Page 1



101 Things To Do

Activities, Events, Scenic Drives


America’s Serengeti


Jackson Hole, Snow King, Grand Targhee

Photography Advice for Travelers

Water Sports SUP, Kayak, Raft


Tips from the Pros


Guides Take You There

Via Ferrata

Mountaineering the Iron Way

Adventure Guide

25 Years


Spine surgery can make a huge difference in your life, but it’s not something to rush into. Here at St. John’s Peak Spine Center, our patient education program ensures you and your family understand the process. And our team of experienced surgeons, nurses, and therapists works with our orthopedic program manager to give you the personalized care you deserve before, during, and after your stay. Call us to be introduced to a patient ambassador. Our goal is simple: to get you back to the things you love.



3 0 7 . 7 3 9 . 6 1 9 9 | te ton hospita l . org /spin e

JEWELRY ORIGINALS 43 YEARS OF INSPIRATION AT 6000 FT. Gaslight Alley • Downtown Jackson Hole • 125 N.Cache • • 307.733.2259 ALL DESIGNS COPYRIGHTED


G R A N D T E TO N & YE L LO W S TO N E A D V E N T U R E G U I D E 2 0 1 7

䌀愀瀀琀甀爀攀 圀礀漀洀椀渀最

圀礀漀洀椀渀最 䌀愀洀攀爀愀 伀甀琀昀椀琀琀攀爀猀 䤀渀琀攀爀渀攀琀 倀爀椀挀攀 ⴀ 倀爀漀 䄀搀瘀椀挀攀 ⴀ 䔀瘀攀爀礀搀愀礀

圀礀漀洀椀渀最ᤠ猀 䰀愀爀最攀猀琀 䌀愀洀攀爀愀 匀琀漀爀攀猀


8&45/%453&&5$"41&3 8: 

4065)$"$)&453&&5+"$,40/ 8: 


Publishers: Bob Woodall & Wade McKoy, dba Focus Productions, Inc. (fpi) Editors: Wade McKoy, Bob Woodall, Mike Calabrese Photo Manager: Eric Rohr Photo Editors: Wade McKoy, Bob Woodall, Eric Rohr Graphic Design: Wade McKoy, Bob Woodall, Janet Melvin Advertising Sales: Debra Snyder, Bob Woodall, 307-733-6995

Contributing Photographers: Taylor Phillips, Josh Metten, Isaac Spotts, Zeb Hermanson, Travis Lucas, John Waller, Bob Woodall, Wade McKoy, Jeffrey Kaphan, Justin Bailie, James Kaiser

Copyright 2018 by Focus Productions, Inc. P.O. Box 1930, Jackson, WY 83001. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the publishers.

Cover & Contents photos by Wade McKoy, Kayaker: Sasha Bogdanovics; Biker; Myles Trainer

NATURE 8 19 20

25 28

101 Things To Do The TGR Experience Bert Raynes – Nature Yet Preserved in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem Bear Safety Wildlife Tours in Grand Teton & Yellowstone National Parks Photography Tips Photo Etiquette

30 36

Jackson Cody

44 50 54

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort Snow King Mountain Resort Grand Targhee Resort

58 60 61

Alpine Medical Advice What’s In Your Pack? Foot Care

39 40 42 43 62 64 66 70 78 82 86 88 90 92 94

Buffalo Bill Dam Cody Nite Rodeo Jackson Hole Rodeo Sleeping Giant Ziplines Sea Kayaking Whitewater & Scenic Rafting Stand Up Paddle Boarding Fishing Climbing Via Ferrata Motorcycle Touring Shooting Sports Horseback Riding Mountain Biking Community Pathways

96 96 97 98

Lodging Directory Map – Town of Jackson Index of Advertisers Map – Greater Yellowstone

21 22





101 Things To Do Vacation Adventures in Mountain Country


playground up here in the Teton/Yellowstone region. Even the locals struggle over all the choices in this epic backyard. Visitors aren’t the only folks who dip into the guide you’re holding. And, like visitors, we’ll also stop by our first-rate visitor centers, libraries, bookstores, and restaurants to pick up new insights into our playground. Here’s an inspiring list for the listless. Still America’s best idea—for now. A single entrance fee gains access to both Grand Teton National Park (GTNP) and Yellowstone National Park (YNP). The entrance stations are not information booths, though; better to visit the many well-cached information centers found in the parks themselves and gateway towns. The folks queuing behind your vehicle will appreciate your efficiency and courtesy. Especially those shuttling a boatload of restless youngsters. The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE), the largest intact ecosystem in the lower 48 states, includes a dozen mountain ranges along the Great Divide, the country’s first and largest national park and national forest, the farthest point from a road outside Alaska, and, not surprisingly, wildlife galore. Picnic—Hey, you’re in the land of countless settings for that outdoor table. Pick up some sammies, cookies, and drinks from grab-n-go establishments and head for the riverbanks, lakeshores, or scenic overlooks. Put that camera to good use on the scenery and your group celebrating life in the Rockies. Slow down and watch for wildlife— Sometimes called The American Serengeti, YNP and GTNP are home to bison, elk, deer, moose, grizzly and black bear, wolves, mountain lion, wolverine, osprey, eagles, and myriad small animals. Go early in the morning and keep your eyes peeled and, in many places, bear spray at the ready! Lamar and Hayden valleys in YNP are good bets for sighting bison, wolves, and grizzly bear. Moose frequent willowed bottomlands. Stay alert, though, even on strolls around park developments. And never approach or feed wildlife! Up



your odds for great photos or experiences by taking a wildlife tour with qualified guides. Wildlife Tours—Jackson Hole is home to wildlife tour companies that can help reveal the region’s flora and fauna for wildlife enthusiasts, photographers, and folks who simply want to soak up the area’s natural wonders. Tours range from part- to full-day excursions in both Grand Teton and Yellowstone parks and surrounding national forest. See page 22. Waterfalls—The 308-foot Lower Falls of

G R A N D T E TO N & YE L LO W S TO N E A D V E N T U R E G U I D E 2 0 1 8

the Yellowstone River is the granddaddy of the park’s many roadside water features, but a hike can reveal its more obscure dramatic torrents. In the Tetons, thousands of sightseers trek to Hidden Falls, which, for many, begins with a boat ride across glorious Jenny Lake. Smell the wild roses—The mountains are famous for a profusion of wildflowers. Some are tiny, especially the ones above timberline, so look closely. The show starts in late May and June, when dazzling displays of color

Wade McKoy / Grand Teton Fly Fishing

Fishing guide Scott Smith hooks a Snake River fine-spotted cutthroat trout.

Springtime in the Tetons can overwhelm the senses.

Bob Woodall (Town Square); Wade McKoy (Hiker Sasha Bogdanovics)

Below: Crabapple blossoms and the stagecoach add color to Jackson’s Town Square.

chase the snowline as it recedes into the mountains. Old Faithful Inn—Of course the Old Faithful Geyser is on your must-see list, but don’t pass up the spectacular Old Faithful Inn. Well over 100 years old, rich in history, the inn is “considered the largest log structure in the world.” Ranger Programs—From Ranger Adventure Hikes to Family Campfire Evenings to Stars Over Yellowstone, these programs offer something for the whole family. The park newspaper contains all the schedules. Online http://www.nps. gov/yell/index.htm, go to Plan Your Visit. Get on the bus—Tired of having to watch the road while everyone else gets to look for bears? Then savor Yellowstone from the same perspective afforded early park visitors by touring in the luxury of a refurbished “Historic Yellow Bus.” Their lineage is from the 1930s but their appeal remains as strong today as it was back then. Grab the camera, enjoy the fun, and leave the driving to a pro. Highlights of the park’s most notable features and then some. Photograph the sights—Digital, film, recorder, whatever. Everybody’s a pro out here. Get a long lens, too. Again, don’t ever approach wild animals! They can easily outrun humans and simply aren’t as fond of us as we are of them. See page 25. Passport to your national parks—Buy a “Passport Book” at the park visitor center. A colorful way to track your lifetime travels across America. After each visit to a park or monument (there are 390), take the passport book to the Cancellation Station and get it stamped.

Hiking—An almost endless array of trails radiate into the mountains. The only limits are your legs and longing. The views? You supply the adjectives. Camping—The great outdoors was made for camping. Get away from the car or motor home and rough it! Cook out on an open fire and sleep beneath the stars. Nothing like it


under the sun, of course. Climb the Grand—Often listed in the 100 Things To do In Your Life, and for a good reason. Despite a peak 7,000 feet above the valley, topping the Grand is attainable for anyone in good physical condition and among the right companions. Some of the world’s best guides and instructors live here. Mountain biking—Our single-track trails

2 0 1 8 G R A N D T E TO N & YE L LO W S TO N E A D V E N T U R E G U I D E


Wade McKoy photos; SUPer Connor Liljestrom; Bikers: Hadley Hammer, Monica Purington Above: The wild and unique Slide Lake on the Gros Ventre river is but one of many lakes and rivers SUP paddlers love to explore. Left: The West Pathway 22 Bridge borders R Park, its river-bottom ponds and streams an important addition to Jackson Hole Community Pathways system that winds 70 miles throughout the valley. Park. Here the Jackson Hole’s pathways world and the region’s largest citizen-spawned park converge. The charming R Park refuge holds beautiful ponds, trails, open grasslands, and trees. Its landmark flag-topped knoll, accessible to everyone on foot, boasts a commanding view of the entire preserve. The R Park rests next to the Wilson Snake River boat launch and the stunning pathways bridge arcing over the famous waters. Skateboard Park—Concrete has its place, even in Jackson Hole. Very cool skateboard park, located on West High School Road, south of town and right next to the pathways system. Tennis courts, softball fields, picnic shelter and restrooms round out the complex. Continued from page 9 on Teton Pass and in Cache Creek are among the finest in the country. Cool and colorful maps at Pathways—Stroll with kids or friends, walk, ride a bike, rollerblade. Jackson Hole’s extensive pathway system rewards all users with a


Shooting—Certified pistol- and rifle-use instruction, skeet and trap shooting with shotguns, all at the Jackson Hole Gun Club site south of Jackson. Covered shooting area, two separate pistol bays, and a classroom. See page 88. Mountain man rendezvous—The 82nd Annual Green River Rendezvous, July 12-15,


moving state of mind. This scenic artery system, coursing along 70 miles of the valley floor and still growing, is solid proof of a love affair with the outdoors. See page 94. R Park—At the heart of what’s become the valley’s newest crossroads lies the 40-acre R

G R A N D T E TO N & YE L LO W S TO N E A D V E N T U R E G U I D E 2 0 1 8

Walk, ride a bike, rollerblade. Jackson Hole’s extensive pathway system rewards all users with a moving state of mind. The valley parkway’s new R Park awaits at the stunning crossroads of the Snake River and the thoroughfare between town, Wilson, and Teton Village. 2018, in Pinedale, Wyoming, is a pageant that educates visitors about the history of fur-trade era events. Rendezvous also take place throughout the summer in Jackson, Alpine, and West Yellowstone and are open to the public. Great places to find unique items. Or outfit yourself and join in the fun! Indian Pow-wows—This is Indian country, too, and perfect for a traditional Pow-wow. The most prominent one is the Annual Plains Indian Museum Pow-wow, June 16-17 this year, in Cody, Wyoming. Indian dancers try to catch the judges’ eyes with personal style, footwork falling on the beat of the music, and beautifully crafted dance attire. Numerous Pow-wows are held on the Wind River Indian Reservation throughout the summer. Online at Heart Mountain Pilgrimage—The Heart Mountain Pilgrimage, July 26-27, sheds life and light on Heart Mountain’s profound place in U.S. and Japanese-American history. Held at the Heart Mountain WWII Interpretive Center, just 14 miles outside of Cody, Wyoming, the Pilgrimage seeks to introduce new generations to and remind an aging population of an indelible historic moment in U.S. history. Chuckwagon dinners and shows—Ranging from dinner under the Tetons at Dornan’s to polished performances showcasing cowboy musicians and theater in many of our mountain towns. Grab the young ones and board covered Conestoga wagons heading up a scenic canyon for an old-fashioned wrangler’s dinner and Western music show. Horseback trail rides and pack trips— You’re in the West, so what better way to experience it than astride a horse. Head to the hills for an hour, a day, or even a week. See page 90. Stagecoach rides—In Jackson Hole, a short stagecoach ride around downtown Jackson will light up the faces of young and old. From Roosevelt Lodge in YNP, stagecoaches, replicas of those used in early park days, course through four miles of sagebrush and flower-embroidered flats. Dude ranches—The quintessential Western vacation. From rustic to polished, these weeklong immersions into the lore of the Old West are the perfect family getaway. Rodeo—The Old West rides into arenas nightly in Cody and several times a week in Jackson and West Yellowstone. Rodeos, like fireworks and parades, are also part and parcel of July 4th celebrations throughout the West. Shootout—The legendary Old West shootout is re-enacted nightly on the streets of Jackson and Cody. High street theatre for old and young. Visit a ghost town—Tour the abandoned gold-mining town of Kirwin in the mountains southwest of Meeteetse. Four-wheel drive recommended. Cody’s Old Trail Town—One-of-a-kind buildings from the past, including the famous

hideout used by Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Colorful characters are rumored to haunt the town’s nearby gravesites. Mule Days—Don’t be stubborn! Check out Jake Clark’s Mule Days in Ralston, near Cody, June 13-17, 2018. The venerable saddle mule is front and center in its own parade, rodeo, and auction, all highlighting a true Western character.

Hop on the Bus—The Jackson Hole START Bus system makes getting around easy. In Jackson ride all over town for free. Buses are on a half-hour schedule. Hourly departures to Teton Village. Three bucks for adults, half price for seniors and students through 12th grade. Buses also run south to Star Valley and west to Teton Valley. Visit


2 0 1 8 G R A N D T E TO N & YE L LO W S TO N E A D V E N T U R E G U I D E


The Lower Falls plummits 308 feet into the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River. for a complete fee/time schedule and maps. Cody Trolley Tours—A 60-minute, 22-mile tour in a comfortable red and green trolley. Narrators recount the story of William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody while highlighting historical sites, scenic vistas, geology, wildlife, and Oldand New-West attractions. Aerial Tram—Climb 4,139 feet above the valley floor aboard the Jackson Hole Aerial


Tram. At the summit of Rendezvous Mountain, a lofty 10,450 feet, tram passengers step out into the Alpine zone, right at the tree-line’s edge. Take in a 360-degree panorama of the Jackson Hole valley and nearby and distant mountain features. Ride the tram, hike the trails, or “fly” back to the valley floor. Tandem paragliding—From the top of the tram, sprout wings on a 20-minute tandem flight with Jackson Hole Paragliding. Certified

G R A N D T E TO N & YE L LO W S TO N E A D V E N T U R E G U I D E 2 0 1 8

pilots with hundreds of hours flying in the Tetons are eager to introduce first-timers to the exhilarating experience of tandem paragliding. Chairlifts—These lifts get folks up above it all for an impressive view of the scenery and also provide quick backcountry access for hikers and mountain bikers. Both Snow King and Grand Targhee mountain resorts offer rides. Dine on a mountainside—Ride the Bridger Gondola at Teton Village up to the restaurants

The GYE, the largest intact ecosystem in the lower 48 states, in-

Bob Woodall photos

cludes a dozen mountain ranges along the Great Divide.

Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone, at 370-feet wide and 170-feet deep, is the world’s third-largest hot springs. in the Rendezvous Lodge for a peak dining experience 2,730 feet above the valley. Or head up for afternoon cocktails on The Deck and marvel at a high-altitude Jackson Hole sunset. The ride is free. Balloon rides—Greet the morning by lofting into crisp mountain air in the gondola of a colorful hot-air balloon. Bungee-trampolining—Give your youngster the thrill of a trampoline with the lift and

spring of bungee cords. Alpine slide—Ride the chairlift up, then pilot a sled for a journey down a mountain slide that snakes and dips through the glade at Snow King. Mountain Coaster—Forget the aerial acrobatics! The Snow King roller coaster is all about breathtaking moves right on some of terra firma’s most spectacular landscape. Getting up couldn’t be easier! Except for getting down.

Get a line on this!—Zip lines are tugging at the hearts of young and old at Snow King and Sleeping Giant. Air on the side of fun! On the ropes!—Treetop adventures lead everyone to a higher place. Both the JHMR and Snow King Mountain have extensive rope courses. Climbing Walls—Kids and parents ready to climb walls can grapple with fun at JHMR, Snow King, and Targhee.

2 0 1 8 G R A N D T E TO N & YE L LO W S TO N E A D V E N T U R E G U I D E


The downhill-specific MTB trails on Teton Pass were built by the Teton Freedom Riders, who volunteer their labor and expertise, in coordination with Bridger-Teton National Forest and Friends of Pathways.

Clip in and climb on—Challenge yourself and the kids to scaling the heights in the latest climbing craze, the Via Ferrata. See page 82. Frisbee Golf & Mini-Golf —Toss one off at frisbee golf greens! All three resorts have options. Maximize family fun with a round of minigolf at Snow King. Get amazed—Nothing like a maze to put the fun in being lost. Navigate Snow King’s Amaze’n Maze. Glider rides—Mountains create updrafts, and that means good gliding. Check the Driggs, Idaho, airport for information on glider rides. Music festivals—A score of music events await mountain-country travelers. The worldclass Grand Targhee Bluegrass and Targhee Fest and music camps fill the hills with tunes. Jackson’s Center for the Arts hosts summer music and dance concerts, stage presentations, and art shows. In addition to the Grand Teton Music Festival, Teton Village continues its popular free Concert on the Commons performance series, and in Victor, Idaho, free highprofile concerts in the park bring weekly



gatherings to its Music on Main events. And Cody, not to be outdone, carries on its long tradition of free Concerts in the Park. Art fairs—There’s no better way to celebrate nature’s art-inspiring elements than at one of the many artists’ fairs. These gatherings highlight summer weekends throughout mountain country. Wander through festive outdoor galleries and watch artisans in the creative act. Muse on!—Museums offer reflection and refuge. Mountain country is home to some major collections. The Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum recently opened its new facility two blocks north of the Jackson Town Square. View the settlement of Jackson Hole through artifacts, documents, photos, books and the oral histories of trappers, homesteaders, dude ranchers, and adventurers. Cody’s vibrant world class Buffalo Bill Center of the West boasts five museums in a single structure and celebrates the rich, epochal American West. Jackson’s National Museum of Wildlife Art boasts a large collection of diverse wildlife art.

G R A N D T E TO N & YE L LO W S TO N E A D V E N T U R E G U I D E 2 0 1 8

Bighorn Sheep Interpretive Center—In downtown Dubois, Wyoming, experience these stunning, full-size bighorns in breathtaking realism set amidst their natural flora and geology. Photos and hands-on exhibits transport visitors into the majestic range and habits of these powerful animals. Libraries—Books, music, movies, lectures, computers, and insight into just about every community in mountain country. Great havens for tired travelers and curious kids, especially if the weather is a bit uncooperative. Bookstores—Some with coffee, pastries, newspapers, Wi-Fi—but all with books and settings that enrich readers young and old! Antique shows—Snap up a bargain, maybe even a piece of history, at one of the many antique road shows hosted in our mountain towns. Classic car shows—Americans love their cars, and none more so than the auto buffs who stage the Jackson Hole Rendezvous in June on the main street lawn of the Virginian Hotel. Sponsored by the Eastern Idaho Early Iron Organization, the event dazzles young and

Wade McKoy photo; Biker: Myles Trainer

Teton Pass, Parallel Trail

Bob Woodall photo

Colter Bay Marina on Jackson Lake offers boaters of all stripes access to the pristine alpine waters.

old with restored gems from the golden age of the U.S. auto industry. Want more than just window-shopping? Then view or bid on vintage cars displayed at the Silver Collector Car Show and Auction, July 7-8 in Teton Village. Rendezvous Royale—Here’s a Western extravaganza that combines it all: Western art, Western music, Western dining, Western fashion, and Western food, right in the heart of Cody, Wyoming, a town with a name as Western as they come. Events start in August and run through September. Fall Arts Festival—A major Jackson Hole shindig, commencing around Labor Day and running through mid September. The confab is highlighted by ranch tours, culinary events, and endless activities. Gallery walks—Stroll through the many art galleries in mountain towns. It doesn’t cost to look! Join the organized “walks,” often complete with free food to tempt at least one palate! Stroll around the town—Boardwalks and wide-open shop-lined streets from the old West are central to every gateway town in Teton / Yellowstone country. Jackson’s town square is set off by elk-antler archways and ringed by boardwalks and historic buildings (again, don’t forget the camera). Unique shops, eateries, and galleries characterize these mountain towns. Go shopping—Therapeutic and economically stimulating, shopping in mountain country is a gas. From carved bears to elk antler items to unique clothing to everyday dining delights, regional enterprises know how to treat the customer right. Drive-in theater—Not many of these left in the world, but one of the more famous, the Spud Drive-in Theatre, just south of Driggs, Idaho, is a trip back in time. Look for the giant spud on the old red flatbed truck, just off the highway between Victor and Driggs, Idaho. Film festivals—Fall film festivals this season include the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival, late September. Showcased at the

Jackson Center for the Arts downtown. Local hint: Watch the local paper for Frank’s Annual Fall Film Festival. Those in the know go! Live theater—The Old West has come and gone, but more than enough of it is still showcased in the vintage Jackson Hole Playhouse. Just a block off the Jackson town square, the only thing vintage about this year’s musical,

“The Ballad of Cat Ballou,” is the costuming. The show boasts a stage full of modern talent and production quality. The playhouse’s Saddle Rock Saloon warms up patrons with song, food, and exuberance, and enough energy to light up anyone’s day. Go out to eat—An army runs on its stomach, and an army of tourists has countless din-

2 0 1 8 G R A N D T E TO N & YE L LO W S TO N E A D V E N T U R E G U I D E


ing opportunities out West. Take advantage of mountain country’s diverse gustatory offerings. Pick up a Jackson Hole Dining Guide, or go online at for the most comprehensive listing in the region. Fire department chicken fries and barbecues— Volunteer fire departments, when they’re not tossing water on flames, throw fundraising chicken-fries and BBQs throughout summer. A great way to meet locals and experience a sweet slice of American pie—and to keep many of the volunteers well equipped. Dance to the music—Don’t just dance to the music, dance to live music. Many bars and taverns offer nightly live music. Get out and kick up your heels! Learn to Western Swing: free lessons at 7:30 on Thursday nights at Jackson’s Cowboy Bar. Learn to Square Dance: another Western tradition, master the dosido and allemande left on Tuesday nights at the Rustic Pine Tavern in Dubois, Wyoming. Families welcomes. Watch for info in all our western towns.



