Brooklyn’s doesn’t hold a candle to ours. The one you’ll be looking for has its own turn-off where you can get out and snap away–as long as you’re not totally distracted by the scenery around you. It’s also north of Jackson, along Route 191, the first right after the Auburn Fishing Hatchery.

 

8. Inspiration Point

Image: AllTrips

This’ll be the most inconvenient to get to, though not too difficult. It’s arguably the best spot to take in Jenny Lake and its surroundings. It’s, dare we say…inspiring! The Point is off of Jenny Lake Trail, which is a 7.1-mile loop around the lake. The trail starts at the Jenny Lake campground. Follow the trail around to the lake’s opposite side, and then at Cascade Canyon’s Cascade Creek you’ll want to take Cascade Canyon Trail. Getting up to the Point, you’ll also have the pleasure of passing by the beautiful Hidden Falls as well. Panoramic pictures are the most popular.

 

9. Schwabacher’s Landing

Image: AllTrips

Once again, you’ll head 16 miles north of Jackson along I-89 (also 191 and 26, by the way). The landing will be north of Moose on the left, at the end of Schwabachers Landing Road. The road is a dead-end, from where you can quickly and easily get to the spot. It’s arguably the best spot along the legendary Snake River for capturing the Tetons at their mightiest and most majestic! The Landing is also a popular spot for anglers and rafters to launch from.

 

10. Signal Mountain & Oxbow Bend

   

Image: TetonHikingTrails                   Image: Chuck Summers

Specifically the end of Signal Mountain Summit Road, which is accessed off of Teton Park Road, north of Jackson. Yes, another dead-end, but our dead-ends are safe and tend to attract everybody for good reason, namely more breath-taking scenery. This spot is also right by the Jackson Lake Overlook. Keep in mind, this another road that’s closed between November and May. From Signal Mountain, you’ll take in the great expanse of Jackson Lake, its dam, and the Snake River as it heads down first to Moran.

But before you get to Teton Park Road, along the highway on a right-hand turn-off there’s Oxbow Bend! Another incredible site! In front of you is the Snake River and its giant oxbow. To the right is Jackson Lake, behind you is Emma Matilda Lake. A little further up the highway is Jackson Lake Lodge. Snap away!!!

 

 

The Great Yellowstone Arch!

Image: @yellowstonenps on IG

The Roosevelt Arch is located on Route 89 in Gardiner, Montana, at the north entrance of Yellowstone National Park. Its cornerstone was laid in 1903 by President Theodore Roosevelt, hence its name. There is a quote along its upper portion, “For the Benefit and Enjoyment of the People”, the inscription being from the 1872 Organic Act, the legislation from which came Yellowstone Park.

Construction began February 19, 1903, and was completed August 15 of the same year. It cost roughly $10,000 to construct. The archway’s north entrance was the first major entrance into the national park. Folks would take the train to Gardiner and then ride horse-drawn carriages into the park. Several thousand attended its dedication.

There’s a time capsule in it, containing a Bible, a picture of the president, newspapers, and other miscellany.

Have you seen it?!

#RooseveltArch #Yellowstone 

Lizards and Trout and Bear, Oh My!

(Image: Jackson Hole Grand Expeditions)

We’ve shared many, many wildlife pictures from a great many individuals and groups—especially our area’s safari guides, like Jackson Hole EcoTour AdventuresJackson Hole Grand ExpeditionsThe Hole Hiking Experience, Inc.Teton Wild Custom Wildlife ToursGaperGuide Inc., and others. There’s an unending supply for you to indulge your nature loving.

How many different kinds of wildlife reside in Grand Teton National Park? Grand Teton National Park Services provides answers for us. GTNP is part of the Greater #Yellowstone Inventory and Monitoring Network, which provides planning and consistent oversight for maintaining our parks’ health. Besides #GTNP and Yellowstone, this network also includes the John D. Rockefeller, Jr., Memorial Highway and the Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area.

Mammals. There are 61 different species that climb, swim, run, glide, and fly in the park’s four eco-communities: alpine, forest, sagebrush flats, and wetlands. Moose, elk, deer, pronghorn, bison, grizzly and black bears, wolves, coyotes, mountain lions, squirrels, chipmunks, badgers, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, martens, marmots, weasels, wolverines, rabbits, muskrat, beaver, river otters, and bats, are some of those residents.

