BRIDGER-TETON NATIONAL FOREST
3,400,309 acres. This truly massive National Forest is the second largest in the United States outside of Alaska. It lies east and south of Grand Teton National Park, in western Wyoming.
Included here are the Wind River Range of the Rockies and the Gros Ventre Mountains. A section of the Continental Divide crosses the National Forest, and a number of mountains are over 11,000 feet. Highest point is 13,804-foot Gannett Peak.
Along with rugged rocky peaks the region has high plateaus, glaciated canyons, legions of lakes and streams, and the Gros Ventre River. There are mountain meadows and forests of spruce, fir, pine, and aspen. Wildlife includes elk, deer, moose, antelope, bighorn sheep, bison, and bear.
This National Forest has three huge designated wilderness areas: the 585,468-acre Teton Wilderness, the 428,169-acre Bridger Wilderness, and the 287,000-acre Gros Ventre Wilderness.
Activities: Backpacking and hiking are available on no fewer than 2,800 miles of trails, including some 200 miles of the Continental Divide Trail (see entry page 310), along with the 70-mile Wyoming Range National Recreation Trail.
Difficulty ranges from easy to strenuous. High trails may only be snow-free from mid-July through September. Horses are permitted on many trails, as are mountain bikes, but the latter are not allowed in wilderness areas.
Canoeing, kayaking, and rafting are possible along a section of the Snake River. Cross-country skiing is available on some established trails in winter. Fishing is another option. Hunting is permitted in season.
Camping Regulations: Camping is allowed throughout the National Forest, except where posted otherwise. Campsites should be away from meadows and alpine tundra. Campfires are generally permitted but discouraged. A stove is recommended for cooking.
In wilderness areas campsites must be at least 200 feet from trails and lakes. Here group size is limited to 10, and permits are required for organized groups. Campfires are banned during summer in some parts of the wilderness areas.
For Further Information: Bridger-Teton National Forest, P.O. Box 1888, Jackson, WY 83001; (307)733-2752.
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