Go fish—Mountain country holds some of the best trout streams and lakes in the lower 48 states. The area abounds with angling shops and guide services. Hire a guide or just get out and explore. Whitewater rafting—The Snake, Green, Shoshone, Yellowstone, and Clark’s Fork rivers sport miles of whitewater action. Lots of commercial services are available, or rent a raft and go get wet. Scenic raft trips—Not into getting wet? Then how about a sublime sunrise voyage on the Snake River in front of the Grand Tetons? A host of wildlife in the air, on the land, and in the water. Canoeing & sea kayaking—Want a little more intimacy with the water? The possibilities are almost endless. Rent boats in Jackson to explore our many lakes and streams. For a visual feast and relaxing glide beneath the Tetons, launch that craft at GTNP’s Oxbow

G R A N D T E TO N & YE L LO W S TO N E A D V E N T U R E G U I D E 2 0 1 8

Bend channels of the Snake River, just below Jackson Lake Dam. Locals love this section’s calm beauty and window into wildlife. Bring the camera! Whitewater kayaking—To get really personal with the river, nothing beats being in a kayak, blasting through rapids or surfing a wave for as long as you can hold on. Stand Up Paddle Boards (SUP)—Feel like Hawaiian royalty standing on a long surfboard propelling yourself along the river currents. Paddling while standing yields a bird’s-eye view into the clear waters and stunning terrain. Rent one and find out why SUP is the fastestgrowing water sport in the world. Water slide and pool—Rained out or just want to get some exercise? Then head to the J.H. Rec. Center, complete with lap pool, kids’ pool, Jacuzzi, steam room, and three-story water slide. Take the entire family. Supervised, adult-led day-adventure programs for kids available, too. Ask about public swimming pools in all mountain country towns. Swim al fresco—You’ll find a number of

“You can enjoy the smell of the sage, the sounds of the forest, listen to streams, and drink in the landscape. Horses can cover lots of territory, and in a short time riders can be

Bob Woodall photo (aerial); Wade McKoy photos (hikers Hadley Hammer & Monica Purington; windsurfer Les Gibson)

deep into the mountains. And doing it the way it was done by Indians, mountain men, and cowboys.” — Cameron Garnick

Facing page: Jackson Lake in foreground, behind it Leigh and Jenny lakes, at right Mount Moran with its Skillet Glaciert, and the Teton range stretching south. Left: Most hiking trails in mountain country eventually reach the alpine zone. This trail in Tensleep Bowl at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort has an aerial tram to help people get there — or back. Below: Windsurfing on Slide Lake in early season conditions requires a dry suit (47-degree water), and a small sail (47-mph winds).

unique options for outdoor swimming around mountain country. In YNP, check out the Firehole River near Madison Junction or the Boiling River near Gardiner, where hot springs flow into the river (swimming in hot springs themselves is prohibited and dangerous). In GTNP, String Lake is an outstanding swimming hole, safe for the whole family. If you want it hot and in a commercial swimming pool, visit Granite Hot Springs, south of Jackson. Sailing and windsurfing—Slide Lake, below the historic Gros Ventre landslide above the town of Kelly, pulls in the windsurfers as soon as the ice is off. Jackson Lake in GTNP, Yellowstone Lake, and Fremont Lake outside Pinedale all have sailboats in the docks and on the water. Local windsurfers show up when the waves reach whitecap status. Best dam views—Completed in 1910, the Buffalo Bill Dam near Cody is the most impressive one this side of the Hoover Dam. Stroll across the dam and peer 325 feet into the canyon bottom. In GTNP, drive over Jackson Lake Dam, gaze across the lake at the Tetons and marvel at the thundering waters churning out of the spillways. Maybe toss a dry fly or a streamer into those fat-boy holding waters. But get a license! Rangers and game and fish folks take their jobs seriously. See page 39. Teton Park Inner Loop—This idyllic roadway takes you as close to the mountains as you can get in a vehicle. For the best glimpses of wildlife, try early morning or sunset. Camera hounds will enjoy capturing the alpenglow at


sunrise or the shadows lengthening at sunset. Beartooth Pass—Truly one of the most spectacular, not-to-be-missed drives in the U.S. Between Red Lodge, Montana, and the Northeast Entrance of YNP, the highway switchbacks up the slope to above timberline and a 10,940-foot summit. Along the way, cold mountain streams, crashing waterfalls, and deep-blue alpine lakes dot the landscape, while jagged granite peaks stab the sky. The excursion passes from sub-alpine to alpine environments. Allow plenty of time, though; a parade of continuous vistas beckon—and a snowball fight in July is traditional! Chief Joseph Scenic Highway—Between Cody and the Northeast Entrance of YNP, another zigzagging traverse heads over Dead Indian Hill and into Sunlight Basin. Its isolation and incredible vistas make this wide but infrequently used highway a pleasure to travel along. From the summit you can look deep into both the mountains and the Clarks Fork River Canyon. Elkhart Park—From Pinedale, the Fremont Lake Road heads north out of town, crosses a glacial moraine, and then climbs past 10-milelong Fremont Lake and on to Elkhart Park. From this popular trailhead, views are afforded well into the Wind River Mountains and down 2,000 feet to Fremont Lake itself. Trail Lake Road—Just east of Dubois, Trail Lake Road heads south into the Wind River Mountains and past three jewel-like lakes. Look for petroglyphs on the boulders along the way. At the end of the road, hike 3 miles to

stunning Lake Louise. Wapiti Valley—Between the East Entrance of YNP and Cody, this spectacular valley is a treat for the eyes. The many strange, eroded rock formations look like, well, whatever your imagination can come up with. Kids excel at this kind of travel creativity. Keep an eye out for the Cookie Monster somewhere up there. Farmers Markets—No reason to strike out for the mega market’s comestibles. Locavores can get their fresh-food fix right on the beaten path. Watch for popular farmers’ markets throughout the region. Fourth of July—Music, rodeos, community, parades, foot races, and of course fireworks. What more can we say! Local papers post complete lists of events. County fairs—These are true community events out here in the West. Horses, cows, pigs, sheep, and the best-grown produce of locals, as well as fiddle contests, magic shows, carnival rides and stands complete with corn dogs and cotton candy.



Now that night has fallen, don’t just hit the sack. Head outside and cast those eyes skyward. If you’re a city dweller, you really shouldn’t miss this experience. The Milky Way sweeps across the clear western heavens in a blaze of glittering light and confirms the existence of real stars and astronomical delights. —Adventure Guide




 " . ɤ  1 .   ]     8  # 3 0" % 8":  4 6 * 5 &  #   ]   +"$ , 4 0 /  8 :      


G R A N D T E TO N & YE L LO W S TO N E A D V E N T U R E G U I D E 2 0 1 8

Teton Gravity Research Renowned movie company opens town shop

Joined by longtime friend Corey Gavitt, they founded Teton Gravity Research (TGR) and began to make ski movies. By showcasing some of the world’s top athletes TGR soon became instrumental in fueling the progression taking place in action sports. From its headquarters in Jackson Hole, TGR began producing premier ski, snowboard, and surf films. Twenty-two years later, the company continues to evolve. TGR has moved beyond just filmmaking and emerged as a media force in action-sports culture. Last summer TGR opened a store in downtown Jackson. Adventure Guide: What is the concept for your Jackson TGR store? Steve Jones: This is the flagship brand store that we refer to as the TGR Experience. Our goal has been to create something unique here on the town square. More than just a tchotchke shop, it’s a place where people can come in and touch and feel and interact with the TGR brand. There’s all kinds of things here that are historical elements that represent the TGR brand heritage. The full 22-year history and timeline story of TGR is displayed here. We had never put the whole thing down on paper before.

Bob Woodall photos

It began with a dream. In 1995 brothers Steve and Todd Jones and Dirk Collins scraped together money they had earned as heli-ski guides and commercial fishermen in Alaska and purchased some camera equipment.

Steve Jones cradles one of TGR’s first Bolex 16mm film cameras.

SJ: In one of our clips you are on a wave with Rob Machado. You can look back and you can see the wave. You can see Rob in front and you can look at the shoreline. You're underwater but you can look full 360° up and

AG: What’s with the VR station, what can we see? SJ: The cool thing about VR is that it literally puts you right there. The VR stuff is really cool and really unique, it is amazing. You can ride a wave with Kelly Slater, you can swim with seals and dolphins, you're underwater in the Marshall Islands with sharks. You can literally be inside the helicopter with the TGR athletes, watching them pick out lines and looking at terrain—it is pretty amazing. AG: Tell us about one of them.

AG: Tell us about movie nights. SJ: Yeah, another cool thing we started is movie nights at 7 p.m. Lots of the guys living out here will come with their friends. They bring beers and pizza in from Pinky G's and sit down and they watch a flick and enjoy a few beers. AG: Is the theater available for private parties? SJ: If you call in advance and pre-book, you can request a screening of any of our shows. It’s great for private parties or a birthday party for the kids. Book the whole theater for the evening, even get it catered and bring in whatever beverages you want. We just can’t sell those things. There are tables in the back of the theater for patrons to use.

AG: How long had you been thinking of a retail store? SJ: For years. From the inception (of TGR) it was inevitable, so finally opening a custom experience shop was a big deal. We’re stoked. AG: What you have to offer? SJ: We started the merchandising right out of the gate 22 years ago with our first movie. We have a lot of TGR-branded items now. There is a free VR (Virtual Reality) station and a 22-seat theater.

boom! Here’s Jackson Hole. Admission is $5 or free with any purchase.

The VR headset puts the viewer right there. down, it’s nuts. Typically, most people, when they put the glasses on, go to grab something to hold on. AG: What about the 22-seat theater? SJ: The vision on this is people can come in here and watch trailers that we got from over 22 years of making movies. Then, every hour from noon to 6 p.m., we show Wild Jackson Hole, an 18-minute 4K film. It's a four-season film that’s got everything from powder skiing to mountain biking to surfing the wave on the Snake River. It has wildlife and aerials of Grand Teton and Yellowstone parks. It’s an epic take-home gift too, all TGR footage of ski, bike, snowboard, and river surf. Just

AG: Anything for families? SJ: Bring their kids in and while they watch a 70- to 90-minute movie, the parents can go shopping, have a bite to eat or grab a cocktail. The kids just have to be independent enough that they can handle themselves on their own. We’re not a babysitting service. AG: Any special events happening? SJ: A lot of cool special events where you can meet some of the TGR movie stars and interact with them. There is a pretty constant flow of athletes coming through, so we'll do stuff in this shop where we have poster signings and serve drinks and apps. Typically we have some type of a promotion going where you can sign up to win something pretty cool. Last summer we gave away a carbon fiber mountain bike. This winter we gave away a full ski / snowboard setup. —Adventure Guide

2 0 1 8 G R A N D T E TO N & YE L LO W S TO N E A D V E N T U R E G U I D E


Wild America Nature thrives in the

Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem


By Bert Raynes

Bob Woodall

n all too many places on earth, man has altered his pre-existing habitat so drastically that many animal and plant species have vanished. Extirpated, gone forever. Overall, worldwide, the scene and scenario for wildlife verges on the tragic—innumerable species disappearing each year, each day, far above previous rates of extinction in prehistoric times. Deforestation, desertization, single-crop farming practices, overfishing, human overpopulation, and pollution are responsible. Some surviving species were forced to move elsewhere, if they could, or to modify their behavior to exist—or coexist—within the confines or interstices of their new situation. Come to that, man increasingly is forced to do the same. Yet our understanding of and compassion for wildlife’s welfare appear to be declining at an accelerating rate. Thankfully, in a few places on the planet, for reasons of enlightened thought and concern, or more likely, a disinterest in them or their habitat, wildlife yet flourish in a relatively natural state. A few places only, despite an increasing body of knowledge which points to the need for there to be very large areas set aside for many animals even to have a chance to exist in something like their pre-homoerectus situations. This is one of those places. When you visit large parks like Yellowstone and Grand Teton National parks, yet buffered from urbanization by surrounding national forests and all together making up the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, take every opportunity to absorb all the scenery you can lay your eyes on: endless vistas and small scenes, bear and vole and squirrel and bison; vast expanses not altered by man; wild animals going about their lives largely as they have been doing for thousands of years, behaving in response to instincts which evolved over millions of years (modified to various extents by the presence of postindustrial man during the last two centuries). Preserving what you see hasn’t been easy. By 1872, when America created Yellowstone as the world’s first national park, much of the continental eastern United States had been altered, or defiled. Forests had been denuded, soil erosion in the plains was deliberate and would become deadly, animal and fish species were or would shortly be decimated. A sorry record, which extends into today, and not compensated for by a slow-growing awareness of the absolute need for conservation and protection. Look ye while ye may at the wonders of Greater Yellowstone and reflect that it could be lost, as it is always under at-

return is to be celebrated. The wolf belongs in Yellowstone, along with grizzly and black bears, the largest herds of elk in North America, bighorn sheep, and over 60 other mammal species. It’s now recognized that biodiversity requires large areas in which to behave normally: even large parks like Yellowstone aren’t guarantees forwildlife, or for those who wish to observe wildlife literally wild...especially when these parks are crocheted with roadways and trails. The effects of a road, a visitors’ center, or campgrounds are manifold. Foot or horse trails are major dislocations. Isolation is, except for the exceptionally hardy, lost. Ah, but what is left is splendid; you can wait until you get home to join the conservation movement. Right now, fill your eyes and mind with the shining mountains, the snow-capped peaks, the blue skies, the play of light and distance in the forests, the animals braving the season. Wild animals in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem require luck, skill, and good instincts and genes. So, look ye while ye may. And you still can, in the GYE, see various animals responding primarily to long-held instinctual behavior and relatively little to modern man and his many implements. It’s important and rewarding to observe them.

Fill your eyes and mind with the shining mountains, the snow-capped peaks, the blue skies, the play of light and distance in the forests, the animals braving the season. tack, always coveted for other uses. You might want to ally yourself with some of the organizations that devote their energies to retaining or reclaiming some of the continent’s natural resources and treasures. While it’s not possible to return even the Yellowstone region to prehistoric splendor, there have been steps taken in that direction. The wolf was absent for most of the 20th century, man having eliminated and subsequently reintroduced the region’s top predator. Its


G R A N D T E TO N & YE L LO W S TO N E A D V E N T U R E G U I D E 2 0 1 8

Bert Raynes writes a weekly column in the Jackson Hole News & Guide. He has penned five publications covering the birds and animals of Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks. His latest book, Winter Wings, joins Valley So Sweet and Curmudgeon Chronicles in receiving well-deserved, wide acclaim.

American Bison are seen by the thousands in Yellowstone’s Lamar River Valley, often called America’s Serengeti.

The park bear tops many a Yellowstone visitor’s must-see list. Lovable cartoon characters Yogi and Boo Boo got into trouble lifting “pick-a-nick baskets” from tourists, but things are quite different when bears and humans mix for real. In Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, bears can show up most anywhere, but it’s crucial to view them from a distance. The parks enforce strict guidelines and rules for viewing wildlife, especially grizzlies. When it comes to bear safety, park rangers don’t cut violators much slack. Read the information in the parks’ newspaper that is given out at all entrance stations and visitor centers. “Bear jams” along the highway can be spectacles in themselves, and viewing from a vehicle can ensure a safe encounter—for bears and for park visitors. When heading out for a hike in bear country, things are not so easily controlled. Safe travel begins before visitors hit the trail. Bear attacks are rare, and visitors’ safety cannot be guaranteed. There are a number of things that help reduce the risks. First, check with the nearest backcountry office or visitor center for current bear activity or incidents. Second, always carry bear spray on the trail. Bear spray canisters run $30 to $55 and are available at many retail outlets in the greater Yellowstone region. Make sure to familiarize yourself with their proper usage before hitting the trail. Canisters are also now available for rent on a daily or longer basis at the Bear Aware kiosk at Canyon Village in Yellowstone. Bears are one of Yellowstone and Teton parks’ great treasures; their survival, though, requires that humans act responsibly. After all, it is their home we’re visiting. For more information visit

Isaac Spotts – Instagram: @ isaacspicz

Safety in Bear Country

Grizzly bears should be viewed from a distance.

2 0 1 8 G R A N D T E TO N & YE L LO W S TO N E A D V E N T U R E G U I D E


Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem Behold the richest habitat in the lower 48

The Teton Mountain Range under a light dusting of fall snow. The end of September usually reveals the best colors in aspens and cottonwoods. Soil moisture content and the progression of cooler temperatures can contribute to the quality of the fall foliage season.

Photography by Taylor Phillips & Josh Metten, EcoTour Adventures

E ncompassing nearly 35,000 square miles, the

magnificent Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE)

is one of the largest nearly intact temperate-zone

ecosystems on earth. Yellowstone and Grand

Teton national parks are at the core of this vast and

diverse landscape.

Punctuated by the Grand Teton, which soars 7,000 feet above the Jackson Hole valley floor, the GYE harbors the largest collection of hydrothermal features on earth, including about half the world’s active geysers. It sprawls across three states and is home to two national parks, portions of five national forests, three national wildlife refuges, and other public, tribal, and private lands. This habitat is a vital sanctuary for the greatest concentration of wildlife in the lower 48 states, among them the largest freeroaming bison herd in the United States, one of the largest elk herds in North America, and one of the few grizzly bear populations in the contiguous United States.


G R A N D T E TO N & YE L LO W S TO N E A D V E N T U R E G U I D E 2 0 1 8

The majority of elk tend to be calved the end of May and the start of June over a two-week period. They typically spend their first few days alone with their mother until they are able to travel with the rest of the herd in nursery groups.

This habitat is a vital sanctuary for

the largest concentration of wildlife

in the lower 48 states, within it the largest free-roaming,

wild bison herd in the United

States, one of the largest elk herds in North America, and one of the

few grizzly bear populations in the

contiguous United States.

That’s a lot to take in. It can be a little overwhelming for visitors with a limited amount of time. One way to maximize that time and enhance the experience is to hook up with a professional naturalist for a tour of the parks. “People are looking for knowledge,” said Taylor Phillips, owner of Eco Tour Adventures. “With such a rich amount of cultural and natural history, there is much to know of and share about this area.” The GYE’s natural history now includes growing political controversy as well. Because of issues surrounding wolf and grizzly bear management, forest-fire management, and political decision-making, “it is important that we provide both sides of the story and let people decide for themselves,” said Phillips. Taylor’s enthusiasm for knowledge is just one reason that wildlife/eco-tours have become a popular activity for folks looking to explore their national parks. “I want them to understand the uniqueness of this area,” he said.

Widely regarded as symbols of the wild, wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone National Park in 1995 after a 60-year absence. They are now found across the western U.S., a conservation success story. Pairs form in winter as breeding is occurring.

“Our main focus is to maximize our guests’ time in the parks,” he noted. “Grand Teton National Park is known for wildlife and stunning scenery, but it is so much more. We enjoy educating our guests on the region’s wildlife, history, and geology as we take them to the great

wildlife hotspots. “In Yellowstone we go to favorite thermal spots and do our best to keep away from the crush of crowds. We keep track of eruption schedules, so no waiting around,” Phillips pointed out. Continued page 24

2 0 1 8 G R A N D T E TO N & YE L LO W S TO N E A D V E N T U R E G U I D E


Photos Josh Metten & Taylor Phillips Continued from page 23

“We want to connect our guests to these incredible national parks, the larger ecosystem, and the natural world in general. Our programs can be life changing. We love to serve up the best spots for viewing wildlife and the stunning landscape that our guides know and cherish.” Half- and full-day tours include transportation from the guest’s lodging. Half-day trips include snacks and beverages. Full-day trips include lunches, served either in the field or an indoor lodge. If a guest wants to set up a tripod and wait for the perfect picture, Phillips suggests booking a private photo tour with his company. ` — Adventure Guide Top: Pronghorns, the fastest land mammals in North America, typically produce twins during the middle of June. The fawns are relatively scentless and partially rely on the females to defend their bedding locations from coyotes, one of the fawns’ top predators.

Left: Bison are members of the Bovidae family. In this family all males have at least two horns that are bony protrusions covered in a protein-rich keratin sheath. Female bison also grow horns, although smaller than those of males. These horns continue to grow and are not shed.

Above: One of three canine species that inhabit the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, Red Fox typically hunt small rodents, aided by their acute sense of hearing.


G R A N D T E TO N & YE L LO W S TO N E A D V E N T U R E G U I D E 2 0 1 8

Photographing the Wild Splender

Isaac Spotts – Instagram:@isaacspicz

Tips from the pros on where and when to make exceptional pictures

With so many photo options available it helps to have a few guidelines and ideas from those who are out there shooting away. The Adventure Guide approached the crew down at Wyoming Camera Outfitters. Travis Lucas, Zeb Hermanson, and Isaac Spotts offered up some helpful tips and advice for all photographers, not just for those here on vacation.

creative, any time of day can be good. How long does morning light stay good? Travis: There is a gradient to that question, alpenglow on the peaks is just going to last a few minutes. But you’re going to have good

Above: The bull moose, one of the GYE’s most majestic animals, frequents meadows and willow bottom lands.

Below: While an afternoon thunderstorm with lightning strikes on the valley floor makes for spectacular photographs, caution should be exercised to stay safe.

Zeb Hermanson

What’s the best time of day to be out shooting? Zeb: Rule of thumb is known as the “golden hour,” right before sunrise to maybe 45-minutes after. You’ll get a nice glow that really highlights foliage, the soft light that makes everything very esthetically pleasing and then also at sunset. What about the rest of the day? Zeb: But you can always find something beautiful if you’re creative. Get in the forest, get out of the harsh midday light. The afternoon can be beautiful, very dramatic with clouds rolling in over the Tetons, a storm with rain cascading down and lightning. If you are

2 0 1 8 G R A N D T E TO N & YE L LO W S TO N E A D V E N T U R E G U I D E


mous Moulton Barns shots—and they’re beautiful—but there are a hundred million other photos just like it. It is hard to get creative but you can do it. Zack: Venture a little out of the park; there are some beautiful views up there.

soft photographic light that creates long contrastey shadows probably till 9 to even 10.

What about nighttime photography? Zeb: The astrophotography out here is probably some of the best in the world due to the lack of light pollution. The Milky Way is completely visible all summer, so you can line it up with the Tetons or the old barns. Nighttime is very peaceful, you got a lot of solitude. Camera settings are pretty important. Generally you’re going to want a camera with high ISO capabilities and a fast-wide angle. What about fields of wildflowers? Zeb: They are seasonally dependent. They start to show up in the valley in June, depending on snowpack and rainfall. They then move up in elevation where you can find them through August. How about wildlife photography? Isaac: Wildlife photography? It’s all about patience. What about stopping along the highway to take a photo of an animal? Zeb: You are not going to want jam-up traffic, no sudden breaking! Use your blinkers, pull off the road, move slowly in a predictable fashion. Stay aware of your surroundings and realize there are other people who are trying to go places and do things as well.

