The Bridger-Teton National Forest offers many attractions to visitors. There are several unique areas throughout the Forest and these below are just a few in particular to be highlighted.
Two pivotal laws, the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and the National Trails System Act, were signed in 1968, creating national systems of protected rivers and trails that brought public lands to the forefront of American consciousness. Our nation’s Wild and Scenic Rivers include rivers flowing through primitive, unspoiled landscapes with few people, to those meandering across rural landscapes, small towns, and near big cities.
“Clean, free-flowing rivers are an important national asset and the Forest Service takes great pride in managing them for the American people,” said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tony Tooke. “This upcoming anniversary year for Wild and Scenic Rivers and National Trails is a unique opportunity for communities across the country to get outside, enjoy rivers and trails, and pitch in to help with their stewardship.”
The Forest Service manages nearly 5,000 miles of rivers designed as part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, as well as over 14,500 additional miles of rivers and streams identified as potential candidates for future designation. And with over 158,000 miles of trail—the largest trail system in the country—national forests and grasslands offer abundant opportunities to access and explore public lands.
Free-flowing rivers create natural riparian areas that foster healthy, abundant, and diverse wildlife and are the centerpieces of rich ecological processes. Recreationally, free-flowing rivers offer unparalleled inspirational experiences from challenging whitewater to placid fishing. Through the arterial connections of rivers to communities, we all live downstream of a Wild and Scenic River.
More information on Wild and Scenic Rivers managed by the U.S. Forest Service can be found at the Wild and Scenic Rivers webpage.
Bridger Wilderness, Pinedale Ranger District
Togwotee Pass, WY Centennial Scenic Byway, Blackrock Ranger District
Wild & Scenic Rivers
Granite Creek, Jackson Ranger District
Jackson Hole & Greater Yellowstone Inter-Agency Visitor Center
This Inter-Agency Visitor Center is managed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Elk Refuge. The Center is a major partnership with the goal of bringing information to visitors on all the public lands throughout the Jackson Hole region from one location. The idea is to offer a kind of one-stop-shop for information on all the amazing opportunities the area has to offer. Partners include the Bridger-Teton National Forest, Grand Teton National Park, the Chamber of Commerce, Grand Teton Natural History Association, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and Wyoming Game and Fish Department.
Bridger-Teton National Forest
The Bridger-Teton National Forest is part of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. It has played an important part in the recovery of species such as the wolf, grizzly bear, and white bark pine. The Intermountain Trails, November issue highlighted the Bridger-Teton National Forest. Enjoy the newsletter to learn more about the great work that is being done on this forest.
Situated at the base of limestone cliffs, Periodic Spring discharges about 285 gallons per second. Spring water gushes from an opening for several minutes, stops abruptly, then begins a new cycle a short time later. Intermittent water flows range anywhere from four to 25 minutes and the water is clear and cold. This is a very rare type of spring with only a few known in the world. Unlike thermal geysers, where water is heated and pressurized, the spring has disputed theories as to its perplexing behavior. One theory suggests siphoning action. Water fills a subsurface reservoir and flows freely from the opening until the water level drops below the siphon intake. The reservoir then refills and the process starts all over (Corliss, 1990; Mohlenbrock, 1990).
From Highway 89 in Afton, Wyoming head west on Forest Service Road 10211. This gravel road winds through the canyon for about four miles. The Periodic Spring Trail follows the creek side for a little over 1/2 mile to the Periodic Spring. Take a break and enjoy lunch at the Periodic Spring Picnic Site.
Snake River Canyon
The Upper Snake River is known for its crystal clear waters, unique geology, numerous recreation adventures, and amazing varieties of wildlife. This portion of the Snake River is fee-free.
Each summer from the June to August, the portion of the Snake River between South Park Bridge and Sheep Gulch hosts over 200,000 visitors. This is an extremely crowded and sought after section of the Snake River. In an effort to alleviate some of the crowding, special use permits for non-commercial groups over 15 people and for institutional outfitters are required. There are several river access points and campgrounds along the river. If launching a boat, you are required to use the existing boat ramp facilities at the access points.
The Snake River Canyon is located south of Jackson and runs along Highway 89 to Alpine, Wyoming. At Hoback Junction turn right at the fork in the road and travel across the bridge over the Snake River and onward. Visit the Snake River Canyon page on the Bridger-Teton National Forest web site to learn more about seasonal and safety information.