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Bridger-Teton National Forest

With its pristine watersheds, abundant wildlife and immense wildlands, the Bridger-Teton National Forest comprises a large part of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem - the largest intact ecosystem in the lower 48 United States.

The Bridger-Teton National Forest is 3.4 million acres and is adjacent to Grand-Teton National Park,and Yellowstone National Park and the National Elk Refuge. The Bridger-Teton has three nationally dedicated wilderness areas, which include the Bridger Wilderness, the Gros Ventre Wilderness and the Teton Wilderness.

Wildlife on the Bridger-Teton is diverse. Many of Bridger-Teton's visitors wish to view wildlife. The Forest provides habitat for an abundance of species. Summer visitors are likely to see trumpeter swans, sandhill cranes, coyotes, bald eagles, and elk. Other wildlife less visible during the summer become easier to see in winter as they move to lower elevations. Examples of wildlife more visible in winter include moose, mule deer, and bighorn sheep. Although widely known for its large mammals, including grizzly bears, Bridger-Teton also supports more than 355 species of birds.

A note on wildlife: Getting too close to many of the wildlife, including the grizzly, moose and elk can be dangerous. Observe animals from a distance without disturbing them. A fed animal is a dead animal. Wild animals should never be fed human food; it is bad for their health. Animals dependent upon human food can lose their ability to find their own natural food and often die when winter comes and no one feeds them.

Come explore
No matter when you chose to visit us here in Northwestern Wyoming, the Bridger Teton National Forest offers many recreational experience for visitors year round.

During the summer months, visitors can chose from 37 developed campgrounds or partake of the many dispersed camping opportunities offered throughout the forest. The Bridger-Teton also boasts 34 designated trailheads with more than 2,200 miles of system trails that vary in difficulty from family day-hikers to those only for hard-core wilderness enthusiasts

Summer visitors can also experience the Bridger-Teton National Forest by water. Fisherman and scenic canoeists enjoy the stretches of the Salt and Green Rivers that meander over the forest boundary. For the adrenaline junkie, the stretch of the lower Snake south of Jackson, the Hoback and the Gros Venter rivers offer a chance for boaters to get a little wet, while encountering some of the most spectacular river canyons Wyoming has to offer.

Horseback riding, off-road vehicle touring, mountain bike riding and rock climbing are just a few of the warm weather activities available to visitors on the Bridger-Teton. OHV riders, please check forest regulations before hitting the trail.

When the weather turns colder, the forest offers spectacular hunting opportunities to those with hunting permits from Wyoming's Game and Fish Department. Winter recreation is also abundant on the forest. Visitors can enjoy snowmobiling on groomed trails that network with the Continental Divide Trails. Cross country skiing, snowshoeing and ice climbing are a few of the more popular winter recreation activities.

The Bridger-Teton also has permitted 3 ski resorts, which all offer exciting downhill runs for snowboarders and alpine skiers. Mushing (dog sledding) and backcountry skiing are other activities that are available to visitors once the snow flies. Scroll down and select the season that has the recreational activity that you are interested in learning about.

The Gros Ventre Slide is another natural landmark that visitors to the forest love to see. On June 23, 1925 a one mile wide section of mountain collapsed, damming the Gros Ventre River. Lower Slide Lake formed behind the dam; two years later the dam gave way, flooding the town of Kelly. This unique geologic site is located 18 miles northeast of Jackson. An interpretive trail winds through the area enabling visitors to learn the history and ecology of this massive landslide. Click here for a topo map online.

Wyoming Forests

First-timer’s Adventure

There are a lifetime’s worth of recreational opportunities in this forest, and choosing an activity can be overwhelming. From Jackson alone, there are hundreds of hikes for you and your family.

A favorite is to visit the Granite Falls. The trail follows the east side of Granite Creek upstream to the falls, and if you continue up the trail, you will reach Granite Hot Springs, open year round and operated by a concessionaire. A fee is required at the springs.

From Jackson follow Hwy. 89 South to Hoback Junction. Go east on Hwy. 191 approx. 11 miles to Granite Creek Road and turn left. Follow this road to a parking area at the junction of Swift Creek and Granite Creek. Parking is also available at Granite Hot Springs. From there follow trail downstream on the eastside of the falls.

Statistics

State(s):

Wyoming

Nearest Large Urban Area:

Jackson

Notes & Conditions:

The forest service offers a terrific Frequently Asked Questions section to help you understand the difference between the many kinds of public lands in the area.

Research campground locations and amenities at the U.S. National Forest Campground Directory. The Web site is full of pictures and detailed descriptions to help you plan your next trip.

If you want to experience a guided recreation trip in a National Forest, visit Adventure Vacation to learn about whitewater rafting, canoeing, kayaking, horseback riding, camping, hiking and fishing trips.

Maps:

Visit the National Forest Store to see what maps are available for this Forest and others you may want to visit.