Isaac Spotts – Instagram:@isaacspicz

What about storm photography? Isaac: It is just always cool. When you go out you get something unusual, really makes for spectacular photos. If it is a bluebird day, anybody can get that shot, but nobody is going to have the same shot of the lightning strike hitting the bottom of the meadows. A lot of times the clouds will be high enough that you can still see the peaks, still get the dramatic clouds and lightning—it’s a lot of fun. Zeb: Make sure you are being safe; it is easy to get caught up in the moment. Have an exit strategy, stay close to your vehicle. Have some rain protection for your camera, but storm photography is just amazing.

get a hundred yards off that main highway, there is a lot of peace and tranquility and you are going to find a little refuge from the crowds. What’s the protocol at a crowded overlook? Zeb: There can be a lot of competition to get the shot. Be patient, let someone else go if

You are out here to enjoy the summer, don’t be in a hurry. Try to enjoy the moments. Even if you do get a little jammed up, take a deep breath and take it all in.

they are in front of you. Try to get a little creative and work in a different angle. Be respectful of people who were there first. Any favorite spots? Isaac: For landscapes it is really hard to get something different. Sure, you can get the fa-

What about bears? I want to get a closeup shot. Zeb: Grizzly bears can run at 35-mph, you don’t want to agitate them. You do want to have a really large telephoto if you want to get close up. Move slowly and predictably, no sudden movements—you don’t want to spook a mom with cubs; they are unbelievably powerful animals. It is never good to approach a grizzly bear. Once, I witnessed a bear that was trying to move across the highway. A group of people ended up boxing it in. Everybody got bear love and camera happy. The animal got spooked, darted across the traffic and almost got hit because the highway traffic didn’t see the bear moving. Give ‘em room. What can I do to get away from the traffic? Zeb: Get a little creative, slow down. Pull off the highway, get out and look around. If you


Travis Lucas

How close can I get to animals? Zeb: The rule for large animals in the parks is 25 yards. Isaac: For bison I would stay farther than that; they seem to be the most likely to approach people and get feisty.

G R A N D T E TO N & YE L LO W S TO N E A D V E N T U R E G U I D E 2 0 1 8

Any advice to photographers for capturing their vacation moments? Isaac: Slow things down. Taking thousands of photos is fine, but to me the most intimate and personal shots are when you wait for little moments. You are out here to enjoy the summer, don’t be in a hurry. Try to enjoy the moments. Even if you do get a little jammed up, take a deep breath and take it all in. One photo tip? Zeb: Be ready. When you are packing up for the day, look at your camera setting, maybe even have it in full auto. It is good to also be ready mentally; it’s nice to have an idea what you want to shoot for the day. But there are so many beautiful opportunities if you are present and ready for them. A lot of times when I go out, I try not to have a plan but have an open mind and be ready when the moment presents itself. Travis: While driving to your shooting destination, always travel with your longest telephoto lens on your camera. Wildlife experiences can happen in the blink of an eye. Zeb: Always have an extra memory card. We call it a “Unicorn Card” In case that unicorn comes out of the woods, you’ll have a spare card to capture the moment. Should I shoot with a tripod? Travis: It adds more creative expression. You’re allowed to manipulate your depth of field and your shutter speed so you can have a long exposure that’s going to allow you to capture cloud or water movement. The intangible here is the fact that a tripod slows you down; it makes you think more photographically. If you take time to break out the tripod, composition is going to be in the forefront of

Travis Lucas your mind and you are going to be left with a better result. What can you tell me about Drones? Where can I fly them? Zeb: Drones are fun. You got a very portable system that lets you get unique angles,

sprawling panoramas—let’s you get some unique perspective. Some come with pre-programed flight paths, make it easy to get up and flying. Drones are not allowed in the national parks or designated wilderness areas. They are permitted in the national forest. — Adventure Guide

Top left: The grizzy bear, a formidable mammal, must be treated with extreme respect and photographed from a distance with a long telephoto lens.

Above: The lack of light pollution in the skies over the GYE provides the astro-photographer with spectacular opportunities and sometimes spectacular results.

Below: The dramatic light on stormy days might reward the photographer with stunning images.

2 0 1 8 G R A N D T E TO N & YE L LO W S TO N E A D V E N T U R E G U I D E


Don’t Feed the Bears or the Chipmunks Yes, there is an etiquette for photographers out in the great outdoors

The abundant wildlife and stunning scenery of the GYE are magnets for people from around the world, drawing visitors to select places, at times overcrowding Cute shot, but it required patience and the undisturbed photographer. the iconic spots and posing challenges for the region’s animal population. Many of the GYE’s visitors, beguiled by the scenery and its inhabiHere are a few points to consider while out in the field. tants, are looking for great photos to hang on their walls or post to their When it comes to wildlife, remember: You are a spectator—not a social media pages. Today’s camera technology and gear can put stunparticipant, so be comfortable as a witness of animals. Jumping out of ning photographs easily within reach of both amateurs and professiona vehicle and acting like a paparazzi is not appreciated by anyone—or als. Even smartphones are now capable of taking memorable photos. the wildlife. Careless actions by a few can cut off opportunities for all, But it’s not a free-for-all out here in the wilds. Most professional phoespecially in our national parks. You should be trying to document tographers have guidelines about how to conduct themselves in wildlife behavior, not creating a situation. crowded locations; many visitors, however, don’t understand how to Strive to be that fly on the wall. Use the appropriate lenses to share the space. photograph wild animals. If an animal appears stressed, move back and use a longer lens. NEVER approach wildlife to get a closer shot. It is dangerous and, quite often, illegal as well. Park rangers will cite violators.

Isaac Spotts – Instagram:@isaacspicz


hile traveling across the Atlas Mountains of Morocco a number of years ago, I inquired of our guide about its wildlife. “Oh, we don’t really have any,” he said. As beautiful and romantic as it was there, the scenery offered scant evidence of fauna. Not so in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

Popular photo overlooks can become crowded, so it is important to be polite.


G R A N D T E TO N & YE L LO W S TO N E A D V E N T U R E G U I D E 2 0 1 8

Acquaint yourself with the fragility of this ecosystem. You are in a natural place, so treat it with respect. Stay on trails that are intended to lessen visitor impact. Be courteous to other photographers and non-photographers. They have as much right to be there as you do. Give them some space. Respect photographers who have arrived before you; stay out of their way and don’t walk into their composition. Very often photographers are using wide-angle lenses. Don’t assume that you will not be in someone’s frame. Ask, and if you are, move a little bit and don’t shadow or horn in on their photo. Many photographers are motivated to photograph in part to experience peace and solitude. Talking to them or disrupting their efforts could be affecting their creative process and diminishing their outdoor experience. To help maintain solitude in both wild and not-so wild natural places, avoid yelling or loud conversation. Finally, remember that you are probably on public land. It’s likely to be shared by others. Be aware of other photographers and other people and what they are doing—don’t intrude on their scene. Your photo is no more important than the other person’s. — Bob Woodall

Bob Woodall

When it comes to wildlife, remember: You are a spectator—not a participant, so be comfortable as a witness of animals. Careless actions by a few can cut off opportunities for all, especially in our national parks.


圀礀漀洀椀渀最ᤠ猀 䰀愀爀最攀猀琀 䌀愀洀攀爀愀 匀琀漀爀攀


圀礀漀洀椀渀最 䌀愀洀攀爀愀 伀甀琀昀椀琀琀攀爀猀 䤀渀琀攀爀渀攀琀 倀爀椀挀攀 ⴀ 倀爀漀 䄀搀瘀椀挀攀 ⴀ 䔀瘀攀爀礀搀愀礀

䤀渀 猀琀漀挀欀 昀漀爀 䌀愀渀漀渀 ☀ 一椀欀漀渀


㘀 ⸀ 匀漀甀琀栀 䌀愀挀栀攀 匀琀爀攀攀琀 䨀愀挀欀猀漀渀Ⰰ 圀夀 ㌀ 㜀ⴀ㜀㌀㌀ⴀ㌀㠀㌀㄀

I gnoring the call of Jackson Hole’s By Mike Calabrese

landscape is darn near impossible. Occasionally, though, recreationists have to turn things outside in. Those

WYOMING 83001 yearning for a more urban fix in these cool digs will find plenty to do. Here’s the inside scoop:

Bob Woodall (arches, playhouse) Wade McKoy (scenic)


Jackson Town Square Dedicated in 1934, this place is pretty hip for a square. The charming park, bounded by wood fences, is home to iconic elk antler arches and Wyoming’s famous bucking bronc and rider. You’ll be hard pressed to pass up a photo op underneath those arches. The park, its shade trees, lawn, and benches all sit sidesaddle to the town stagecoach stop, the nightly shootout, and weekly summer farmers’ markets. Jackson elected one of the nation’s first all-women town councils back in 1920. Fitting, then, that nearly 500 of the 1,000 participants of Jackson’s Women’s March gathered here in January last year. Jackson Hole Museum Another valley treasure chest worth exploring—or musing in. Ken Burns himself took advantage of its trove for his epic, “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea.” The valley’s bucolic ranchlands, charming town, and village areas belie the often brutal demands Mother Nature pressed

on Jackson Hole’s earliest Native Americans, settlers, and visitors. The museum offers free town walking tours that depart from the Town Square. (See, we told you it was hip!) A glance at the museum’s online interactive historical atlas of Jackson Hole reveals notable historical sites of dude ranching, homesteading, the National Elk Refuge, archaeology. Books and photos available for the more traditionally curious. Online at Stagecoach ride There’s a stage leaving town—well, in this case, the Town Square, and everyone wants to be on it. A true-to-life, colorfully restored conveyance, complete with working cowpoke driver, this rig gives free rein to everyone’s enthusiasm for the Old West. Hauled by horses that know their way around the town square, passengers get a feel for Old West travel—minus the dust, dirt, and duration of overland travel more notable for its challenges than comfort. Drop by the Stage Stop

Above: Each of the Town Square’s four elk-antler arches frame an Old West view. Top left: Just a block from the Town Square, The Ballad of Cat Ballou takes the stage six nights a week at The Jackson Hole Playhouse. Bottom left: A short distance from town, hikers in Upper Game Creek can enjoy an alpine view in relative solitude.

2 0 1 8 G R A N D T E TO N & YE L LO W S TO N E A D V E N T U R E G U I D E


Above: The Greater Snow King trail system offers miles of singletrack for bikers and hikers.

Wade McKoy photos

Right: Jackson’s Old West Days and Fourth of July parades are smalltown classics. The Independence Day celebration includes a rodeo, foot and bike races, music, and, of course, evening fireworks.

riDe tHe StAGecoAcH, A true-to life, colorfully reStoreD conveyAnce, complete WitH WorkinG coWpoke Driver. HAuleD by HorSeS tHAt knoW tHeir WAy ArounD tHe toWn SquAre, pASSenGerS Get A feel for olD WeSt trAvel—minuS tHe DuSt, Dirt, AnD DurA– tion of overlAnD trAvel more notAble for itS cHAllenGeS tHAn comfort. at Jackson’s main street intersection for details about rides. No need to ride shotgun—the locals are pretty friendly. Shootout If there’s strength in numbers, the Jackson Hole Shootout remains pretty much unassailable. As many as 4 million folks have witnessed this piece of street theatre over its 60-year run. Don’t plan on tying up your horse next to the gunfight, though. That parcel is already claimed by the Town Square Stage Coach. Settle yourself and your compadres downtown before the first shots are fired at 6:15. Big attitude by the bad guys, sterling character by the good ones, and flashy costuming from all. Plenty of noise as the villains are laid to rest after being given fair warning. Evenings, except Sundays, so the outlaws can reflect on their evil ways. Teton County/Jackson Recreation Center Open all year, this indoor refuge, located two blocks from the Jackson Town Square, is home to a 25-yard lap pool, a therapy pool, a splash pool, a leisure pool, a water slide, and a hot tub. Buckets of equipment can be rented for a field full of recreation (softball and flag football equipment, horseshoes, volleyball, croquet, Bocce ball, broomball), even an onsite birthday-party facility. Online at or call 307-739-9025. People’s Market It’s what the people want: food that’s good, clean, and fair. Add ‘fun’ to that and the People’s Market is off and running. Summer draws 4,000-5,000 folks to these festive gatherings, held Wednesday evenings from 4-7 at the base of Snow King, the Town Hill. Yep, it’s about food here, and also about food producers, music, micro brews, the nearby park and climbing wall, and a market that’s family friendly. June 6 through Sept. 19, 4-7. More than 50 vendors, local and regional, source food for the People’s Market. Bring your own glass to help support the market’s zero-waste pilot program. But leave Fido home! Jackson Hole Live The valley’s short summer season demands optimal adventures in the landscape and culture scape. Jackson Hole Live provides both. Four gatherings, loaded with fun, food, and top-shelf music acts, unfold at the foot of Snow King Resort, home of Jackson’s revered town ski area. A kid zone, complete with hula-hoop instruction, face painting, strider bike zone, and a mountain’s worth of terra firma guarantee quality family time, too. An array of food from the valley’s rich menu of eateries will fuel happy concertgoers. Events begin at 5:30. Jackson Hole Children’s Museum Through the eyes of a child…. and those eyes will be wide open at this center of wonder. Perhaps the valley’s most unique attraction for kids, there’s nothing childish about the brilliance behind the museum’s summer camp offerings and the facility’s engaging exhibits. Continued next page



All natural ice cream (Gluten-free flavors available). Non-dairy sorbet, huckleberry shakes, smoothies, sundaes, shakes, espresso drinks, ice cream cakes. We make our own waffle cones! Locally owned and operated. Since 1993, southeast corner of the Jackson Town Square.

Cozy up at Pinky G’ s Pizzeria! The local favorite. Located ½ block off Town Square. Televised on Guy Fieri’ s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Voted Best Pizza in Jackson Hole. Try the menu favorite, The Abe Froman, with spiced sausage, mozzarella, and basil. With 20 beers to choose from, full bar & live music, we are sure to keep you entertained. Jackson’ s only place OPEN LATE! 50 W. Broadway | Jackson 307.734.PINK (7465)

90 E. Broadway | Jackson 307.739.1880

The widest selection of toys in the area especially Lego, Melissa & Doug, and plush animals. 10 E. Broadway South Side of Jackson Town Square Located Inside of Lee's Tees 307-200-6066

Thirsty after an exhilarating day in beautiful Jackson Hole? Stop by Westside Wine & Spirits in the Aspens on Teton Village Road for a savory wine, scrumptious beer, or tempting spirit. Our knowledgable staff is here everyday from 10 am-9 pm. At the Aspens | Teton Village Road 307.733.5038

2 0 1 8 G R A N D T E TO N & YE L LO W S TO N E A D V E N T U R E G U I D E


Above: This aerial view of Jackson Hole reveals Snow King, Jackson, the National Elk Refuge, Spring Gulch, Teton Village, the Tetons, and beyond.

Continued from page 33 Open year-round, its summer programs transport kids into the worlds of water, land, and air. A sampling of previous week-long programs proves it: Flight Camp, Water Power, Wild Art and Human Nature, and Dwellings, Dens, and Design. A first-rate staff oversees the kids at the museum and on adventures into the valley’s wonders. Weekly camp adventures available. For more info go to Farmers’ Market Jackson Hole’s growing season may be limited, but not its willingness to celebrate the joy of pure, real food. Weekly farmers’ markets, held on that hip square in the center of town, draw as many locals as visitors. More than 40 local venders ply their prized farm-fresh products and homemade baked delights beneath the iconic elk antler arches as live music and the Chef of the Week help feed the festive feeling of shoppers. This homegrown enterprise has raised over $200,000 for local non-profits since it began 16 years ago. Held 8-noon each Saturday beginning


G R A N D T E TO N & YE L LO W S TO N E A D V E N T U R E G U I D E 2 0 1 8

Facing page: Jackson’s rural atmosphere is highlighted come July, when haying season signals summer’s waning days.

July 4, the season runs through the third Saturday in September. Hole Bowl An entertainment option right up everyone’s alley—The Hole Bowl. Ten lanes, 10 big-screen TVs, food and drink to please anyone, even private lanes for parties! A boutique bowling experience with none of the pretense. Here it’s all about the fun. Jackson’s weather can turn on a dime but those outdoor adventures needn’t be rained or snowed out. Cool off, warm up, hit your stride on these firstclass alleys, or try your hand at darts, pool, or in the video arcade. Parents can join the kids on lanes or settle into a couch while the brood has a blast. Tons of free parking right outside the door. Jackson Hole Playhouse The Old West has come and gone, but more than enough of it is still showcased in this vintage theatre, restaurant, and saloon just a block off the Jackson town square. At home in one of Jackson’s oldest structures, this locally owned enterprise serves up bushels of fun, food, and live music for the entire family. The only thing vintage

Bob Woodall (top) ; Wade McKoy (left, facing page)

Left: The Farmer’s Market on the Jackson Town Square has come to define Saturdays for visitors and locals alike.

about this year’s musical, “The Ballad of Cat Ballou,” is the costuming. The show boasts a stage full of modern talent and production quality. The playhouse’s Saddle Rock Saloon warms up patrons with song, food, and exuberance, and enough energy to light up anyone’s day. Center for the Arts Nothing fusty about this

edifice, home to Jackson’s vibrant cultural community. Its campus, replete with a first-tier performance auditorium, classrooms opening into the worlds of dance, music, theatre, visual and literary arts, and inspiring spaces for celebrations of all types, sets the bar for regional cultural centers. A block off the Jackson town square, the center nourishes cultural appetites

year-round, both indoors and outdoors. Something’s always happening here. Like that box of chocolates, you never know what you’ll get. Take a peak by opening the lid online at Mike Calabrese is a musician, writer, and editor living in Wilson, Wyoming. This is his 31st year as copy editor for Focus Productions.

2 0 1 8 G R A N D T E TO N & YE L LO W S TO N E A D V E N T U R E G U I D E


cody WYOMING 82414 By Mike Calabrese


ody, Wyoming, has a lot to live up to. Barely an hour from the nation’s foremost national park, the town and its namesake, the nearly mythic Colonel William F. (Buffalo Bill) Cody, hold an undisputed place in the American West’s history.

dian Pass. Neither the area’s history nor the lay of the land can be ignored here. One byway, the Beartooth All-American Road, is not for the faint of heart. Its 10,947-foot crest has led some to call it “the most beautiful highway in America.” The vistas here are unequalled and worth their weight in gold – or camera equipment. And those are just for starters. Or “leavers,” if you can pull yourself away from the town itself. A stay in Cody is something like a dig for archaeologists, revealing layer upon layer of life’s insights and adventures. Anglers, bikers, river runners, hunters, hikers, horse enthusiasts—pretty much anyone drawn to the region’s impressive landscape—

Clockwise from above: Assuming the personas of Colonel William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody and other Western characters, performers take part in the nightly shootout in front of Buffalo Bill’s Irma Hotel. Pilot and Index peaks are landmarks along the Beartooth Scenic Byway, where motorists travel to an elevation of over 10,000 feet traversing one of the most scenic mountain passes in the U.S. The 37th Annual Plains Indian Museum Powwow takes place June 16-17, 2018, at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. On remote Shoshone Pass, a pack string drinks from the headwaters of the South Fork of the Shoshone River.

will all uncover its treasures. The North and South forks of the Shoshone River, their waters roiling and teeming with life, play host to adventurers of all ages and abilities. On the river in kayaks or rafts, or casting a line from a bank or into a pool of cutthroat, water recre-

Bob Woodall photos

A visit to this living museum of the Old and New West leaves little doubt about the town’s niche among mountain-country treasures. Cody lies at the hub of several breathtaking roadways and affords visitors journeys into scenery unsurpassed anywhere. For starters: The Buffalo Bill Cody Scenic Byway courses alongside the Shoshone River’s north fork, through the Wapiti (a Native American word for elk) Valley and leads to Yellowstone National Park. Another, The Chief Joseph Scenic Highway, besides recalling one of the most heartbreaking events in U.S. history, winds through the Clark’s Fork region, past Sunlight Basin and to the top of Dead In-

ationists can put their energies to work sunup to sundown. Families looking for a quick hike into Buffalo Bill’s beloved country can trek pretty much right from the town environs on the Paul Stock Nature Trail. The pathway parallels the Shoshone River and reveals views of Heart, Rattlesnake, Cedar, and Carter mountains. Cameras and kids will love this jaunt. Bikers, too, find quick easy access into trails, again right from town. Beck Lake Park, Red Lakes, and the Paul Stock Nature Trail make crafting a colorful family outing a snap. The West and horses, both symbols of the region’s landscape, go hand in hand and still tug at travelers to Cody country. Hundreds of miles of trails, full- or half-day rides, or fullblown multi-day pack trips await those chomping at the bit to sit ahorse. As with any healthy community, Cody is proud of its cultural life. But Cody’s palette of offerings has the added benefit of geography and history. The vibrant Buffalo Bill Center of the West, a constantly growing museum, showcases and celebrates the rich, epochal American West. Boasting five museums under one roof, the BBCW is also home to the prized Cody Firearms Museum. No fewer than 7,000 classic and vintage arms are housed here. The center’s other four wings celebrate the art, legend, and humanity that made up the Old West. Beyond the museum’s walls, the town’s complex of iconic edifices helps preserve Cody’s connection to one of America’s most

Binge Watch

Nature For A Change.

tHe nortH AnD SoutH forkS of tHe SHoSHone river, tHeir WAterS roilinG AnD teeminG WitH life, plAy HoSt to ADventurerS of All AGeS. prized eras, the settling of the West. Buffalo Bill’s Irma Hotel, nearby historic Old Town, Tecumseh’s Old West Village, the Dug Up Cody Museum, to name just a few, should easily keep kids and adults alike pondering and celebrating history’s eye into the past. Music, too, is permanently etched into Cody’s living fabric. From cowboy music reviews to chuck wagon dinners with live music, the town bubbles with aural and visual delights. Cody’s Rendezvous Royale, one of the town’s signature events, is slated for September 17-22 this year, a period Westerners consider the most beautiful time of the year. The event draws artists, photographers, sculptors and a festive crowd downtown offsite to sample great food, fashion, and music. And, finally, there’s the Cody Nite Rodeo, with all its spectacle, drama, and just plain old family fun. Cody hails as the Rodeo Capitol of the World. Its season, now out of the chute for its 80th year, runs nightly from June 1 through August 31. The historic Cody Stampede, highlighting the nation’s July 4th holiday, will notch number 90 this year and run July 1-4. Sometimes, though, the simple things in life yield the greatest treasures. In a move the town’s founders would be proud of, the chamber of commerce has created an audio tour narrated by hometown boy and former U.S. or call 1-800-393-CODY

Plan your trip today at

2 0 1 8 G R A N D T E TO N & YE L LO W S TO N E A D V E N T U R E G U I D E


The Calf Scramble at the Cody Nite Rodeo gives kids an opportunity to participate in the rodeo. Fancy spurs and high boots befit an actor at the nightly shootout in front of the Irma Hotel.