Reptiles. While there is wide variety of mammals here, there are only 4 species of reptiles: the wandering garter snake, the valley garter snake, the rubber boa snake, and the northern sagebrush lizard. None of them are venomous. There may be others, and ecologists are on the constant look-out for new sightings.

Birds. With their comings-&-goings, there are many species that reside in and visit the Hole, so it’s tough to lock down a specific figure. But it’s LOTS! From North America’s smallest bird, the calliope hummingbird, to North America’s largest waterfowl, the trumpeter swan, to our nation’s symbol, the bald eagle, there are enough kinds to please any enthusiastic ornithologist. Cranes, owls, grouse, osprey, what’s your pleasure?! Keep in mind the Teton Raptor Center, where you can get an in-depth education of a variety of birds!

Fish. GTNP is world-renowend for its fishing, and tens of thousands of sportsmen journey to the Hole at some point during the year to get some great fishing in. There are plenty of guide and lodging services available here, such as: Fish the Fly Guide ServiceGrand Teton Fly FishingGrand Fishing Adventures, Teton Troutfitters, and Snake River Angler & Scenic Float Trips. There are over a dozen native species in the park’s waters, and as many non-native ones; for example, of the area’s five trout species, only the Yellowstone cutthroat is native. Suckers, whitefish, chubs, sculpin, and dace, round out the other natives.

Amphibians. GTNP has 6 species: spotted frogs, boreal chorus frogs, boreal toads, tiger salamanders, northern leopard frogs (possibly extinct in the area) and bullfrogs. Amphibians may be the best indicators to diagnose an ecosystem’s health, as they’re the most sensitive to environmental changes thanks to their dual water-land life cycles.

Insects. Numbering over 10,000 species, they are the most dominant form of animal life at the Park. Yes, you’ll find the mosquitoes and ants, but you’ll also find plenty of butterflies and bees among the lot.

#GrandTetonNationalPark is a hot-spot for wildlife enthusiasts! Come see for yourself!!!

Rare Opportunity Awaits With Goosewing Ranch!

 

Goosewing Ranch has a terrific announcement to share! A few spots have recently become available!!! Head this way to start your booking: https://www.seejh.com/businesses/hospitality/goosewing-ranch ! Don’t miss out on this aMAZing vacation package opportunity on a premiere dude ranch in the heart of the Yellowstone ecosystem and near Jackson Hole!

Dates now available again:

July 21 – 24
July 31 – August 4
August 4 – 7
August 15 – 18
August 29 – September 1
September 1 – 4

Purple Mountains Majesty!

 

You’ve seen tons and tons of pictures of our beloved Teton Mountains; and if you’ve seen them in person, you’ve been awed and numbed by their beauty and power. What do you say we make formal introductions between them and you so you can know them better?

Their neighborhood stretches approximately 40 miles (64 km), from Idaho’s border to Yellowstone National Park. The Shoshone tribe called them the Teewinots, or “many pinnacles”, and French frontiersmen named them les trois tetons, or “the three nipples”. It’s the new neighborhood on the block, so to speak, because the Teton Range is the Rocky Mountains’ youngest range. The Teton Fault’s eastern block shifted upward to build up the mountains, and its western block fell to create the valley that you know as Jackson Hole. The Teton neighborhood is particularly stunning among the world’s ranges because the drop is so sharp as to lack any foothills or low-lying peaks, thus creating an unobscured, deeply contrasting view between the valley’s floor and mountains’ sides and summits. It is remarkably stunning and needs to be seen in person to truly absorb the incredible scene!

The biggest ones in the family are the five that make up the Cathedral Group: Grand Teton at 13,775 ft.; Mt. Owen at 12,928 ft.; Teewinot at 12,325 ft.; Middle Teton at 12,804 ft.; and South Teton at 12,514 ft. Other well-known peaks include Mt. Moran (12,605 ft.), Mt. Wister (11,490 ft.), and Statis Peak (11,303 ft.)

The Tetons are so visually mesmerizing that Hollywood has been regularly using them as a backdrop and players in a variety of film and show, including John Wayne’s introduction to cinema audiences with his film debut in 1930’s “The Big Trail”.

The Tetons may not live in a crowded area, but they are as well-known throughout the world as are Times Square and the Eiffel Tower!

Have you visited them in person?!