Bridger-Teton National Forest

The Bridger-Teton National Forest is found in western Wyoming, United States. The forest is made up on 3.4 million acres, making it the second largest national forest outside of Alaska. The forest extends from Yellowstone National Park, along the eastern boundary of Grand Teton National Park and from there rides along the western slope of the Continental Divide to the southern end of the Wind River Range.

The forest extends southward including the Salt River Range and Wyoming Range mountains near the Idaho border as well.

Within the forest are the Gros Ventre, Bridger Wilderness, and Teton Wilderness, totaling 1.2 million acres. Other points of interest within the confines of this forest include Gannett Peak, the tallest mountain in Wyoming, and the Gros Ventre landslide, which is one of the largest readily visible landslides on earth. All of the forest is in turn a part of the 20 million acre Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

While Gannett Peak is the highest summit in the forest, there are 40 other named mountains that rise above 12,000 feet. The high altitudes and the abundant snowfall, exceeding 600 inches at some locations, provide a constant supply of water for the streams and the rivers. There are 1,500 lakes that also help provide water for the Yellowstone, Snake, and Green Rivers, which all have their headwaters in the forest. Seven of the largest glaciers outside of Alaska are located within the confines of this forest.

United States Highways 26/287 cross over the continental divide at Togwotee Pass and enter the forest from the north, and United Sates Highways 89 and 191 provide access to the forest in the vicinity of Jackson, Wyoming and forest lands located to the south.

Over 2,000 miles of hiking trails are located in the forest providing access into wilderness areas and interlinking with trails in Yellowstone National Park. There are several dozen vehicle accessible campgrounds that have picnic tables and tent sites in addition to room in some circumstances for recreational vehicles. Nighttime temperatures can get below freezing any time of the year and the mosquitoes in the late spring and early summer are common. Summertime high temperatures average in the 70s and the wintertime lows can get below -50 degrees.

Image Caption: Mountains in the Wind River Range, Wyoming Green Lakes region of the Bridger Wilderness, Briger-Teton National Forest. Credit: G. Thomas/Wikipedia