Senator Alan Simpson. An audio clip and a PDF map, both downloadable from, afford visitors with their feet on the ground a relaxing view into Cody’s downtown history. Simpson’s charming, heartfelt narration is the perfect companion for a rewarding walking tour into Cody’s legacy and its landmarks—in town and on the horizons. The chamber’s site hosts a colorful compendium of photos, information, and opportunities for the visitor to Cody country. Just right for families planning the trip of a lifetime into the living West – old and new.

Bob Woodall photos

The Buffalo Bill Center of the West’s Whitney Western Art Museum provokes quiet contemplation for art lovers of all ages.

Continued from page 37


G R A N D T E TO N & YE L LO W S TO N E A D V E N T U R E G U I D E 2 0 1 8

Inspired engineering among the crags

Bob Woodall


Photo courtesy BBDVC


n the heart of Colonel William F. Cody’s old haunt, in fact right on some of Cody’s own land, one piece of Wyoming reflects nature and man at work together, albeit reluctantly. The Buffalo Bill Dam, fashioned from almost 83,000 cubic yards of concrete over five years, sits on the bed of the Shoshone River, in a canyon carved by nature over millions of years. The massive project in the Shoshone Canyon required importing many immigrants and claimed the lives of seven men during its construction, no small cost when compared to the pittance (by today’s standards) of the project’s final bill: $929,658. At 325 feet high and 200 feet across, the impressive structure was the tallest of its kind back in its early days, when it was known as the Shoshone Dam. Upon its completion in 1910, water flowed from the dam, providing lifeblood to the region’s farmers, ranchers, and residents. More than 93,000 acres of land in the surrounding Bighorn Basin depend on the liquid gold stored behind the dam for irrigation. The addition of the structure’s Shoshone Power Plant in 1922 brought the dam to its full potential. In 1946 the dam was renamed in honor of Buffalo Bill, who early on recognized the value of the West and perhaps its most coveted element: water. A visionary, Cody realized that canals could never really supply enough water to efficiently nurture settlement and growth in the region. He gave up on his own plan for an extensive canal system and redirected his efforts and support to the dam’s construction. While still reliably fulfilling its original purpose, the dam today draws thousands of admirers and recreationists as well. Buffalo Bill State Park and the reservoir’s waters play host to anglers, boaters, campers, photographers, windsurfers,

At 325 feet high and 200 feet across, the impressive structure was the tallest of its kind back in its early days, when it was known as the Shoshone Dam.

hikers, cyclists, and those simply seeking a breathtaking place to comprehend the results of nature’s and man’s combined efforts. The visitor center is staffed and open from May to September, affording visitors jaw-dropping views of both the dam and the river. Best

of all, admission is free! On Great Dam Day, August 18, visitors will be permitted to hike down the “old dam road.” From 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., the center will allow access down the normally closed-off road that winds its way to the bottom of the canyon for an awesome view of the structure from below. A nonprofit enterprise, the Buffalo Bill Dam Visitor Center also offers travelers the chance to grab a cup of coffee while viewing exhibits, enjoying a movie in its theater, or even purchasing tickets to nearby Cody’s Nite Rodeo. The Buffalo Bill Dam, designated a National Civil Engineering Landmark, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. For more information, visit the website at: —Mike Calabrese

■ Located 6 miles west of Cody, Wyoming ■ Civil Engineering Landmark ■ Travel Information

■ Self-guided historical

audio tour

■ Fantastic views, exhibits,

Bookstore & Free Wi-Fi

2 0 1 8 G R A N D T E TO N & YE L LO W S TO N E A D V E N T U R E G U I D E



Rodeo Capital of the World

By Joy Ufford

Dust puffs underfoot as cow-

tory to see the star-spangled banner grasped in a rodeo queen’s hand as she gallops around the arena on her horse, both showing off for appreciative crowds. That’s what rodeo is all about, in a way – showing off. From snaky bulls to snorting broncs, born to buck and born to run; from a

girls and cowboys little to large, expectant crowds, and clowns shuffle their boots and silently clutch hats to chests.

The setting sun sends shafts of warm light through the evening air and bathes everyone – rider, roper, racer – in a golden glow and sharpens the silhouettes of waiting horses and swaggering bulls. It’s the most magical moment of the night, when the microphone crackles to life and the inspiring lyrics of our national anthem lift hearts around the arena as many sing along with the words that stir them deeply every time –“the land of the free and the home of the brave…” Rodeo is so thoroughly American now (despite roots in vaquero and ranching traditions of Mexico and old California) that it’s manda-

A real crowd pleaser, bronc riding demands the most of horse and rider. A fast paced event, barrel racing requires both a skilled rider and an agile horse. Calf roping demands precision skills atop a horse moving at full gallop.

Bob Woodall photos

Clockwise from above, both pages:

glittering rhinestone-studded belt here to some turquoise-fringed leather there. It’s about showing off in a good way, because there’s nothing wrong with living to kick higher, run faster, ride longer, rope quicker. For bull and bronc riders it’s about getting better scores, keeping a tighter handle on their

Cody is

RODEO! Cody, Wyoming

Rodeo hasn’t changed much over the years, except to get even better – better horses, meaner bulls, faster times, and more money. ride. For the bulls and broncs, it’s about putting on a show trying to launch cowboys into outer space. When the sparkling gals tear around on their stretched-out horses, burning turns around three barrels set in sand, speed and style command attention. For the more taciturn ropers, it’s the quick elegance of a rope sailing through the air to catch a steer or calf in a heartbeat or two. Man, woman, or animal, it’s a great way to be alive. There’s nothing like it. Rodeo hasn’t changed much over the years, except to get even better – better horses, meaner bulls, faster times, and more money. But one thing that never changes about rodeo is the contestants’ heartfelt desire to be good, even great, at something they love. The same can be said of their horses, whether buckin’ broncs or muscled mounts: that good feeling of doing a job well holds as true for the animals as it does for the men and women who ride them and for the rodeo clowns who risk life and limb to entertain the crowd. Cody has been called the “Rodeo Capital of the World,” and that isn’t stretching things. The Cody Nite Rodeo, launched in 1938, is the longest running and the only nightly rodeo in the world. For 80 years now, talented cowboys and girls have come from around the world to test their skills in Cody Stampede Park, vying for big cash and big buckles. And to have an exciting show every night from June 1 to Au-

gust 31, the rough stock has to buck. Nightly events include bareback and saddle broncs, calf and team roping, steer wrestling, breakaway roping, barrel racing and bull riding, as well as a calf scramble for the kids. The youngsters are also treated to trick-roping demonstrations, meeting bullfighters, getting their face painted by rodeo clowns and more. All grandstand seating is covered and affords great views of the arena. Then there’s the Buffalo Bill Cody Stampede, one of the country’s premier Fourth of July rodeo celebrations. It’s been playing host to the top cowboys and cowgirls for 99 years and is one of nine stops on the Million Dollar Gold Tour Series. Often called "Cowboy Christmas" by the contestants, it’s one of rodeo's crown jewels. For top cowboys and cowgirls, this is the place to win big purses and ride the best stock. The Stampede gets kicked off on June 30 at 8 p.m. with the Xtreme Bulls event, where 40 of the world’s top bull riders shoot for the title and its $15,000 purse. July 1, 2, and 3 rodeo performances are at 8 p.m. and the July 4th performance is at 5 p.m. Cody Nite Rodeo tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for kids 7-12. Cody Stampede tickets range from $20-$25. All can be reserved by calling 1-800-207-0744, or by going online at Joy Ufford lives in Bondurant, where she is a ranch hand and a writer for Pinedale’s Sublette Examiner.


GET TICKETS NOW AT: 1.800.207.0744


June | July | August

Every Nite!• 8pm Since 1938

2 0 1 8 G R A N D T E TO N & YE L LO W S TO N E A D V E N T U R E G U I D E




G R A N D T E TO N & YE L LO W S TO N E A D V E N T U R E G U I D E 2 0 1 8

Bob Woodall photos


Where the West is still wild

e can’t be the biggest with the most prize money, so we really try to be the most fun,” Brandon Wilson, co-owner of the Jackson Hole Rodeo said. “We really work hard to make it fun for the competitors, and that makes it a great fun experience for the folks watching it too.” For the Wilsons, making rodeo enjoyable runs in the family. In 1890, ancestor Sylvester Wilson brought the first group of settlers over Teton Pass to raise cattle in what is now Jackson Hole. One hundred twenty years and six generations later, the Wilson family continues maintaining and preserving Western heritage. This year JH Rodeo will pack the town arena with action three nights a week for most of the summer season. As with most rodeos, the evening’s events include saddle and bareback bronc riding, barrel racing, calf roping, breakaway and team roping, and the high-action favorite—bull riding. “We try to appeal to families, both those competing and those coming to watch,” Wilson noted. “We want to make it fun for everybody.” A huge hit with the crowd, naturally, is the “kids’ calf scramble,” something of a free-forall as a mob of youngsters in the arena chase after sheep, trying to nab the ribbon from the tail of a fleeing woolly bovine. “We use a sheep cuz it is a little easier on the kids,” said Wilson. To be scored, riders must stay in the saddle for a full “And we work really hard to keep ridereight seconds while the bronc explodes. friendly stock,” he pointed out. “With our philosophy and motto, ‘Growing Rodeo a Buck at a Time,’ we are geared toward growing the sport by giving participants the opportunity they haven’t had so they can learn how to ride. It allows guys to come here and get better.” Another educational opportunity at JH Rodeo is the VIP Behind the Chutes Experience. “This is something that very few other places offer,” said co-owner Phil Wilson. “We kind of give Steer wrestling requires skill and guts as a cowboy dives off his horse at full gallop. The season ends on September 8. There is no visitors a Rodeo-101.” Participants show up rodeo on June 23, or during the week of July an hour before the rodeo to meet the cowboys 22-28 when the arena and grounds are packed and cowgirls. They get to see the rigging used with excitement as the Teton County Fair fills and go in the back pens with the livestock. “It the week. lets them feel like they can understand it more Rodeo ticket start at $15. They are available – they are part of it – because they’re back on line at or 307-733-7927. there with the cowboys. We tell them why the This summer will also feature a special cowboys do what they do and where it develProfessional Bull Riders (PBR) event on July oped from.” 17. The Touring Pro Division is a part of the Rodeos begin at 8 p.m. on Wednesdays PBR Unleash the Beast Premier Series, one and Saturdays from Memorial Day weekend of the fastest growing spectator sports in the through Labor Day. An additional event is held country. on Fridays, from June 29 through August 31. — Adventure Guide

ZIPLINE AT THE SLEEPING GIANT Experience Wyoming’s rare air


ust three miles from the East Gate of Yellowstone National Park at the head of spectacular Wapiti Valley and 50 miles west of Cody, Wyoming, lies Sleeping Giant Ski Area. Rest assured, though, it’s wide-awake in summer, and providing an exciting new twist for park visitors: a zip line over some of the West’s most spectacular landscape. There may be debate about the zip line’s origins, but there’s no denying its rapidly growing appeal. Some attribute the zip line’s arrival on the

Flying high above the Shoshone River, dual ziplines introduce a competitive flair to the recreation.

Photos courtesy Sleeping Giant Zipline

by well-trained guides who work to ensure that the two-hour adventure is safe and exciting. The full tour runs $85 per person (13+), $65 (12 & under) with a multiple-ride discount of $37.50 available. A full tour family rate is $250

recreational vista to a biologist studying the canopy of Costa Rican rainforests. From there it evolved into eco-friendly tourism in that lush landscape. But zip-lining is now right at home thanks to Wyoming’s Sleeping Giant ski resort. Sleeping Giant Zipline’s promise of adventure is realized with a series of five “zips.” Covering more than 3,520 feet, the dual lines allow side-by-side whisking above breathtaking terrain at speeds that can reach up to 45 mph. The resort’s aerial course was built to blend in with the scenery and afford riders the opportunity to view the topography from a totally new perspective—from the mountains and the Shoshone National Forest. Following an orientation, enthusiasts clip onto Zip #1 for a 360-foot test zip over the North Fork of the Shoshone River. “Zippers” then ride the Big Horn Double chairlift to the top of the main zip-line course. The longest of the four lines is 930 feet, the final line ending atop a 45-foot tower near the main lodge. Adrenaline junkies can take the 35-foot free fall “Quick Drop” to the ground or descend the stairs to complete the adventure. The zip line is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., June 15 to September 15. The tour is led

(4-member minimum). A single ride on Zip #1 across the Shoshone River costs only $20 and is upgradeable. Reservations are not required but are highly recommended. More info at — Adventure Guide



JUNE 15 THRU SEPTEMBER 15 Located just minutes from the East Gate to Yellowstone National Park

zipline | 307–587–3125 348 North Fork Highway, Cody, WY

2 0 1 8 G R A N D T E TO N & YE L LO W S TO N E A D V E N T U R E G U I D E


Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

The Cirque Trail winds through the alpine meadows of Tensleep Bowl, The Cirque, and The Headwall.

The ski area famous for Corbet’s

Couloir and the Hobacks holds equal excitement for summer visitors. Teton Village bustles yearround with hotels, restaurants, activities galore, and easy access to Grand Teton National Park. It’s a great base camp during a summer visit to Jackson Hole. Travelers can bike the downhill mountain biking park, hike trails of alpine splendor, or step it up a notch on the new Via Ferrata. They can fly with a tandem paragliding pilot, ride a


horse, go to outdoor concerts, and enroll the kids in various programs.

Teton Village

The Village Commons, a stone amphitheater in the heart of Teton Village, offers shade and seating for those hot summer days, a kids’ playground, and a cooling pop-jet fountain. This gathering spot is also home to Concerts on the Commons, a live-music series featuring nationally renowned artists every Sunday at 5 p.m. during July and August. Bring a blanket, grab a seat in the natural amphitheater, or just keep dancing and enjoy the music with family and friends.

Aerial Tram

This is the ticket to the top of the Tetons! Ride the famous 100-passenger Jackson Hole

G R A N D T E TO N & YE L LO W S TO N E A D V E N T U R E G U I D E 2 0 1 8

Aerial Tram from Teton Village to Rendezvous Mountain’s 10,450-foot summit and straddle the Teton Range, daily, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. The tram whisks passengers a breathtaking 4,139 vertical feet for unbeatable 360-degree views of the Tetons, Snake River, and Grand Teton National Park. During the stunning journey, passengers glide over diverse alpine terrain and sometimes glimpse bears, moose, eagles, mule deer, and other valley wildlife.

Teewinot & Bridger Gondola

In addition to the Aerial Tram, Teewinot chairlift and the Bridger Gondola are open for daytime and evening lift service. Bridger Gondola operates daily from June 9 through September 9, with free evening service nightly from June 15 - September 9. These three op-

Wade McKoy photos; Hadley Hammer, Monica Purington (hikers) ; Chris Dennis (ropes course); Kids just happy

The Village Commons pop fountain — where the action is.

The aerial ropes course features over a dozen unique routes. erating lifts access a variety of hiking options and link dining stops at Corbet’s Cabin, OffPiste, and Piste restaurants.

Via Ferrata

Via Ferrata is Jackson Hole Mountain Resort’s newest outdoor adventure. This memorable experience takes visitors high above the valley floor, across suspended bridges and along granite walls, all with a knowledgeable guide. Perfect for families, groups, and individuals. Phase I of the Jackson Hole Ferrata was completed in the fall of 2016 on Ranger Ridge and in Casper Bowl, and is America’s first U.S. Forest Service approved Via Ferrata. It presents classic Teton terrain – steep and rugged – through guided ascents. Call 307-739-2779 for

reservations. See page 82 for feature article.

Grand Adventure Pass

The Grand Adventure Pass allows visitors and families all-day unlimited access to the Aerial Tram ride, the new Drop Tower and Aerial Ropes course, and the Bike Park. Children receive all that plus unlimited activity tickets good for the bungee trampoline and the climbing wall. The pass offers an economical way for visitors to explore the passel of activities and dining options in Teton Village.

The Tower

The Tower boasts a 60-foot drop that is sure to add some thrill to anyone’s day. Visitors can take three jumps from varying heights, ranging from 30 to 60 feet off the ground. The Tower is located adjacent to the Aerial Ropes Course.

Aerial Ropes Course

This is the opportunity to experience a thrilling elevated adventure in the forest. Great for kids and adults alike, the Aerial Ropes Course is a network of zip lines, balance beams, cargo nets and other challenges – all suspended 25 feet above the ground. The course offers a range of features with varying levels of difficulty to allow recreationists to stretch their limits—all while harnessed safely on belay.

Bungee Trampoline

You might be surprised by how high you can jump (24 feet, safely) or the tricks you achieve with this fun-packed summer activity. Kids and adults alike enthusiastically flock to the trampolines for all-around family fun.

Continued next page

2 0 1 8 G R A N D T E TO N & YE L LO W S TO N E A D V E N T U R E G U I D E


Climbing Wall

Go “on belay” with the climbing-wall attendant and scale the artificial rock positioned near the base of the Clock Tower. Activity tickets for the bungee trampoline and climbing wall are available at the Guest Service Center and JH Sports.

The Antique Car Auction in Teton Village.

every skill level, ranging from novice trails for the uninitiated to advanced trails and jump tracks for daredevils. Sail over tabletops, course around corners, and then catch the Teewinot lift for a five-minute ride back to the top. Join in the fun of Friday Night Bikes from 5 to 7 p.m., June 15 to August 31, complete with discounted lift tickets, two-for-one bike rentals, and happy-hour specials at the Tin Can Cantina. Register for the Chainless Bike Series, a unique twist on downhill riding – the shop will remove and reattach your chain for free. For mountain bike touring – no ticket required – ride seven miles of single-track and traverse the entire lower mountain, from Après Vous to the Hobacks. This route, rolling and winding along incredible ski terrain, was designed and built by year-round resort workers who really know this mountain. Expert cyclists might decide to climb the rocky dirt road to the summit of Rendezvous Mountain and ride the tram back down free of charge (downhill riding is prohibited above the top of the Gondola). Ask a resort employee for a trail map. Bring your own bike or rent one from JH Sports or Teton Village Sports, where you can also purchase lift tickets or inquire about bike lessons and bike-specific camps for children. The Mountain Bike Camp will expand a child’s horizons with video and photography instruction and fun activities. For pathway cruisers, check out the bike rentals at TVS or Nomad Sports.

Bike Rental-Teton Village/Jackson

An extensive pathways network connects Teton Village to Jackson 12 miles to the south. Road-bike rentals in Teton Village at Teton Village Sports allow visitors to enjoy the trafficfree system. If a one-way 12-mile bike ride sounds like your cup of tea, rent a bike at Teton Village Sports or Hoback Sports in town, return the bike to the other shop, and then ride the

Wade McKoy photos; Andrew Whiteford (biker); Amelia Hufsmith (climber)


The tram opens up a hiking experience unlike any other in the Jackson Hole area. Ascending 4,139 feet in just 9 minutes, the tram settles travelers at 10,450 feet amidst the high peaks of the Southern Tetons. From this lofty starting point hikers can explore the vast trail network connecting Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Bridger-Teton National Forest, and Grand Teton National Park. The Cirque Trail winds down through spectacular Tensleep Bowl, traverses Downhill mountain bikers love the banked turns in the bike park. The Cirque, and descends the Headwall, arriving at the ley while comfortably seated. Bridger Gondola top-station. There, the travBecause Jackson Hole Mountain Resort eler might linger at The Deck for a signature shares a boundary with Grand Teton National cocktail and a bite to eat or ride the Gondola Park (GTNP), its visitors are ideally placed to back to the Village. experience an incredible natural environment. Teewinot chairlift takes those out for a more A detailed trail-guide book and topographical modest stroll to the beautiful Valley Trail and map are musts for those planning to head into the Seven Bridges Trail. GTNP. All backcountry camping requires a perFor a fantastic hike from the base area, walk mit and park-approved bear-spray canister, uphill under the tramline to the Wildflower Trail. which can be obtained at park ranger stations Hardy hikers can link Teton Village to the top or visitor centers. of the Bridger Gondola, and the hardiest can even link it to the summit of the tram. For short Mountain Biking hikes, though, this trail works exceedingly well In its constant pursuit to expand recreational as an out-and-back. Several scenic-point opportunities, the resort went to work with benches allow the weary or wonderstruck to Gravity Logic to build the best mountain-bike take in the wildflower-strewn views of the valdestination in the Tetons. Options abound for

On the Via Ferrata hikers easily become climbers with the aid of ladder rungs made of steel.

2 0 1 8 G R A N D T E TO N & YE L LO W S TO N E A D V E N T U R E G U I D E


START Bus at either the beginning or the end of your trip. Rentals include a complimentary one-way bus pass. It’s up to you to do the shopping, recreating, and dining to complete the excursion. Inquire for more details at Hoback Sports or Teton Village Sports.

Tandem Paragliding

A 20-minute tandem flight with Jackson Hole Paragliding is one of the more memorable ways to descend from the mountain’s summit. Certified pilots who’ve logged hundreds of hours flying in the Tetons are well equipped to introduce first-timers to the unique experience of tandem paragliding. For more information or to make a reservation, call (307) 739-2626.

Disc Golf

Play 18 holes of Frisbee golf on the free course near the base of the resort. Bring your own discs or buy them at JH Sports.

Mountain Sports School

A variety of programs offered by the Mountain Sports School provide lots of options for families with kids. The Kids’ Ranch Day Camp, the Kids’ Adventure Guides, and the Mountain Bike Camp are some of the programs available this summer.

Alive @ Five

The entire family will enjoy these free weekly programs on the Village Commons, from 5 to 5:45 p.m. Tuesday through Friday,


June 26 to August 17. On Tuesdays, The Past Comes Alive@Five with the Jackson Hole Historical Society. Storytellers, mountain music, and folk artists share the best of the historic West. Step back in Jackson time, tap your foot to the Western beat, belly laugh with valley legends or take home an arrowhead created by a master flint knapper. On Wednesdays, view the Teton Raptor Center’s live hawks, falcons, eagles, and owls while learning about the unique adaptations that make raptors the unmatched hunters of the sky. View birds of prey both at arm’s length and flying free overhead. On Thursdays, join Wild Things of Wyoming for an interactive and engaging experience about the animals that make Wyoming their home. On Fridays, special programs are presented. Visit the website for more information.

On-Mountain Dining

Rendezvous Lodge at Bridger Gondola Summit – At the 9,095-foot summit of the Bridger Gondola, the Rendezvous Lodge welcomes its patrons through three unique offerings. Piste Mountain Bistro – Piste is a commonly used French word meaning “a marked path down a mountain for snow skiing and

G R A N D T E TO N & YE L LO W S TO N E A D V E N T U R E G U I D E 2 0 1 8

snowboarding.” For many, a journey along this type of mountain trail is a reward in its own right, but in the Rendezvous Lodge at the top of the Bridger Gondola, it takes on a new meaning. Open daily for dinner, 5-9 p.m; reservations recommended. The Deck @ Piste – The best view in Jackson Hole can be found at The Deck, and so can one of the best happy hours in the valley. Take a free Gondola ride up and enjoy Teton views while looking for wildlife below. Don’t miss the summer menu of appetizers and shared plates from the Al Fresco kitchen. Off Piste – Off-Piste Market is the newest addition to the Rendezvous Lodge. Pick up a snack for the backpack or sit down and take in mountain views over a hot slice of Sicilian pizza. Full espresso bar, gourmet food, beer, wine, and small essentials like sunscreen, batteries, and even phone-charging stations. Open 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Corbet’s Cabin – Ride the Jackson Hole Aerial Tram to the summit and enter Corbet’s Cabin at “The Top of the World” for a lasting vacation memory of sweet or savory waffles made on the spot. The Cabin also serves up hot drinks, refreshing cold beverages, beer, grab-n-go-items, and tram souvenirs. Relax and enjoy snacks on the outdoor deck while soaking up expansive valley views. — Adventure Guide

Top: The Aerial Tram gives riders a bird’s-eye view of the southern Tetons, including Corbet’s Couloir (where rock climbers dare). Left: The popular Concert on the Commons series draws music lovers to the free performances.

Wade McKoy photos

Facing page: The trail map for Jackson Hole Mountain Resort reveals the potential for exploration.

Snow King Mountain Resort

Snow King Mountain towers over Jackson and its lush setting.

Snow King Ski Area, one of North America’s oldest,

opened in 1939. But Jackson’s “Town Hill” isn’t acting its age as it moves forward with the largest capital improvement projects in the mountain’s venerable history. Recently, Snow King Mountain Resort stepped up its game, tackling a new, state-of-the-art snowmaking system and, for night skiing, the most advanced slope-slide lighting in the world. “New” is the operative word for summer attractions, too. Snow King now boasts a new longer, chairlift, a new Treetop Adventure park, a new mountain coaster, a new base lodge featuring a restaurant and bar, and new facilities housing its mountain sports school. The mountain resort has some very big plans for the future, too. Its proposed Phase 2 Master Plan includes lift-accessed bike trails, zip lines, and a summit gondola, restaurant, and observatory.

Cowboy Coaster

Snow King’s most exciting new attraction, a state-of-the-art alpine coaster, is unique for its individually controlled cars on a fixed track. The Cowboy Coaster takes riders 456 feet up the mountain and then lets ‘em loose to twist and turn down through the trees, an exhilarating roller-coaster


G R A N D T E TO N & YE L LO W S TO N E A D V E N T U R E G U I D E 2 0 1 8

ride sporting four 360-degree corkscrew turns, some four stories tall.

Treetop Adventure

Built by world-class mountain guides, the Treetop Adventure features almost 100 aerial challenges that snake through the pine forests on Snow King Mountain. The enterprise is the dream child of Christian Santelices and his wife Sue Muncaster, who worked with Outplay Adventures to create this fantastical treetop adventure course for kids and adults. Wobbly bridges, Tarzan swings, and zip lines – all with incredible views of the Tetons and the town of Jackson – characterize this standout attraction.

Alpine Slide

On this predecessor to the mountain coaster, riders control the speed of a wheeled sled as gravity does all the heavy work. Flying through twists and turns on one of two side-by-side tracks, pilots slide through banked turns and hairpin thrills at their own pace. It’s an exciting journey down 350 feet over the half-mile track at speeds up to 25 miles per hour. This ride begins and ends at the base of the Rafferty Lift.

New Chairlift

Reaching 300 feet higher and 1,000 feet further up the mountain, the new fixed-grip quad chair replaces the Rafferty double-chair built in 1978. It provides access to the Cowboy Coaster, the Alpine Slide, and the Treetop Adventure Park in summer, while opening up much-needed intermediate ski and snowboard terrain in winter.

McKoy photos; Keira & Mia Rider (Treetop); Augie & Charlie Hoelscher and David Coombs (bouldering).

Scenic Chairlift Ride

This leisurely ride conveys folks 1,571 feet to the summit of Snow King Mountain for 360-degree views of the Tetons, the Elk Refuge, and the town of Jackson. On a clear day riders can see all the way to Yellowstone. It’s a fun and easy way for anyone to enjoy the breathtaking natural beauty of Jackson Hole and it accesses a self-guided nature trail and miles of hiking trails.

Bungee Trampoline

The bungee trampoline makes backflips and belly flops possible for kids and adults strapped into a harness attached to bungee towers. Look for it by the Summit chairlift. This is a high-energy activity for kids as young as three years old.

Miniature Golf

An American classic, miniature golf returned to the base of Snow King in a new location last summer. The 18-hole course constructed by Harris Miniature Golf features a waterfall and a pond as it travels through multiple levels and unique challenges.

Amaze’n Maze

From farm-field extravaganzas to garden creations to nuts-and-bolts urban attractions, mazes are drawing enthusiasts with an almost religious fervor. To find Jackson Hole’s maze, just follow your gaze to the Town Hill’s base. The Snow King Amaze’n Maze aims to sharpen the maze runners’ navigational skills while they compete for the fastest time. Find the four checkpoints that spell “maze” and exit as quickly as possible. Fastest times win prizes.


Join Jackson Hole Paragliding for an exhilarating tandem flight with a professional paragliding pilot. This one-of-a-kind experience from the summit of Snow King Mountain will have sky pilots soaring over the town of Jackson while taking in breathtaking views of the valley, the National Elk Refuge, the Grand Teton, and beyond.


Get that heart pumping on the 1.8-mile Summit Trail, ascending 1,571 vertical feet. Gorgeous views of the town and the valley of Jackson Hole reveal why locals “Climb the King” on a weekly or even a daily basis! The Snow King Mountain trail system is also a connector for the Cache Creek Continued next page

Photos from top: Teton Boulder Park is a free bouldering park built by a nonprofit, volunteer organization to commemorate the climbing history of the Teton Range. The Cowboy Coaster takes riders 456 feet up the mountain for the exhilarating ride back down. The Treetop Adventure features almost 100 aerial challenges that snake through the pine forests on Snow King Mountain.

Top: Paragliders flock to Snow King when conditions prove ideal. Below: The single-track trail system in the Greater Snow King Area can be accessed from the Cache Creek trailhead and from the ski area base. Facing page: The zip line provides a final rush as the dismount for Treetop Adventure participants.


G R A N D T E TO N & YE L LO W S TO N E A D V E N T U R E G U I D E 2 0 1 8

ganization, it also commemorates the climbing history of the Teton Range.

Big King Pass

Sample Snow King’s array of activities by purchasing this baby and access Treetop Adventure, Cowboy Coaster, MiniGolf, Alpine Slide, Amaze’n Maze, Bungee Trampoline, and the Scenic Chairlift. Fill your day or evenings with this pass into a potpourri of thrills.

People’s Market

and Game Creek trail systems, and very popular with local hikers and cyclists.


McKoy photos; Brendon Newton (biker); Ken Rider (zip line); Paraglider courtesy Snow King Mountain Resort

The single-track trail system in the Greater Snow King Area is simply some of the best mountain biking in the world. Riders can choose short, medium, long, and even epic routes. Mountain bikes, city bikes, and pathways bikes can be rented at Snow King Mountain Sports in the adjacent Snow King Hotel.


Teton Boulder Park at the base of Snow King boasts two artificial climbing boulders, one for kids and one that is said to be the largest artificial climbing rock in the world. The big one includes realistic cracks and flakes, and both are covered with artificial climbing holds. In the warm months of summer it isn’t uncommon to see both covered with climbers. And it’s free! Built by a nonprofit, volunteer or-

Also enlivening the base area is the People’s Market, a kind of farmers’ market/outdoor food enterprise offering locally grown produce as well as baked goods, meat and dairy products, and crafts from some two dozen area vendors. The People’s Market pitches its tents near the base of the Cougar chairlift every Wednesday, 4-7 p.m., from June 6 to September 19. This is a big draw—for hominids, so leave the canines home. For details, visit online at — Adventure Guide


Victories are to be earned.

Bring the entire family and play all day! Rush down the Cowboy Coaster or Alpine Slide. Challenge yourself on our ultimate Treetop Adventure, Mini Golf Course or the Amazing Maze. Relax and enjoy our delightful selection of food and beverages, snacks or treats from the King’s Grill or atop the Scenic Summit Chair. A day of fun for everyone!



Grand Targhee Resort H igh on the western slope of the Teton Range, settled among spruce, fir,

pine, and aspen, sits Grand Targhee, a complete, year-round resort. Over 2,600 acres of terrain perfect for hiking, biking, horseback riding, music festivals and, of course, skiing lie upon three mountain peaks. From the tops of those peaks, the visitor can easily imagine reaching out and touching the nearby magnificent Tetons.

Mountain Bike

Explore 61-plus miles of multiuse trails, including a new “flow park,” ideal for perfecting downhill and cross-country bike skills. The Grand Targhee Bike Park offers every style of riding for every level of mountain biker: gentle banked cruisers, tight and twisty singletrack, cross-country, and gnarly, rock-strewn downhill with dropoffs. Lift-assisted rides start with Sidewinder to Lightning Ridge and Loop trails. Then, finish with Colter’s Escape for the longest descent on the mountain. The resort hosts a variety of downhill and cross-country races and closes out the summer with the annual Wydaho Rendezvous Mountain Bike Festival. Check out Targhee’s Bike School for lessons and tours. Roadies will love riding the 12-mile paved section from Driggs up to the resort, where they’ll enjoy breathtaking views of the Grand Tetons. Bike rentals, sales, and service are available through Habitat at the resort and also at Habitat in downtown Driggs.

Climbing Wall & Bungee Trampoline

The fun and challenge of sport climbing is available right at the base area. The resort’s experienced staff will help coach recreationists to the top of its specially designed climbing wall. Suitable for all ages and great


G R A N D T E TO N & YE L LO W S TO N E A D V E N T U R E G U I D E 2 0 1 8

Wade McKoy photos; Biker Liza Sarychev; Hiker: Jim Hanlon

Scenic Chairlift Ride

A ride up the Dreamcatcher chairlift to the 9,862-foot summit of Fred’s Mountain guarantees the best Teton views possible – and without ever breaking a sweat. The lift can jump-start a spectacular high-altitude hike or access relaxed inspiring sightseeing. At the top, visit with Nature Center staff. Take a bike up the lift, too, as long as it’s of the downhill variety. Habitat, Grand Targhee’s go-to biking shop located at the base of the mountain during the summer months, has everything needed to enjoy the downhill and crosscountry bike trails.

Above: The wildflower-strewn hike up Table Mountain affords a close-up view of the Grand Teton for those who make it to the top. Left: The single-track bike trails lacing the resort’s ski slopes have garnered national accolades. for learning, the outdoor climbing wall offers six different routes. Good for children and firsttime or experienced climbers too. Each climb includes instructor, harness, and belay. EuroBungy, the resort’s bungee trampoline hybrid, provides an exhilarating experience where novices can bounce and flip while safely tethered.

Disc Golf

The 18-hole Grand Targhee Disc Golf Course plays through rolling aspen meadows at 8,000 feet! Frisbees seem to float farther at highalpine elevation, promising drives that are sometimes over 550 feet. Long holes, short holes, and everything in between—this is not your standard wide-open area. The course favors players with an arsenal of throwing

techniques, from standard backhand and forehand to tomahawks. Beginners and experts alike will be challenged!


Hikes at the resort vary in length and wind through wildflower-laced meadows, aspen forests, and may even offer a glimpse of the local wildlife. Hikes range from a half-mile to 3.2 miles and, of course, ensure stunning views of the Grand Tetons. Stop at the Nature Center to learn about the local ecology and wildlife, and sign up for a guided hike.

Horseback Trail Rides

A good horse is still a prized Western companion and the best mode of travel for a long tour through these mountains. The local cowboys at Haviland’s Western Adventures can saddle up a trusty steed and show riders the mountains the old-fashioned way. Aside from walking, riding a horse is the only way to tour the Jedediah Smith Wilderness Area within the Teton Range. Face it: horses can take cowpokes a lot farther than their own two feet can. Private horseback riding is not allowed.

Nature Center & Naturalist Programs

During summer months, that Rocky Mountain journey can start at the resort’s Nature Center, located just off the plaza, or at its new Summit

Nature Center at the top of Dreamcatcher. Both sites offer a feel for the critters and plants found there. From moose to pine martin, lupine to forget-me-not, the center provides a feast for the eyes, ears, and nose on some of the Lower 48’s purest landscape.

Dining & Shopping

No one goes hungry at Grand Targhee, no matter what time it is. The Branding Iron Grill, the resort’s signature dining experience, offers a menu inspired by fresh and locally farmed ingredients. The Trap Bar & Grill, an après-ski institution for over 40 years, serves pub fare and more than 12 beers on tap, including many from local breweries. Snorkels Bistro and Wild Bill’s round out the fare. The latest styles and gear are just steps away from Targhee lodging at Teton Mountain Outfitters and The Board Shop. Or stock up on staples at The General Store. Habitat in nearby Driggs carries the best lifestyle soft goods.


14th Annual Targhee Music Fest From Friday to Sunday, July 13-15, an eclectic gathering of bands take the stage in a natural outdoor amphitheater adjacent to Targhee’s 2 0 1 8 G R A N D T E TO N & YE L LO W S TO N E A D V E N T U R E G U I D E


Top: Over 60 miles of single track bike trails lace the fields and forests of Grand Targhee Resort. Right: Some patrons of Targhee’s Music Fest dress up for the occasion.

base-area plaza. Catch performances from Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, the Funky Meters, The Wood Brothers, JJ Grey and Mofro, The Dirty Knobs, Hard Working Americans, Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds, James McMurtry, The Teskey Brothers, Rhiannon Giddens, Mt. Joy, and Brandon “Taz” Neiderauer. Games and on-site activities are all a part of this summer music festival. On-site tent camping is available during the festival weekend. Take advantage of the free shuttle service and leave your vehicle in Driggs. 31st Annual Targhee Bluegrass Festival From Friday to Sunday, August 10-12, this summer’s lineup at the Grand Targhee Bluegrass Festival includes the The Infamous Stringdusters, I’m With Her, Greensky Bluegrass, Fruition, Keller Williams’ Pettygrass Ft. The Hillbenders, Marty Stuart and the Fabulous Superlatives, Billy Strings, The Mammals, the Missy Raines Trio, Red Molly, Joe Graven and the Sometimers, The Music of Jerry & Dawg Feat, Stu Allen, Scott Law and Samson Grisman, and Tony Trischka at Large. Continued next page

Wade McKoy photos; Bikers: Holly McKoy, Pam Weiss

Facing page: The Booker T. Stax Review performing at the 2017 Targhee Music Fest.

Wade McKoy Pickers and fiddlers can even come early for the 13th Annual Targhee Music Camp to learn from some of the music world’s best acoustic musicians and teachers.


Three Western-style lodges are located in the high alpine village, just steps from the lifts and trails. A wide range of condominiums, vacation homes, and town homes are available a short distance from the resort.

The Grand Targhee Activity Pass

Sample the ‘Ghee’s climbing wall, its EuroBungy, and its scenic chairlift ride into slope-side landscape through this ticket into adventure. And get this: the pass also includes a Prospector’s 2-pound bag of gemstone mining rough. Kids can even pan for fun at Grand Targhee Mining Co. sluice. — Adventure Guide

TARGHEE FEST JULY 13 - 15, 2018 Joe Russo’s Almost Dead Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe funky METERS The Wood Brothers JJ Grey and Mofro Hard Working Americans The Dirty Knobs Sister Sparrow and The Dirty Birds James McMurtry The Teskey Brothers Rhiannon Giddens The Main Squeeze Brandon “Taz” Niederauer

BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL AUGUST 10 - 12, 2018 Greensky Bluegrass The Infamous Stringdusters I’m With Her Fruition Keller Williams and Petty Grass Marty Stuart and The Fabulous Superlatives Billy Strings The Mammals Joe Craven and The Sometimers The Music of Jerry & Dawg featuring Stu Allen, Scott Law and Samson Grisman Tony Trischka at Large!



ALPINE MEDICAL ADVICE An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure

Mountain biking, especially the downhill variety, demands skill, focus, and the proper gear.


St. John’s Medical Center Medical Director, Emergency Department

nybody can have an accident. People hurt themselves all the time just walking around the Town Square. Lacerations, twisted ankles, burns from the campfire, and other minor traumas are still the main reasons we see summertime adventurers in the emergency room. It’s the other range of preventable issues that we’d hope to see less of. Here’s some practical advice that will help keep your interactions with our hospital staff on a social level and far away from the Emergency Room.


G R A N D T E TO N & YE L LO W S TO N E A D V E N T U R E G U I D E 2 0 1 8


Some of the most dramatic accidents occur in the high mountains of GTNP when an individual takes a big fall. Usually this occurs on the descent from an otherwise enjoyable day of hiking and climbing. To avoid this scenario make sure to save enough energy for the way down—don’t become passive or inattentive while descending. Also, if you are going to encounter snow or ice on your trek, bring an ice axe. This is a lightweight piece of equipment that you will appreciate when it’s needed.


Acute mountain sickness (AMS). Symptoms, which may be mild or severe, include headache, fatigue, lightheadedness, lack of appetite, frequent waking from sleep, and nausea. The most common prevention for AMS is to ascend slowly over a period of several days, which allows the body to adjust. For vacationers to Jackson Hole, though, hydration is the number-one protection against altitude sickness. Avoid over-exertion the day before you travel and during the first few days at altitude. Arrive on your vacation rested, not exhausted. Avoid alcoholic beverages and sleeping pills. They inhibit proper acclimatization. If you drink coffee or

Wade McKoy photo; Rider: Myles Trainer

By Jeffrey Greenbaum, MD


other beverages with caffeine, don’t stop. It’s safe at high altitudes and stopping suddenly can actually cause AMS-like symptoms. If you develop signs of AMS, you should return to valley elevations. Do not go higher until your symptoms have resolved, which usually occurs within 24 hours. Rest and avoid drinking alcohol and taking sedatives or sleeping pills as you recover. Aspirin and other anti-inflammatories, like ibuprofen, can help prevent a headache that often occurs with AMS.


Mountain biking falls are inevitable, even for those with a wealth of experience. As in much of life, it’s not whether you fall but how you land that will determine your fate. Collar bone injuries are common with this activity, but they can be avoided with proper technique and practice. Start off slowly and avoid taking chances until you learn how to balance your bike in all conditions. Ride within your ability and don’t let friends or family push you too hard. Body armor and padding is recommended.


Most accidents in Jackson Hole will be complicated by our local climate and geography. Summertime temperatures in the mountains can change from warm to cold quickly, and your location in the mountains might preclude communication via cell phone and therefore delay rescue. Always bring warm clothing and extra food and water. When in doubt hire a guide or outfitter.

Bob Woodall


The Upper Snake River runs the length of Jackson Hole and then flows into the Snake River Canyon, where Class III+ whitewater draws many recreationists. The river is fed by snowmelt from the mountains, so the water temperature can be frigid. If you are going rafting or kayaking, you can avoid hypothermia by dressing in specialty clothing such as a wet suit or a dry top. Also, it’s important to know that cold water alone can cause certain individuals to go into a cardiac arrest. If you have a history of heart disease, you should consider this before venturing out.

Drew Kneeland

Dr. Jeffrey Greenbaum

"When enjoying our local rivers, keep in mind that the water can be dangerously cold. Be prepared for an unexpected swim by wearing a personal floatation device (PFD), as well as cold-water-specific apparel such as a dry top or wet suit." — Jeffrey Greenbaum MD, Medical Director SJMC Emergency Department, Medical Director JH Mountain Patrol

"If you're traveling by bike, remember a repair kit to fix your tire or chain. If riding in the bike park, it’s a good idea to wear all the padding in addition to your helmet." — Drew Kneeland, Director JH Mountain Patrol

Quality Medical Care Away From Home Immediate medical attention for injuries and illnesses Walk-ins welcome Same day appointments available On-site x-ray and lab Hours: Monday–Friday: 9 am–7 pm Saturday–Sunday: 10 am–4 pm


1415 S Highway 89, Jackson (Smith’s Food Center Plaza) 2 0 1 8 G R A N D T E TO N & YE L LO W S TO N E A D V E N T U R E G U I D E


t’s tempting to ignore signage or common sense around enthralling landscape, brushing off nature’s potential for lethality. You would not do that. Still, you don’t have to disobey signage to risk a major oopsie — it’s that free and wild out here. Welcome to our lovely, deep, high, and peril-rich mountains. Perhaps you gaze at their majesty, raring to become intimate with that which remains well hidden from roadside turnouts. Perhaps you don’t feel much at all—just an urge to wander in the woods, to see what the big deal is. Whether you are tuned-in or oblivious, you may also have an urge to feel free, to shun encumbrances. Remember this: they shoot those wild-in-nature SUV commercials with an enormous crew cropped out of the money shot. In order of probability, your bad day will be due to weather, crummy planning, getting lost, overconfidence, bad luck, or wildlife. Land two or three of these happenstances simultaneously and you’re a goner. By far, bad weather leads to most epics simply because becoming wet quickly complicates matters. Wetness leads to slower progress, rapid loss of body heat, disorientation, falls, early darkness and the occasional 50,000-degree F bolt of lightning. Cruelly, high exposed places that offer the best cell phone reception also offer the best lightning reception. Hiking in the steep-walled Tetons is a classic trap. You won’t see clouds until they’re literally on top of you. Leave your car under all-blue skies, scramble to a lofty perch by lunchtime, unwrap your PB&J, and a gloaming canopy of wetness appears as if by magic. Happens all the time. Acknowledging the ever-shifting nature of “necessity,” the following are high up on the list of things to haul:

Water. Sip water constantly. You’re probably at a higher altitude than accustomed, so your heart and lungs are working to adjust. Constant hydration keeps you cooler in heat and warmer in cold. If you’re not peeing a bit more than usual, you’re not drinking enough water. If you’re wondering whether they are utilitarian or merely fashionable, Camelbacks and similar water packs have become a standard feature amongst serious roamers. For a day trip or longer, tote a water filter or similar purifying scheme. Food. Splurge, taking more than you need. Make it real food. Current trend: protein and fat with a side of electrolytes, fresh fruit for dessert. Eschew sugar-waters — expensive water — which is nearly every bottled drink out there.


with no signal. To get a signal, find a place on the mountain that gives most line of sight to civilization. Just don’t call because someone’s tired. Expect to be invoiced for a rescue. Changeable terrain. Somewhere up the trail you may enter a parallel dimension where an ice axe is essential. Welcome to mountaineering. Mountaineering requires training in the use of this elegant and sharp stick, which is often accessorized with shoe spikes, aka crampons. If you come across steep snow with no way to stick to it, turn around lest you court an injury of all-too-common an origin. Mammals gone wild. Deer and elk usually have the common sense to bolt well before you see them. Moose and bison don’t have such a huge personal space. They’ll pretend to ignore you, sucking you in for a tighter shot. Hence the term “sucker.” Once they decide you are a threat, you are too close The Tetons’ majesty has the power to distract the recreationist’s attention for any retreat. Bison go from from the important details of the area’s wild setting. zero-to-your-spleen in scarcely Layers. A base layer, pile jacket, and a shell more than a nanosecond. With their hooves means you’ll withstand a long picnic on a and antlers, moose are preprogrammed to turn breezy, exposed ridge. If the shell is wateryou into a free-form sculpture. proof, all the better. Add a foam butt pad, hat, Bear confrontations forever spark disagreegloves, and bottom layers and the alwaysment on the best coping strategy; I won’t premiraculous puffy jacket and suddenly you’re tend to have the last word on that. Best to prepared for quite the ordeal. avoid that predicament in the first place. Make Lighter. Fire good—but for desperate situnoise as you amble. Bears are not shy about ations only. If you’re reading this in the far fubreaking and entering for food, either tents or ture: did the entire West finally go up in one big cars. There’s no shortage of preventive techbeetle-kill inferno? niques available courtesy of park rangers. Headlamp. At least a flashlight. The latest If you can manage to be attacked by a wolf, LED lamps are cheap, efficient, and nearly be prepared to become the star of a nationweightless. wide media feeding frenzy. Knife. Extra points for it having a corkscrew. Now you know enough to be not as dangerMap. Plus compass. Trails around here are ous. Plan your route, tell people where you are well marked, well worn. The moment a trail going, and err on the side of leisure rather than looks specious, calmly do a 180 and return to heroics. (You can embellish later.) This is for the spot where you stopped paying attention. three reasons: for the benefit of your loved Unguents. Bug juice. Pepper spray for ones near and far whose lives you don’t wish bears. (Please don’t go looking to actually use to disrupt; for the benefit of society at large beit.) Sun block. Lipschmeer. cause we all have better things to do than to Ponder taking . . . Sunglasses. Blister progo looking for you; and for the good name of tection; if you feel a bit of rubbing within the your progeny, who don’t want to Google a first mile of your hike, a blister is imminent. family member and have the Darwin Awards One hundred feet of 1/4-inch parachute cord website come up as the first hit. — I carry it, use it once every three years. David Swift, who passed away recently, Heavy-duty plastic trash bags weigh nada, described himself as “a self-deployed take no space, and separate dry things from image-oriented propagandist who exists in wet things. Mobile phone. Don’t fall for those purity-ofJackson, Wyoming, a small resort town backcountry sentiments. Carry it but turn it off. noted for its recent outbreak of $2 coffee, If you really need it you want battery life. It’s no refills.” harder than ever in the West to find a place

G R A N D T E TO N & YE L LO W S TO N E A D V E N T U R E G U I D E 2 0 1 8

Wade McKoy photos; Hiker Sasha Bogdanovics


HOW TO KEEP A GREAT DAY GREAT What’s in your pack? By David Swift

PUT YOUR BEST FOOT FORWARD Four must-dos for happy feet on the trail

by Heidi Jost, M.D. Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Specialist


iking the trails and in the mountains around Jackson Hole can be fun and exciting. But preparation can make all the difference in the world for a safe and comfortable experience. A few tips should help you get started.

Let's focus on the foundation of our bodies, our feet. Made up of 52 bones, 1/4 of all the bones in our body, our feet support up to 4-6 times our body weight with each step. We need to protect these assets. Before you hit the trail: First, find comfort-

able, supportive spectrum from taineering boots Your needs may

footwear. Designs run the heavy backpacking/mounto lightweight trail-runners. vary, based on terrain, the

Lightweight approach shoes and running shoes are perfect for many area hikes. weight of your pack, and your ankle strength and stability. Treads are designed to provide traction on rocks and dirt trails, with firm soles that also provide a stable platform for torsional rigidity. Harder, more durable rubber soles will protect your feet from sharp rocks or other pressure points that may cause painful bruising. An ankle collar will provide optimal ankle support while protecting you from the environment. Gaiters can help prevent pebbles and other debris from finding their way into your boots. Some models feature Gore-tex or its equivalent, which provides waterproofness, but at the expense of ventilation. Fit, though, is most important of all: your feet should not slip around in your shoes. Try them on with the socks you intend to hike in. Assess for pressure points and for toes hitting the front of the boot when pointed downhill. (Remember to keep your toenails trimmed!) Bring the shoes home and, while wearing the socks you plan to hike in, wear the shoes around the house to break them in. Sometimes issues can be resolved by swapping out the insole that came with the shoe/boot for a specialty or custom or-

thotic. Then take them for a spin on a local trail. When choosing socks, consider weight, material, cushion, and support. 100% cotton is not recommended; it absorbs sweat, dries slowly, provides no insulation when wet, and it can lead to blisters out on the trail. You may even add a base-layer liner to wick away more moisture and decrease friction on your skin. On the trail: Be aware of your feet. If you feel something not quite right, address it immediately. Remove pebbles, straighten out bunched socks, file down an irritating boot liner. Avoid too much moisture. Our feet have around 250,000 sweat glands. They are moisture-producing machines capable of generating half a pint of sweat every day. That’s without even adding environmental factors like rain, snow and/or an occasional stream crossing. Consider rotating pairs of socks to stay dry. There are even moisture-absorbing foot powders you can apply pre-hike. After a long day: Recovery is important for tissue repair. Cool down with low-intensity exercise, stretch, perform active recovery with easy gentle movements, hydrate, and refuel.

2 0 1 8 G R A N D T E TO N & YE L LO W S TO N E A D V E N T U R E G U I D E


WATER WORLD Explore the abundant waterways of mountain country

Wade McKoy photo; Kayaker: Sasha Bogdanovics


eton and Yellowstone country is blessed with water, lots of it. Perfectly clear and startlingly cold, it cascades down the mountains as winter snows melt throughout spring, summer, and fall. It pools hundreds of feet deep in lakes and reservoirs with mirror smoothness that at times also brandish white-capped fury. Rivers of snowmelt braid the landscape, creating riffles, rapids, and sparkling flatwater. Summer fun in mountain country should include an outing on the water. Choose a craft and get going on an unforgettable adventure. Continued next page

Paddling a sea kayak on Jenny Lake combines the peace and serenity of the great outdoors with an easy and pleasant physical activity.

2 0 1 8 G R A N D T E TO N & YE L LO W S TO N E A D V E N T U R E G U I D E


Right: Lunch Counter Rapids, although a serious whitewater feature, can provide manageable thrills when safely negotiated by a good guide. Below: White-water kayakers revere the opportunities available in the Snake River Canyon, some river runners traveling from afar to paddle the Wild and Scenic designated waterway.

Bob Woodall photos

Facing page: Slide Lake in the Gros Ventre Mountains remains a quiet place to fish, paddle, and sail.


G R A N D T E TO N & YE L LO W S TO N E A D V E N T U R E G U I D E 2 0 1 8

Wade McKoy photo; SUP: Riley and Connor Liljestrom Continued from 63


The eight-mile whitewater stretch of the Snake River just below Jackson Hole may offer the finest one-day introduction to rapids in the country. Book early, though, especially during those hot summer afternoons, when everybody is looking for a splash in the face.


The scenic upper section of the Snake is much different than its whitewater counterpart. OARS (Outdoor Adventure River Specialists) knows that, and has been guiding whitewater rafting in the western U.S since 1969. The water is calmer, but still fast-moving, coursing through a network of side and main channels. The shoreline varies greatly along these sections of river, as dense forests of spruce and lodge pole pine give way to stands of cottonwood and aspen, home ground for beavers. All the animal species of Jackson Hole use this river-bottom habitat

at one time or another. Rafters frequently spy moose, elk, deer, bison, pronghorn antelope, eagle, osprey, duck, river otter, muskrat and – for the sharp-eyed – fine-spotted Snake River cutthroat trout. Occasionally a black or grizzly bear makes an appearance, sometimes even a wolf. Designated a National Wild and Scenic River, special sections of the Snake receive federal protection, including stretches running through Grand Teton National Park, the canyon, and confluences with a dozen tributaries. The sensitive regulations should help the ecosystem remain healthy and vibrant, ensuring that future generations may also enjoy this remarkable river. (Visit


Sea kayaking the alpine lakes of Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks promises an unusual mix of tranquility and excitement. “Our lake-kayaking experiences are comparable to the world-renowned areas of the Baja, Maine, the San Juan Islands, and Alaska,” said Aaron

2 0 1 8 G R A N D T E TO N & YE L LO W S TO N E A D V E N T U R E G U I D E


Pruzan, co-founder of Rendezvous River Sports. Pruzan began kayaking and exploring the rivers of Wyoming and Idaho in the early 1990s.

Jackson Lake, Grand Teton National Park With a stunning Teton backdrop, this 40square-mile reservoir has numerous put-ins to access a variety of day-trip options. Paddlers enjoy seemingly endless shorelines, inlets, and islands where moose, elk, deer, bear, and bald eagles are common sights. OARS offers overnight trips on Jackson Lake, excursions running from one to four nights. Campsites dot the broad shoreline where guests sleep under the starlit skies at the base of the Tetons. Grassy Island, an idyllic campsite in Moran Bay, sits directly beneath the towering peaks. From there, guests can hike deep into the Teton backcountry, or wander up Moran Canyon, or stroll over to Leigh


Lake — and then take a dip in the snow-fed waters once back in camp. Jackson Lake Dam raises the water level of the natural lake by 30 feet and provides 847,000 acre feet of water used for irrigation on Idaho potato farms. Before its waters head south, though, paddlers can enjoy the expanded horizon and pretty shorelines.

Shoshone Lake, Yellowstone National Park Restricted to paddle craft only, the distant waters of Shoshone Lake guarantee peace and quiet for its visitors. “There are no motorboats once you leave Lewis Lake,” said Pruzan. “The remoteness, the quiet, the hiking in Shoshone Geyser Basin—it’s sublime.” The three-day excursion launches from Lewis Lake boat ramp. Paddlers follow the shoreline’s fields, forests, and hot pools to the inlet. After navigating a few miles of small river channel, boaters glide into Shoshone Lake.

G R A N D T E TO N & YE L LO W S TO N E A D V E N T U R E G U I D E 2 0 1 8

Yellowstone Lake At 7,732 feet above sea level, Yellowstone Lake is the largest freshwater body above 7,000 feet in North America. The stunning waters rest a thousand feet higher than Jackson Lake and claim three times the acreage. It’s a natural lake, too, with a surface area of 136 square miles. Although the lake’s average depth is 139 feet, some portions plumb 390 feet. Half-day tours – Boaters can probe these waters safely along the shores of West Thumb on a short paddling excursion offered by OARS Guests paddle next to caves where boiling water drips into the cold lake while bubbles from lake-bottom thermal vents steam up around their boats. Guides explain the origins of sites like Fishing Cone Geyser, where early visitors caught cutthroat trout and cooked them in the geyser. Rendezvous River Sports also guides day-

James Kaiser photo courtesy OARS

Sea kayaking the alpine lakes of Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks promises an unusual mix of tranquility and excitement. Paddlers enjoy seemingly endless shorelines, inlets, and islands where moose, elk, deer, bear, and bald eagles are common sights.

Justin Bailie photo courtesy OARS

Yellowstone Lake’s thermal features in West Thumb are accessible only by boat, but landfall is prohibited. Facing page: Jackson Lake, a 40-square-mile reservoir, has numerous put-ins.

paddling tours in West Thumb. The outfit knows Yellowstone Lake very well, and for full immersion, recommends camping: Backcountry Overnights – “We go along the south shore of West Thumb, through The Narrows, and around Breeze Point to a really nice campsite,” said Pruzan. “It’s a great one-

night if people want to get in the backcountry a little ways. Not many power boats in that zone. In two days we can access Flat Mountain Arm. It’s really pretty, with amazing views of the Absaroka Range, the Trident Peaks, Stevenson and Doane.” A full circumnavigation of Yellowstone

Lake’s roadless shoreline, from Sedge Creek Bay to West Thumb, takes five to seven days. The five-day version involves cutting across the imposing open water of the South Arm. A guide can help. The end of the Southeast Arm of Yellowstone Lake is about as far away from people as you can get in the Lower 48. Continued next page

2 0 1 8 G R A N D T E TO N & YE L LO W S TO N E A D V E N T U R E G U I D E


Justin Bailie photo courtesy OARS

Right: Camping on Jackson Lake includes a fire pit and hopefully a calm evening. Below: Swimming is possible in the cold mountain waters with right attitude and gear.

Wade McKoy photos; swimmer Sasha Bogdanovics

Facing page: Large rapids in the Snake River Canyon guarantee thrills for surfers, too.

Continued from 67

Slide Lake, Bridger-Teton National Forest Slide Lake, created in 1925 when a landslide dammed the Gros Ventre River, is an ideal place for Rendezvous River Sports to teach kayaking. Off the beaten path, the lake’s quiet waters also afford tremendous views of the Red Hills to the east and the Tetons to the west.


Stand-up paddle boarding, also called SUP,


claimed its fame years ago as the fastest growing water sport in the world. It migrated into the Rocky Mountains from coastal cultures – notably, from its ancient Hawaiian roots. Here in mountain country, two distinct versions of SUP help enthusiasts ply the waters. River – The Snake River’s many and varied water features create a first-rate playground for stand-up paddle boarders. From its flat water and small riffles, eddies and waves, to

G R A N D T E TO N & YE L LO W S TO N E A D V E N T U R E G U I D E 2 0 1 8

its bigger and more powerful whitewater, the Snake delivers the goods to SUP recreationists of all skill levels. “All the sections of the Snake are awesome, from the dam to the Palisades,” said Pruzan who, along with several fellow kayakers and skiers, pioneered SUP river use in Jackson Hole in 2008. Lake – Some SUP enthusiasts, like local skier-turned-waterman Ward Blanch, prefer

Bob Woodall paddling on lakes. “For me,” said Blanch, “it’s all about long tours on Jackson Lake, going forever along the shore and out into the open water. You can cover some miles. And you get such a great full-body workout.” Not to mention startling views into the water from the elevated perspective that SUP provides (wear polarized glasses and you’ll likely pick out some fish).


A national treasure, the Snake River Canyon south of Jackson and Hoback Junction is ground zero for whitewater kayaking. Easy access, deep water, and rapids from Class 1 to Class 3 ensure a recipe for fun and thrills.


Rendezvous River Sports rents many types of hand-powered watercraft: sea kayaks,

whitewater kayaks, rafts, and stand-up paddleboards. Even a small catamaran is available from the rental fleet. RRS also offers lessons for all paddle sports and rafting. Slide Lake serves as a quiet place to learn sea kayaking. For whitewater and SUP, the Snake River’s calmer stretches near Hoback Junction provide a good mix of flat water, small waves, and eddies – the perfect outdoor classroom. — Adventure Guide


945 W Broadway Jackson, Wy


Photo: Clark’s Fork of the Yellowstone River 2 0 1 8 G R A N D T E TO N & YE L LO W S TO N E A D V E N T U R E G U I D E



By Scott Smith

ur magical valley, renowned in the fly-fishing world, teems with wildlife. More to the point, though, its waters, home to the wily and native fine-spotted cutthroat trout, provide angling adventures around nearly every bend. Nearby soaring mountains – the Tetons, Snakes, Gros Ventres, and Absarokas – capture copious amounts of pristine water (in the form of snow) throughout winter. Consequently, the centerpiece watershed, the Snake River, offers a truly unique angling experience. One would imagine that the whole point of fly fishing is to catch fish. But on many occasions the journey yields as much as the catch. The modern angler has become a robust blend of adventurer, conservationist, geographer, naturalist, and artist.


G R A N D T E TO N & YE L LO W S TO N E A D V E N T U R E G U I D E 2 0 1 8

In Jackson Hole, we embrace the fly-fishing culture and welcome all the demands that attend it. On an average summer morning you might witness several dozen guides prepping their drift boats for the day. Likely, a dozen or more have pushed off before dawn. These guides take their craft seriously, investing huge amounts of time and money to help unlock and share the area’s best angling secrets. With a guide’s knowledge and expertise, clients can be casting the right fly into the right zone while staying safe in our wild aquatic landscape. Adventure awaits those who’re game. A few accounts of some of my most memorable days on the water in recent years, selected for their seasonal variety, are illustrative. Continued next page

Wade McKoy

FLY FISHING On a Grand Scale

Josh Gallivan plays a native cutthroat on the Snake River.

March 19, 2010

The skiing had been good all season, and it still was. But spring afternoons – for me – are meant to be spent on the water. I received a call from some folks who wanted to try their luck on the river, and fortunately my boat had just melted out of the snow. Most years we get a nice window of early season fishing and, with favorable weather, it’s hard to beat those first floats. We were underway by 10 a.m. with a cooler-than-expected start. Twenty-eight degrees and sunny is not bad, as long as there’s no wind. The day was calm, the stillness breathtaking. The river banks were piled with


snow, a reminder that summer was still in the distant future. After an hour of tuning up our casts and getting an eye for the water, we saw our first sign of aquatic life: midges! These true flies are small but often show in good numbers, creating a significant feeding opportunity for our finned friends. Like clockwork, the bugs increased as we neared noon, but still no action from the trout. I calmed my anxious clients and suggested we knock out lunch, knowing something was surely to happen soon. As we pulled into a riffle on an inside turn, I noticed a couple figures up shallow. I did a

G R A N D T E TO N & YE L LO W S TO N E A D V E N T U R E G U I D E 2 0 1 8

Wade McKoy

Grand Teton Fly Fishing owner/guide Scott Smith works a cutty as fellow guide Josh Gallivan rows a lazy side channel of the Snake.

double take, thinking it was a rock with waves lapping over, but to our delight it was several good-size trout positioning to feed. It’s hard to describe the feeling of seeing a trout sipping small insects in shallow water – it’s what fly fishing is truly meant to be. We botched a few attempts on that lunch riffle but did manage some to hand. What started off as a slow day ended up being an afternoon filled with non-stop action. The air temperature warmed to a pleasant 45 degrees, the water barely kissing 41 degrees. Spring fishing on the Snake River is typically very good and this day was no different. We landed a couple dozen 13-18”cutthroats

Wade McKoy

The author casts to a rising trout.

Often cOnsidered the hOmestretch Of a lOng guiding seasOn, the weeks after JacksOn hOle’s stOried One fly cOmpetitiOn are sOme Of my persOnal favOrites fOr sneaking in a cOuple days Off tO rest and recharge. on dry flies, but more importantly we shared the river with no one other than a few eagles, a moose, and a couple beavers.

August 6, 2011

Too much water can crush a guide’s spirit— and his back—and this had been one of those years. Fishing on the Snake had been slow due to cold, high, and turbid flows (2011 was a record snow year) but we were finally getting a reprieve with some hot weather. The guides all felt like the river was about to pop. My clients were a local couple who savored floating beneath the Tetons, enjoying a nice lunch, and casting a few bugs to the banks. To

avoid this morning’s rainstorm, we put on at 11 a.m. – quite late in August – but we were behind the other boats and thought the afternoon might produce – or not. The smells along the river in summer are incredible. Most noticeably after a rain, the river rock steeps the air with a fragrant blend of earth and conifers. Mix in a few songs from the Swainson’s thrush and you can feel the fish are going to cooperate. This day we were elated with aggressive grabs from deep-bodied finespots lurking under heavy current and wood. The cutties appeared to be weathering the high flows well,

likely gorging on a good supply of stonefly nymphs, sculpins, and minnows. An evening beer was going to taste extra special today.

September 20, 2014

Often considered the homestretch of a long guiding season, the weeks after Jackson Hole’s storied One Fly Competition are some of my personal favorites for sneaking in a couple days off to rest and recharge. On this day I found myself with a longtime client who has since become a great friend. We had some nice fishing throughout the week, but we were still looking for that one



particular fish. The calm, cloudy afternoon showed mahogany duns and hecuba drakes on the water in decent numbers. The Snake is not known for heavy hatches, but it can surprise you from time to time. September is a good month to witness this phenomenon. Along a slow run lined with gorgeous overhanging grass, we spotted a giant cutthroat feeding. The trout was being quite particular, often refusing naturals right over its head. As


the fish rose, it barely broke the surface, sipping with complete efficiency (a game of calorie economics?). We studied the drift, made some passes, changed flies, downsized everything – and alas, a chunk of a cutthroat ate a #20 rusty spinner, wet! This fish was not happy about us interrupting its feeding and fought us well into the next run. The evening light broke through and we were standing there with this magnificent ani-

G R A N D T E TO N & YE L LO W S TO N E A D V E N T U R E G U I D E 2 0 1 8

mal in our net, thinking, “How incredible!” After watching the trout swim away – always a gratifying moment – we high-fived and rowed off, knowing we couldn’t top that.

November 18, 2015

The season was a wrap and I had reached out to several guide friends for a fishing partner. I just had that itch, and the 25-degree temps and high winds forecasted made me think this

we studied the drift, made sOme passes, changed flies, dOwnsized everything – and alas, a chunk Of a cutthrOat ate a #20 rusty spinner, wet! Above: Josh Gallivan displays his fly of choice for this moment. Facing page: Fish on! Gallivan sets the hook on a big one. from the water, leaping like an Atlantic salmon. After an epic battle, the trout came to hand in the shallows. The stunning colors always mesmerize most of us, but to think about what it took to capture that creature with a handtied fly was even more remarkable. Experiences like these are what guides seek—for clients and themselves. It’s a connection to nature that feeds our souls. It’s a form of hunting that combines science, art, and luck. Wrapping all these elements into a day beneath the Tetons makes for a journey on a grand scale.

Wade McKoy photos

Scott Smith, a fly fishing guide and managing owner of Grand Teton Fly Fishing, is stoked to live in Jackson Hole with his wife and two daughters. See his blog and website at

would be the last day until spring to wet a line. I had a short section in mind to work and, as it turned out, I was alone on this day. This particular area is known to hold brown trout and a few are quite large. It’s hard to stay focused, much less excited, when fighting ice in your guides every four to six casts. The river was peaceful, though, and I worked my way into the tailout of the run where big browns tend to hold in the fall.

Methodically swinging and stripping streamers has a mundane tempo that can put you in a trance, and soon I found myself thinking of dry flies and 80-degree weather. Suddenly, my line stopped but then went limp. That was either the bottom or a good swipe on the fly. I gathered myself and let the water rest for a minute or two. Then, with an up-and-across lob, I sent the fly deep. When the line tightened, a monster brown rocketed 2 0 1 8 G R A N D T E TO N & YE L LO W S TO N E A D V E N T U R E G U I D E


Introduction to

FLY FISHING By Scott Sanchez Fly fishing is a rewarding lifelong pursuit, one that can be enjoyed by almost anyone—and Jackson Hole is the perfect classroom for the nascent fly fisher.

Wade McKoy photos

Herewith, a primer of sorts.

The author in his element. Along with his companion Cookie (right), Scott plies the waters of an area creek. Note the perfect loop and the bear spray-fanny pack (facing page, top); and the footwear and fish (facing page, bottom).

The Cast Fly fishing’s cast, a key element of the sport, differs from other types of casting. In most fishing, the rod’s cast propels a weighted lure that pulls the thin line out of the rod. In fly fishing, the rod casts the physical weight of the fly line, which, in turn, carries a nearly weightless fly. Fly casting combines two very distinct separate motions, a forward cast and a back cast. What looks like one fluid motion really combines the two, a rearward motion and a forward motion. Because the rod tip pulling the line travels a shorter distance than the line does, the rod tip has to wait for the line to catch up. This requires a hesitation—a stop— at the end of each back cast and forward cast. Stopping the rod allows the line to move through the air behind the angler and then in front of the angler and finally onto the water. Effective casting is more the result of good technique than muscle. Learning to cast is most efficiently learned from a skilled fly caster, guides and shop staff for example.

Flies Fish have to eat, and the flies anglers employ resemble menu items for fish. Fly fishers attach artificial flies that imitate aquatic insects emerging from the water or terrestrial insects that fall onto the water. The imitations that float are called dry flies; those that are designed to sink are


G R A N D T E TO N & YE L LO W S TO N E A D V E N T U R E G U I D E 2 0 1 8

called wet flies. A rich variety of aquatic insects and terrestrials are often on the water at the same time. Sometimes, the flies we offer fish very closely suggest their real-life models. At other times, though, we fish flies called attractors that may not precisely imitate exact bugs but look like many of them.


Rod, reel, line, leader — For our region, a 9-foot fly rod is the general-purpose rod. The length keeps the flies off of the bushes behind you and helps control line on the water. Fly line weight and the rigidity of the rods must be matched or paired with each other to enable efficient casting. For example, a 6-weight rod is outfitted with a 6-weight line stored on a reel designed to accommodate the 6-weight rod and line. This weight rod combines enough flexibility to protect the line and its attached clear tapered leader. The setup also has enough power to cast our windresistant flies. The pros at the shop can help tailor the outfit with the gear suited to the angler’s ability. Flies — The best way to select the right flies is to ask the guys in the shop about the water you’ll be fishing. Experience counts here, and these folks know the waters and the eating habits of fish you’re after. Leaders — 4X leader and 3X leader will cover most fishing in Jackson

and turn over large dry flies to settle them suitably on the water. The lines are manufactured to bear different weights of fish, and are marked accordingly. Fly box — Your bugs need a home. Flies are pointed, extremely sharp—and better suited to the fly box than to clothing. Fly floatant — Dry flies float better when waterproofed. Floatant helps ensure both. Strike indicators — If you fish nymphs, these mini bobbers will help you detect strikes. Polarized glasses — Polarized glasses cut glare on the water so you can see below the surface. Equally importantly, they protect your eyes from errant casts. Tools — Nippers are used to cut leader and tippet. Forceps are employed to crimp barbs on hooks and to remove hooks from fish. You’ll need ‘em both. Vest, fanny pack, chest pack — You’ll want something to carry that gear in.

Aquatic footwear — Specialized fishing boots or shoes have specialized soles for good traction on wet rocks.

Instruction There are countless books and videos on fly fishing but the best way to learn is to hire an instructor or guide from one of our local shops. Area shops also carry quality fly fishing equipment at various price points and can help you select the gear for your needs and abilities. Scott Sanchez, the fly tying columnist for American Angler magazine, has contributed photos and articles to numerous fly fishing magazines in the U.S. and Japan. He has written three books: Introduction to Salt Water Fly Tying, A New Generation of Trout Flies, and A Never Ending Stream. The Federation of Fly Fishers awarded him the Arnold Gingrich Lifetime Achievement Award for literary accomplishments and the Buz Busek Fly Tying Award for contributions to the world of fly tying. Scott’s books can be found in area fly shops, including JD High Country Outfitters where he is a manager. 2 0 1 8 G R A N D T E TO N & YE L LO W S TO N E A D V E N T U R E G U I D E


CLIMBING Celebrating 50 years connecting people with adventure in the natural world


his year marks a half-century that Jackson Hole Mountain Guides has been quenching the public’s thirst for the great outdoors. The enterprise specializes in rock climbing, ice climbing, mountaineering, hiking, canyoneering, and backcountry skiing and has been offering classes and trips throughout the western U.S. since 1968. Accredited by the American Mountain Guides Association and a National Park Service concessionaire, JHMG annually undergoes detailed review and always rises to the top. Owned, operated, and staffed by professionals who live and breathe the mountain life, JHMG carries on the tradition of the company’s founders: safely seeking adventure in the great outdoors at every opportunity. It remains a premier guide service by hiring the best people. At fifty years old, JHMG is the second-oldest guide service in America. Long a smooth-running operation, the company’s guides and clients are free to focus on the details of the mountain environment and the tasks at hand. That’s the essence of mountaineering. “The initial lure of climbing—and still the bottom line for many of us—is it allows us to be in a lot of places that a lot of people don’t get to be,” said Rob Hess, JHMG’s co-owner and chief guide. Mountain landscapes create an undeniable lure: water rushing down snowmelt creeks, winds whispering through old-growth fir, cliffs towering over redolent meadows, falcons and ravens commanding the high currents. In the Tetons, nature’s magnificence is compelling and commanding. But the modern world’s love affair with electronic devices tends to insulate folks against the world of nature. Smart phones, for example, are no longer a luxury but a necessity (although guides must carry them). Some outdoors professionals are concerned that for several generations now, kids haven’t spent much time outside, beyond those phones, computers, or televisions. “It’s come full circle for me,” said JHMG guide John “JD” Douglas. “Climbing is our touchstone – we’re guides and we’re a climbing school – but we’re also a group of people who just like to be outside with other people. Through climbing we want to set our clients on a course of adventure in the outdoors. If they go outside and into the backcountry enough, they’ll care about the environment for the rest of their lives.” The power of nature, the thrill of adventure are forces that defy imitation. They can spark a sense of wonder, inspiration, and joy that no virtual world can deliver. A small sampling of testimonials from JHMG clients provides ample evidence. It seems clear that Jackson Hole Mountain Guides is succeeding in its quest. Continued page 80

Photography by John Waller

The power of nature, the thrill of adventure spark a sense of wonder, inspiration, and joy among alpinists. Top inset: Climbing allows participants to be in a lot of places that a lot of people don’t get to be. Middle:Mountain landscapes create an undeniable lure. Bottom: In the Tetons, nature’s magnificence is compelling and commanding.

John Waller photo


My grandchildren loved their climbing day with Jed.

Although I have plenty of hiking and sport-climbing experience, I had never done any real mountaineering and I was nervous about climbing the Grand. All of my fears and doubts dissolved as we made our way up the mountain. Noah was a complete and total pro — leading the route with confidence and expertly managing ropes and gear. Transitions were seamless. I felt totally safe and was able to fully enjoy an epic summit day and drink in the incredible views from the top. High camp was also a great place to stay for a couple of nights. Climbing the Grand with JHMG was a truly awesome experience that I will definitely recommend to friends. We can’t wait for our next trip with you guys!

He showed them some basic mountaineering techniques as well as the rock-climbing basics. They learned what they needed to and enjoyed the process. They are both keen to return next year to do the Grand Teton. I’ve been a climbing-gym rat with little outdoor experience, and now I look forward to getting outdoors again. Matt was a fantastic guide. He kept great pace, had a great sense of humor, and taught me some very valuable things on my first alpine climb. — Alexander I love the Tetons and love hiking, but don’t have much mountaineering experience. We had an amazing and successful two-day trip up the Middle Teton. Our guide

My son and I did this memorable experience together

Chris Brown was skilled and knowledgeable, which al-

less. Everyone should challenge themselves to fulfill their dreams and go for it. The result will be life changing. — Keith

Facing page: The vast, starlit heavens await climbers encamped on the Teton Glacier.

— Lockhart

— Emily and to have conquered this challenge together was price-

Above: The Garnet Canyon trail reveals the Teton’s majesty as it leads climbers into the alpine zone.

lowed me to feel safe and enjoy the adventure! Camping overnight was great, as we were able to enjoy the peaceful, quiet evening and the beautiful stars at night! We are already dreaming about planning our next trip! — Carol

Single Day Programs Stand on the Summit While the Grand Teton may be the crown jewel of the Teton Range, there are plenty of options for those who aren’t mountaineers or don't have time to summit such a big peak. A range of moderate-to-difficult mountain summits can be reached in a long day. The lengthy approaches also make these climbs attractive overnight adventures. These climbs will get you high into the rarified alpine zone and out of the park’s heavy foot-traffic. Climbing one of these non-technical peaks is one of the most intimate ways to experience Grand Teton National Park. The day starts early to summit Surprise Pinnacle, Disappointment Peak, or Teewinot. Continued next page

John Waller photo Technical Rock Climbing Professional guides take individuals and families on a fun-filled day with breathtaking views. Aesthetic climbing challenges include the guides’ favorites: Symmetry Spire, Disappointment Peak, Ice Point, Irene’s Arete, The Snaz, Guide’s Wall and more. These climbs

represent a variety of difficulties and experiences, and are all classics. Climbing School Learn to climb from the pros and make your day on the rocks informative, exciting, and enjoyable. Courses for all ages range from begin-

ner to advanced and include special programs for corporate groups or private clubs. Classes are taught in one of three scenic locations in Grand Teton National Park or the Bridger-Teton National Forest. — Adventure Guide

2 0 1 8 G R A N D T E TO N & YE L LO W S TO N E A D V E N T U R E G U I D E


Rock climbing for everyone

Wade McKoy photo; guide Shannon Schiner (watching), Michelle Nicholson (crossing)



G r a n d T e To n & Ye l lo w s To n e a d v e n T u r e G u i d e 2 0 1 8


Wade McKoy photos; Amelia Hufsmith (top, bottom left), Michelle Nicholson (right)

he summits of lofty mountain peaks have enticed humans from time immemorial. Although scaling rocky crags is rife with dangers that have claimed many an adventurer, it has not deterred mountaineers. It has, though, spurred the creation of safer paths to the peaks.

In the 1800s, alpinists began employing a range of climbing aids to assist themselves between peaks—notably, iron pins, hand hooks, carved footholds, and ropes. When the First World War erupted, one of the battle lines lay in the Italian Alps. To help troops move more efficiently about at high altitude and under difficult conditions, Continued next page

Above: The first pitch starts at the Gondola summit. Below, from left: People can choose to climb the rock instead of the rungs. Climbers stay safe by clipping their two carabiners past the cable anchors one at a time. Facing page: The 120-foot long suspension bridge spans a gap in the cliffs high above Casper Bowl.

Wade McKoy photo; Michelle Nicholson climber

Wade McKoy photo; Michelle Nicholson climber Facing page: Heavy steel rods shaped into ladder rungs are drill-fitted into the rock using the timetested methods. Above: Low angled slabs give climbers a relaxing interlude between vertical pitches.

although most are in the european alps, north america now claims a few via ferrata routes. last summer the Tetons and Jackson Hole Mountain resort became home to the first u.s. Forest service-approved via ferrata.

Continued from previous page

permanent lines were sometimes fixed to rock faces so soldiers could ascend steep faces. These routes were dubbed “via ferrata,” an Italian phrase that means “iron way (also route, path, street, and road).” After the war, many more of these “iron roads” were developed as a way to encourage tourism and increase the range of activities available to visitors at mountain resorts. Although most are in the European Alps, North America now claims a few via ferrata routes. Last summer the Tetons and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort became home to the first U.S. Forest Service-approved via ferrata. Located at the top of the Bridger Gondola in the rocky crags of Casper Bowl, the JHMR Via Ferrata is suitable for all level of climbers,

from beginners to those who already have some alpine experience. An assisted climbing activity, guests travel routes high above the valley floor, across suspended bridges, and along granite walls—always accompanied by an experienced guide. Using a series of steel steps, handles, ladder rungs, and steel cables where the trail steepens, climbers ascend the cliffs along the via ferrata. Participants are secured to the rock by wearing a harness and lanyard that remains attached to the steel cable adjacent to the climbing route. The via ferrata is designed to reduce the probability of falling and to minimize the impacts of a fall. Three different loops, varying in difficulty

from an introductory climb to more advanced, comprise the JHMR’s via ferrata. Among the loops are eight routes, ranging in difficulty from easy to challenging, the four longest ascending 500 vertical feet. One route includes the crossing of a spectacular 120-foot long suspension bridge. The resort’s via ferrata is suitable for families, groups or individuals. Customers can choose from a variety of different Alpine climbing experiences. The practice routes require two to three hours, but more experienced or adventurous folks can dig in a bit deeper with the half-day option or spend a whole day exploring all the routes. — Adventure Guide

2 0 1 8 G r a n d T e To n & Ye l lo w s To n e a d v e n T u r e G u i d e



Riding the high country

By Bob Woodall


very summer, millions of visitors explore the Greater Yellowstone region. Many of them are touring in compact SUVs or large RVs. Some lucky travelers, though, navigate the very same byways never once feeling trapped, hemmed in, or shielded from the great outdoors. Those lucky few are astride motorcycles. Motorcycles are a great way to tour the dramatic highways and byways in Northwest Wyoming. From Grand Prix-like switchbacks over high mountain passes to rolling hills through farmlands, the jagged Tetons looming on the horizon, regional routes traverse postcard-perfect scenery, some of it braided with crystal clear rivers and punctuated by waterfalls, hot springs, and spouting geysers. The options are daunting, so a visit to the local motorcycle shop can help find the right course. In Jackson Hole, Chester’s Jackson Hole Harley-Davidson is just off the main drag through town. The shop also offers information on local poker runs and biking events. While many rides through the parks may seem obvious, a few are not-to-be-missed and a couple are gems, albeit a bit out of the way.


G r a n d T e To n & Ye l lo w s To n e a d v e n T u r e G u i d e 2 0 1 8

Bob Woodall

Beartooth Highway Without a doubt, the All-American Beartooth Highway tops most every list of best drives, not only in this region but also in all of the U.S. It was voted the best motorcycle road in the United States by the American Motorcycle Association. The inspiring rugged alpine highway offers panoramic views of snow-covered mountains, granite peaks, and glacier lakes. Topping out at 10,977 feet, this road has it all: 67 miles of switchbacks, elevation changes, and spectacular scenery. “This road is an experienced biker’s dream,” said Chris Pooser, a Jackson Hole realtor. “It is one of the nation’s curviest and most challengThe Grand Teton Range towers above the Togwotee Pass highway, a National Scenic Byway. ing roads.” At Sunlight Creek, Wyoming’s highest bridge spans a 1,200-foot chasm. The Beartooth’s high alpine climate ensures that severe weather Well worth stopping here to peer into its depths and take a groupie. conditions can occur almost any month the highway is open. NorFollow the wide-open road till it junctions with the Beartooth Highway, mally cleared of snow by Memorial Day, the route can temporarily turn right and head up the pass or left to Yellowstone National Park. close due to weather at any time before closing for winter in late fall. Summertime temperatures range from the 70s on sunny days to below freezing during sudden snowstorms. So check the weather— Island Park- Mesa Falls- Teton Scenic Byway and the gear—before heading over. Reach the Beartooth via the This tour is best traversed from West Yellowstone to Jackson, the Northeast Gate of Yellowstone National Park through Cooke City, views of the Teton Range coming into focus as you head south from MonMontana, via highway 212 or south from Red Lodge, Montana. tana to Idaho and then into Wyoming. Riding north to the south allows for the best views—all without having to look back over your shoulder. Head south from West Yellowstone on highway 20. There are plenty Chief Joseph Scenic Byway of fishing ops along the way. Just south of Island Park, Idaho, turn left By far, though, the best access to the Beartooth is from the south. onto the Mesa Falls Scenic Byway. Ride north from Cody, Wyoming, on state highway 120 for about 20 “A refreshing stop is the lower Mesa Falls and visitor center,” said miles. Turn left (west) on the Chief Joseph Scenic Byway, state 296, and Pooser, an experienced Jackson rider. “The falls and the canyon surhead up the little-traveled road. The route ascends historic Dead Indian rounding the river below are unbelievably beautiful. The mist that rises Hill, along the path trod in the late 1870s by Nez Perce Chief Joseph and and waters the lush green plants and moss reaches the top and refreshes his people as they made for Canada, the U.S. Army hot on their trail. the observers.” A full rainbow often spans the 114-foot Upper Falls. The highway switchbacks often as it climbs and descends the pass.

At Ashton, Idaho, turn south onto the Teton Scenic Byway as you make your way to Jackson Hole. Wide-open highway 32 negotiates rolling hills through eastern Idaho farmlands. As the road snakes to the south, the Grand Teton Range continues to rise higher and higher on the horizon, slowly (sometimes quickly) dominating the view with its splendor. At the south end of the byway are the Teton Valley towns of Driggs and Victor. These small communities offer plenty of dining and shopping options. Or just keep riding and head over Teton Pass and on to Jackson.

From Grand Prix-like switchbacks over high mountain passes to rolling hills through farmlands, the jagged Tetons looming on the horizon, regional routes traverse postcard-perfect scenery, some of it braided with crystal clear rivers and punctuated by waterfalls, hot springs, and spouting geysers. The Weather Always a factor for bikers, weather becomes a major consideration in the mountains. Never head out on a ride without foul-weather gear, no matter the forecast or how beautiful the day promises to be. Mountain weather does not answer to the weatherman and storms can develop rapidly. Cold temperatures, even snow, can occur anytime during summer. Consider the unseen weather lurking behind the mountains and know that lightning frequently precedes any rainfall, especially at these high altitudes. Checking in with the National Weather Service can yield insight into the potential for inclement conditions.

Wildlife Wildlife draws most visitors here. So watch for it—and watch out for it! The 45-mph speed limit inside the parks is for their safety and yours. Motorcyclists should be extremely cautious. Bison pose a more serious risk for bikers than for car or RV drivers. The big boys can top 2,000 pounds. They are commonly encountered on park roads, and “buffalo jams” are a frequent occurrence. “Always look ahead,” advised local biker Steve Reecer. “If there is a pileup of cars or vehicles and animals on the roadway ahead, pull over and wait for the traffic to disperse. And then continue your ride. “On my first visit to Hayden Valley, I saw a group of vehicles ahead blocking traffic. It was too distant to see any animals and I kept going. I was soon surrounded by bison and had a stare-down with one.” Park rules require visitors to keep their distance from large wildlife— 25 yards at least. Rangers tend to be sticklers for this rule. Keep your distance: bison are very agile and can move at 35 mph.

Night Travel Motorcyclists should wear brightly colored or reflective clothing to make themselves more visible to cars and RVs. Animals frequently cross roads at night, so drive slowly. On highway 89 through Grand Teton Park, the nighttime speed limit lowers to 45 mph. “Deer alarms” can also be effective. Animals can hear a high-pitched whistle and are alerted. Keep in mind that alarms don’t work in rain, crosswinds, or while driving slowly.

Bear Spray-Bug Spray You’re in bear country! Recommended for hikers, bear spray could also be very useful for bikers exposed to the wilds of the open road. Keep it handy and know how to use it! This is also mosquito country. So carry a bottle of repellant, even for a brief lakeside stop. Swarms of these pests are undaunted by bikes or bikers. — Additional reporting by Debra Snyder



Off-street bike parking on Millward 2 0 1 8 G r a n d T e To n & Ye l lo w s To n e a d v e n T u r e G u i d e


Learn a pioneer skill from the pros

Jeffrey Kaphan Photography: Courtesy Jackson Hole Shooting Experience



By Joseph Piccoli

f you don’t know anything about guns, or if you‘re an avid shooting enthusiast, you should consider spending some time with the experts at Jackson Hole Shooting Experience during your vacation this year.

With some practice, shooters will be happily hitting the bull’s eye. ence’s expert coaches regard customers not as customers but as personal guests. The coaches also don’t consider the shotguns, rifles, and pistols guests use to be “weapons.” That might

sound like spin, but Humphries knows weapons—he spent over 10 years in law enforcement, including time as a SWAT sniper team leader.

“Many of our arriving shooters say they are ‘anti-gun,’ and most touch a firearm for the very first time with us,” Lynn Sherwood, co-owner of Jackson Hole Shooting Experience, said. “Because they’re with a corporate group, or are a family visiting the ‘Wild West,’ they decide to try it anyway—and three hours later they are plastering their pictures with purple guns all over Facebook.” One reason for this, said co-owner Shepard Humphries, is that the JH Shooting Experi-

“We customize each experience based on each shooter’s level of experience, the number of shooters in the party, and their goals and desires. Every experience is different.” — Lynn Sherwood

A one-day long-range precision shooting option is available this summer.

Instead, Humphries views the guns his guests use as the equivalent of skis, golf clubs, or fishing poles. They are, he said, the tackle of “Luxury Entertainment Shooting.” And the Jackson Hole Shooting Experience has a very large tackle box. “We have over 80 different types of guns and our selection is always growing,” Humphries said. The enterprise’s selection includes cowboyaction revolvers, semi-auto pistols, long-range rifles, WWI battle rifles, modern sporting carbines such as the AR-15, and even a selection of .50 caliber rifles and handguns. JH Shooting Experience’s most popular offering, the customizable Multi-Gun Rifle & Pistol Experience, introduces guests to many of these items in a safe, educational three-hour session billed as a “taste test.” Safety is always paramount. Guests don eye and ear protection, participate in a safety briefing and learn or review the fundamentals of shooting before enjoying hands-on instruction with their private coach. “We customize every experience based on each shooter’s level of experience, the number of shooters in the party, and their goals and desires,” Sherwood explained. “Every ex-

enticed by what Humphries calls “Bespoke Adventures,” which promise two to four days shooting rifles, shotguns, pistols, or bows. The outfit’s “Journey-to-a-Mile” option will answer the question: “What’s the sound of a metal target being plinked at 1,760 yards?” A new program this summer, the private One-day Long-range Precision Shooting option, unfolds at a nearby private ranch. “We shoot out to 1,800 yards in this training at targets as small as one MOA (minute of angle),” Humphries said. Some folks actually hit the target a mile out. He added, “You will leave with improved knowledge and skills. You will be challenged and will likely accomplish much more than you expected.” The Jackson Hole Shooting Experience

has created a very different firearms experience, one that does not, unlike inexpensive indoor ranges, rent guns or sell a reckless three-minute machine gun activity. Its philosophy seems to be working. The TripAdvisor travel website reveals a 99.7% “5-Star Excellent” rating, the highest of any activity, hotel, restaurant or other Trip Advisor service in Wyoming or any surrounding state. Reservations are required for all family and corporate group JH Shooting Experience adventures, and sometimes next-day or even same day experiences are available. For more information, visit or call 307690-7921. Joseph Piccoli is a writer and editor living in Jackson Hole.

Safety is always paramount. Guests don eye and ear protection, participate in a safety briefing, and learn or review the fundamentals of shooting, then enjoy hands-on instruction with their private coach. perience is different and when you come back next year, you’ll grow your skills even more as well as getting to peek at new guns we’ll have at your ready.” The JH Shooting Experience’s goal is to help its guests “connect with each other,” she explained. The outfit trains its guides in human psychology with a “neurolinguistic twist,” where coaches continuously observe and respond to each group member’s human needs. As a result, all members of the group have what many describe as “the most fun of any vacation activity they have ever done!” Novices start by shooting a variety of .22caliber rifles and handguns, which have little recoil, are easy on the body, and are thus a good introduction to shooting. Guests then move on to larger-caliber guns, including semiauto pistols, and an assortment of historic and modern rifles. These can vary widely, from a classic Marlin Lever-Action .357, a gun that a Jackson Hole cowhand of old might have carried, to the infamous AK-47—probably the most recognizable gun on the planet—and several rifles capable of hitting targets 600 yards away! Another option, the Shotgun Clays Experience, introduces shooters to the thrill of shotgun sports. Those who have already experienced a firearms activity with JH Shooting Experience can hone their defensive pistol and carbine skills on a dynamic two-day “Next-Level” course. Other guests might be


It's about Connections...

Families • Wedding Parties • Corporate Events SHOOTINJH.COM 307-690-7921

2 0 1 8 G r a n d T e To n & Ye l lo w s To n e a d v e n T u r e G u i d e


Western family fun

Bob Woodall photos


By Bob Woodall


elcome to The West, pardner! Not just a direction, mind you, The West is a place steeped in history and cowboy lore. Images of it might flow into your mind like a flash flood in a Western movie. Wagon trains stretched across the high plains, John Wayne hunting down the bad guys, and the cowboy astride his horse riding off into the sunset. So why not connect with the richness of the past by throwing your leg over the back of a trusty steed and heading for the hills? “You can look around at the 360-degree view, enjoy the smell of the sage, the sounds of the forest, listen to streams, and drink in the landscape— and physical limitations can be overcome,” the late Cameron Garnick, of the Triangle C Ranch, once pointed out. “Traveling at four-five miles an hour, horses can cover lots of territory and you can see much more because you are not having to watch the trail.” In no time at all, riders can be deep into the mountains and “you’re doing it the way it was done by Indians, mountain men, and cowboys,” Garnick pointed out.


Top: Trail rides afford easy access to remote mountain vistas. Above: After a night in the backcountry, a steaming cup of cowboy coffee gets the day going.

Even if loping off into the sunset was not on your agenda, finding a horse to ride couldn’t be easier. No matter where you travel in the West, trail rides are available. They range from one-hour to

full-day and multi-day rides. “It is a great Western experience and good family fun,” said Laura Child of the A-OK Corral and Willow Creek Horseback Rides. Jackson Hole is known for its cowboy and mountain man heritage and “that is the way they saw it, so by going on a horseback ride you can step back in time and see it like they would have,” she said. Never been on a horse? Not a problem. The two outfitters accommodate both beginners and seasoned riders from ages six and up. “Most of our riders have never been on a horse. It’s fun to take inexperienced people and see the big smiles on their faces and the satisfaction when they learn to ride,” Child said. “The thrill of just being on the back of a horse,” she added, “is part of the great Western experience, seeing the country like the mountain men did.” Next, decide how much time you have to spend in the saddle. Like most outfitters, the A-OK Corral and Willow Creek offer a variety of options, ranging

from one-hour to all-day rides. Their most popular is a two-hour option that takes patrons up to get great views of the valley and mountains. Another of the rides from A-OK Corral leads clients on a one-hour mosey along the banks of the Snake River. “That trail is flat and easygoing, perfect for the beginner,” she said.

“You get the real experience of the backcountry. It gets you away from it all, away from cellphones, away from all of that.” While outings from the A-OK are more lowkey, Willow Creek rides can be more adventurous. “We have unique trail rides for groups up to eight and are able to customize rides and pack trips to fit your desires,” Child said. All of this outfit’s rides make a full loop and don't take the same trail out and back. Riders, then, are constantly taking in new scenery and views of the forest and wilderness, with some of the trails climbing to over 8,000 feet and affording breathtaking views of the Grand Teton Mountain Range in the distance. The mountain trails wind through Douglas firs, lodge pole pine, blue sagebrush, and Alpine wildflowers. “Along the way you may see Rocky Mountain Elk, mule deer, Shiras Moose, red tailed hawks, and American Bald Eagles,” she said.


Willow Creek also features extended trips, as well as fishing trips in the Gros Ventre and Snake River ranges. For the ultimate trail ride, sign on for an overnight or multi-day pack experience. “It is a really neat trip,” said Child. “You get the real experience of getting in the backcountry; it takes you back in where the only way to get there is either horseback or on foot. It gets you away from it all, away from cellphones, away from all of that.” After a three-hour ride to camp, guests can settle into their wall tents or wander in a meadow or forest and experience the quiet of the wilderness on foot or by trail ride. Anglers can grab a rod and hit the stream. Willow Creek's headwaters begin in the Wyoming Range at the south end of Jackson Hole. With 16 miles of pristine water, this beautiful mountain stream boasts excellent habitat

Wildflower-covered meadows delight riders on the backcountry trails. for the feisty cutthroat trout. Willow Creek practices catch-and-release fishing trips to help maintain the healthy trout population. After a good ol' Western home-cooked dinner, guests can cozy up to the warm glow of an open campfire for S’mores under a starfilled canopy. Breakfast is served along with real cowboy coffee. Extended trips can even accommodate families and travelers who on short notice decide to indulge in the adventure. Those trips usually are available in July and August, after mountain snow has retreated and the hills explode with wildflowers.

short list are insect repellant, sunscreen, sunglasses, water bottle, camera, and binoculars. You’re smack dab in the middle of The West, so take advantage of it! Whether it’s for two hours or a whole week. Saddle up – and happy trails to you!


Now that you’re going to hit the trail, dress the part. You don’t need to go out and dude yourself up in full cowboy regalia, but a few items will make the ride more enjoyable. Cowboy boots are best, although any closed-toed shoes are fine. Sandals are not recommended. Long pants and a hat are advisable, and because the weather can change rapidly here in the real West, bring a raincoat. Also on the

Hourly Mountain Trail Rides in the Bridger-Teton National Forest With Beautiful Teton Views Only horseback ride in Jackson Hole that is 100% on Bridger-Teton National Forest

307-733-7086 9500 S. Bryans Flat Rd., Jackson, Wyoming Equal Opportunity Service Provider, Permittee of BTNF

2 0 1 8 G r a n d T e To n & Ye l lo w s To n e a d v e n T u r e G u i d e




iles of singletrack offer mountain bikers many options for cross-country and downhill rides. Leading the charge in the nascent mountain-biking era, the Bridger Teton National Forest, Friends of Pathways, and Teton Freedom Riders cooperated in the design and construction of the intricate trail systems on Teton Pass and the Cache/Game Creek area. They manned the trail crews, too, and labored alongside volunteers from a wide range of or-


A treasure trove of singletrack

ganizations, including the Boy Scouts of America. Teton Freedom Riders volunteers were instrumental in design and construction of the downhill-only trails on Teton Pass. Check out these invaluable organizations at and


Cyclists can ride from downtown Wilson up the paved Old Pass Road (non-motorized vehicles only, 2,000-plus-foot climb) to the top

G r a n d T e To n & Ye l lo w s To n e a d v e n T u r e G u i d e 2 0 1 7

of 8,416-foot Teton Pass. Downhill specialists often drive up the pass to the Phillips Canyon trailhead to access Jimmy’s Mom, a super fun and tech-y downhill-only trail. Cross-country cyclists also park at Phillips to ride the magnificent, high-alpine Arrow, Sno-Tel, Phillips Ridge, and Phillips Canyon trails. The trailhead at the top of the pass accesses loop possibilities with the Black Canyon trail, and Lithium – another downhillonly route. Or head west to Mail Cabin Creek or Idaho’s Mike Harris trailhead.

Philips Ridge Trail (facing page) towers over the Snake River and Jackson Hole as it traverses the high country near Teton Pass. The Arrow Trail (right) gives bikers a view of Mount Glory and many of the other rugged peaks in the southern Tetons.

Wade McKoy photo; Riders: Holly McKoy, Laura Quinlivan (top), Myles Trainer (bottom), Myles & Quinn Trainer (facing page)

The Parallel Trail near the bottom of Teton Pass rolls out a few banked turns and table-top airs for downhill specialists.


The Jackson Hole Bike Park in Teton Village is all the rage, and it’s designed to accommodate experts and novices alike. Ride up Teewinot chairlift with your bike and cruise down one of six different trails assigned difficulty ratings similar to those of ski trails. It was designed and built by Gravity Logic, one of the world’s premier mountain-bike park developers. Tabletop jumps allow novice riders to catch air and land safely. Banked-turn sections feel like a roller coaster ride. The flow and rhythm Continued page 95 2 0 1 8 G r a n d T e To n & Ye l lo w s To n e a d v e n T u r e G u i d e



A mountain town success story

By Mike Calabrese


n any given day of the year, folks around here are walking, cycling, running, skiing, skating, ambling—just plain moving—along some part of the Jackson Hole Pathways system. This scenic artery system, coursing along 70 miles of the valley floor and still growing, is solid proof of a love affair with the outdoors. The current network is indeed impressive, considering that the first installment back in 1996 was a scant four miles of completed pathway. Even the National Park Service eventually got on board, going so far as to develop nearly 20 miles of true non-motorized pathways in Grand Teton National Park. The skyrocketing use of the pathways system helps convey people along all parts of the valley, the result of a healthy cooperative effort between public and private initiative. It’s also moved Jackson Hole to the forefront of alternative transportation. Widespread signage provides a countywide directions system that’s informational and attractive. Hard to get lost around this valley but easy to enjoy 360degrees of scenic delights. And just this spring, a bike-share program was launched to help thin traffic congestion in the town of Jackson. For more information on pathways, trails, and the bike-share program, visit



The South Park pathway rolls throught the countryside from Jackson to Game Creek and Henry’s road.


For stellar maps and a complete rundown of the pathways system and its amenities, visit


At the heart of what’s become the valley’s newest crossroads lies the 40-acre R Park. Here the Jackson Hole’s pathways world and the region’s largest citizen-spawned park converge. The charming R Park refuge holds beautiful ponds, trails, open grasslands, and trees. Its landmark flag-topped knoll, accessible to everyone on foot, boasts a commanding view of the entire preserve. The R Park rests nearly up against the Wilson Snake River boat launch and the stunning

G r a n d T e To n & Ye l lo w s To n e a d v e n T u r e G u i d e 2 0 1 8

pathways bridge arcing over the famous waters. Leaving the camera behind would be a mistake. Views of the waters rushing below and the long expanse of the Teton Range warrant framing. Recessed rest areas on the bridge allow for simply taking in the sights, too. Couldn’t be easier to reach the R Park through the local transit system, START. A stop just across the road accesses the park by way of a safe pathway and tunnel that eliminate the need to cross the Village Road To preview the R Park go online to Mike Calabrese, 45-year resident of this valley so sweet, is a musician, writer, and editor.

Wade McKoy

High-velocity cyclists and pedestrians don’t mix well. Parents with small children— at hand or in strollers—ply these pathways all year long! Cyclists moving along the pathways should remember to signal their approach— well in advance—with a bell or voice and reveal their intentions to pass (generally) on the left. Serious cyclists, those training or drafting in packs, should traverse the main roadways—not the pathways. Walkers, joggers, and rollerbladers (and other cyclists) should acknowledge the approaching cyclist’s signal with a raised hand or a head nod. All too often, people’s ear-bud music deafens them to the audible signals of others approaching from behind. This can leave cyclists wondering whether the other pathway user might abruptly veer into them and wreck everybody’s day. Next, Fido. Some sections of the pathways do not allow dogs, leashed or otherwise. Respect that. And clean up the dookies. PAWS, the local pet advocacy and wellness support organization, has installed and supplies over 150,000 mutt-mitts at 60 stations throughout the valley. No one, not even a pet owner, enjoys sliding around on dog-greased pathways or sidewalks.

Mountain biking continued

keep bikers coming back to the chairlift for another lap. The Jackson Hole Mountain Resort also maintains seven miles of singletrack that traverse the lower mountain from Après Vous to the Hobacks. Rolling and winding with the ski terrain, this route was designed and built by year-round resort workers – skiers – and is a fun, short mountain-bike tour. Expert cyclists might choose to climb the rocky dirt road to the summit of Rendezvous Mountain and ride the tram back down free of charge (downhill riding is prohibited above the top of the Gondola). Pick up a map from any employee.


With a base elevation of 8,000 feet, Targhee remains cool even on the hottest days. Explore 61-plus miles of multiuse trails, including a new “flow park,” ideal for perfecting downhill and cross-country bike skills. The Grand Targhee Loop is a 27-mile ride that winds through wildflower-strewn alpine meadows, forests of conifer and aspen, and high-alpine terrain. Majestic views of the Tetons and Teton Valley embellish this outstanding local favorite, listed an Epic Ride by the International Mountain Bicycling Association. The resort hosts a variety of downhill and cross-country races and closes out the summer with the annual Wydaho Rendezvous Mountain Bike Festival. Check out Targhee’s Bike School for lessons and tours. Pick up a map at the activity center.

Wade McKoy photo; Rider: Alex Chay


Visitors to Jackson can ride the Greater Snow King Area directly from their hotel. Or drive to the Cache Creek trailhead, where numerous single tracks veer off in every direction. Large maps at trailhead kiosks give bikers a bird’s-eye view of numerous singletracks throughout Cache Creek, Game Creek, and Snow King Mountain. Riders can combine trails to create journeys that are short, long, or epic. Several possibilities make for day-long rides that cover dozens of miles, with big climbs and long winding descents. New separate-use trails from the Putt-Putt trailhead on Nelson Drive improve safety and enjoyment for walkers, horse riders, and mountain bikers. The new Skyline Trail provides a scenic route through rugged alpine terrain. As it follows the ridge from upper Snow King to the Cache-Game divide, it at times drops onto the steep north-facing side, thus leaving the southfacing slopes as quiet wildlife habitat. Plan accordingly. Free maps at /resources, a local nonprofit advocacy group.


Bikers must yield to all other users on forest trails. Expect to see hikers and horse riders on many of these routes. Cyclists riding downhill should yield to cyclists riding up. No trail user should be deaf. Turn down those tunes so you can still hear other people coming…and the lions, moose, and bears that, rest assured, are out there, too. Ride open trails only. Respect wilderness and national park closures and private property. Give wildlife a wide berth. When cycling on the paved pathway system, alert others (bells and an audible indicating which side—left or right—should be standard for cyclists) when approaching from behind and pass them respectfully and safely. Pedestrians have the right of way—and they too help fund the maintenance and existence of pathways! Happy trails! — Adventure Guide

Large gap jumps — one of many themes played out on the downhill-specific trails of Teton Pass.

In Downtown Wilson

At the Base of Teton Pass Next to Pearl Street Bagels

Your Biking Headquarters SALES • SERVICE • RENTALS


2 0 1 8 G r a n d T e To n & Ye l lo w s To n e a d v e n T u r e G u i d e


Jackson Hole Lodging Guide Hostel

Grand Targhee Resort

Enjoy a comfortable & affordable stay in Teton Village at the base of the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. We have private rooms & beds in shared bunkrooms, both include a private bathroom. WiFi and organic coffee service included. High season: $99–$134 (Sleeps 1-4 people) Low season: $49–$89 (Sleeps 1-4 people) Bunk room: $32–$45 3315 Village Drive, Teton Village, WY 307-733-3415,

Grand Targhee Resort offers affordable lodging options at the base of the mountain or vacation rentals in Teton Valley. Enjoy convenient access to summer adventures including mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding, fly fishing, and much more. Alta, Wyoming 83414 1-800-TARGHEE 307-353-2300

Jackson Hole Super 8

Jackson Hole Hideout B&B

Jackson, Wyoming

• • • •

• • •

• •

Internet Access

• •


Meeting Room

Kitchen Refrig-Micro

Smoke Free

Handicap Accessible

Pet Friendly

• •

Fitness Ctr Spa

Hot Tub Sauna

$$-$$$ $ $$-$$$ $-$$

Swimming Pool

Grand Targhee Resort Hostel Jackson Hole Hideout B&B Jackson Hole Super 8

750 South Hwy 89, POB 1382 Jackson, WY 83001 800-800-8000 / 307-733-6833 Continental Breakfast


Restaurant Bar

Conveniently located in the heart of Wilson, this beautifully handcrafted lodge style B&B is sure to please. Set into the hillside amidst soaring evergreens, the Hideout features five individually decorated guest rooms with private bathrooms and patios, fresh hot breakfasts, and 24/7 access to a coffee and snack bar.


6175 Heck Of A Hill Road, Wilson 307-733-3233

Experience true Western hospitality in the heart of Jackson Hole. Just steps away from the free city bus, river rafting, and other recreation. Complimentary breakfast, evening popcorn, free high speed WIFI, microwave/refrigerator, and cable TV with HBO. Group Rates Available.

• • • •

Based on Double Occupancy:($) Cost Per Night up to $100; ($$) Cost Per Night up to $250; ($$$) Cost Per Night over $250

CAMERA SHOP & PHOTOGRAPHY Teton Gravity Research – 15 Wyoming Camera Outfitters – 19

JEWELRY – ART – GIFTS Dan Shelley Jewelers – 12 Hines Goldsmiths – 20

KIDS SHOPS & TOYS Teton Toys – 16

LODGING Jackson Hole Super 8 – 4

MEDICAL SERVICES St. John’s Family Health & Urgent Care – 2 St. John’s Medical Center & Emergency– 22

RESTAURANTS – CAFÉS Häagen–Dazs – 18 JH Playhouse & Saddle Rock Saloon – 11 McDonald’s of Jackson Hole – 5 Pinky G’s Pizzeria – 15

RECREATION – CLIMBING – FISHING – RIVER TRIPS Alpine Slide & Roller Coaster – 24 Grand Teton Flyfishing –10 JD Backcounty Outfitters – 17 JH Mountain Guides – 1 Jackson Hole Rodeo – 9 Rendezvous River Sports – 6 Snow King Teton Boulder Park – 23 Snow King Scenic Chairlift – 23 Snow King Mini-Golf – 24 Treetop Adventures – 24

SPORTS SHOPS & APPAREL Chester’s JH Harley Davidson – 13 Hoback Sports – 8 Jackson Hole Resort Store – 21 JD Backcounty Outfitters – 17 Teton Gravity Research – 15



G r a n d T e To n & Ye l lo w s To n e a d v e n T u r e G u i d e 2 0 1 8

Bob Woodall

OF ADVERTISERS IndexINDEX of Advertisers







JH PARAGLIDING 307-739-2626 pg 4





VIA FERATTA 307-739-2654 pg 82







WESTSIDE WINE & SPIRITS 307-733-5038 pg 33

HOBACK SPORTS 307-733-5335 pg 4

MEAD RANCH 307-733-3911 pg 35



TETON GRAVITY RESEARCH 307-734-8192 pg 18 TETON VILLAGE 307-733-2292 pg 4 NOTEWORTHY MUSIC BOOKING AGENCY 307-733-5459 pg 97

JACKSON HOLE SPORTS 307-739-2687 pg 4 JD BACKCOUNTRY OUTFITTERS 307-733-2370 pg 99 TETON GRAVITY RESEARCH 307-734-8192 pg 18 TETON VILLAGE SPORTS 307-732-4058 pg 4



A-OK CORRAL 307-733-6556 pg 91







DAN SHELLEY JEWELERS 307-733-2259 pg 3 HINES GOLDSMITHS 307-733-5599 pg 11



SNOW KING MOUNTAIN 307-201-KING pg 53 WESTBANK ANGLERS 307-733-6483 or 800-922-3474 pg 75 WILSON BACKCOUNTRY SPORTS 307-733-5228 pg 95




JACKSON HOLE, WYOMING JACKSON HOLE KAYAK SCHOOL 307-733-2471 pg 69 OARS 800-346-6277 pg 67 RENDEZVOUS RIVER SPORTS 307-733-2471 pg 69






JACKSON & WILSON, WYOMING JACKSON HOLE HIDEOUT B & B 307-733-3233 pg 96 SUPER 8 800-800-8000/307-733-6833 pg 96


TETON GRAVITY RESEARCH 307-734-8192 pg 18


WYOMING CAMERA OUTFITTERS 307-733-3831 pg 5 & 29





ST. JOHN’S MEDICAL CENTER 307-739-6199 pg 2

JACKSON HOLE AERIAL TRAM 307-739-2654 pg 100




w w w. ye l l ows to n e a d ve n t u re g u i d e. co m


TETON TOYS 307-200-6066 pg 33





JACKSON HOLE SPORTS 307-739-2687 pg 4

PARK COUNTY TRAVEL COUNCIL 1-800-390-2639 pg 37

JACKSON HOLE RODEO 307-733-7927 pg 42


HOBACK SPORTS 307-733-5335 pg 4


CODY NITE RODEO 307-587-5155 or 800-207-0744 pg 41

• The finest live music acts in the region • Jazz • Swing • Rock • Country Solos • Duos • Trios & Big Band • Impeccable references

Michael Calabrese 307-733-5459 P.O. Box 289 • Wilson, WY 83014

2 0 1 8 G r a n d T e To n & Ye l lo w s To n e a d v e n T u r e G u i d e






98 98 G r a nG dRTAeNTD on e l&l o wLsLTOoWnSeT O aN dE v eAnDTVuEr GRuEi dGeU I2D0E1 82 0 1 8 T E& T OYN YE NeT U 2015

w w w. f o c u s p r o d u c t i o n s . c o m G R A N D T E TO N & YE L LO W S TO N E A D V E N T U R E G U I D E







Hike. Camp. Fish. Live. Fishing | Fishing Trips | Camping | Clothing Footwear | Optics | Archery | Hunting



On the Jackson Town Square 50 E. Broadway | Jackson, Wyoming | 307.733.3270


Teton and Yellowstone Adventure Guide 2018  

Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park Traveler’s Guide to Mountain Country is a summer traveler’s guide for vacationers on the many acti...

Teton and Yellowstone Adventure Guide 2018  

Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park Traveler’s Guide to Mountain Country is a summer traveler’s guide for vacationers on the many acti...