You’ve probably heard of Yellowstone. But what do you know about Bridger-Teton National Forest? Located in western Wyoming, Bridger-Teton encompasses 3.4 million acres. That’s massive enough to make it the third largest forest in the continental U.S.!
Bridger-Teton has lots to explore, from the Gros Ventre Mountains to Yellowstone National Park. In the wintertime, the landscape of the entire Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (all 20 million acres of it!) becomes a pristine, snow-covered adventure attraction. With some park roads closed to regular traffic, snowmobiles and over-snow vehicles like snowcoaches are the popular way to get around.
Where to Stay
Just 30 minutes north of Jackson Hole International Airport, Turpin Meadow Ranch offers a dude ranch experience with private luxury accommodations. The main lodge exudes rustic charm with its original wood floors, stone fireplace and log cabin ceilings. Take a stool at the full bar and enjoy a bottled brew or cocktail, or head to the onsite farm-to-table restaurant for a full gourmet dinner overlooking the Tetons. Guests can choose a cozy cabin or larger chalet stocked with Pendleton wool bedding, coffee maker, mini fridge and even a gas stove for making a hearty breakfast before you set out on the trails. The chalets are great for families, sleeping up to 14 people in some models.
How to Travel
Snow chains on your truck will only get you so far in Bridger-Teton. If you’re looking to see the backcountry, you’ll need a snow-friendly mode of transportation. The downside is that most snowmobile rentals in the area require you to tow a trailer behind your vehicle for an additional fee – which is a big problem if you don’t have a hitch. Luckily, Scenic Safaris has an option to pick up a Ski-doo in the parking lot of Turpin Meadow Ranch. You can also pick up your snowmobile in Jackson, Alpine or at Flagg Ranch in Yellowstone.
Rent a snowmobile (single rider) or trail sled (2 riders) online before your trip and enjoy a full or half-day cruising along Greys River, enjoying the breathtaking alpine scenery at Brooks Lake, visiting Granite Hot Springs and checking out the glaciers of the Wind River Range. Tip: If you’re leaning towards a snowmobile departure at Turpin Meadows Ranch, special lodging discounts may be available.
Take a Guide
If you want to see Bridger-Teton National Forest and Yellowstone National Park in the wintertime, you’ll need a guide. (There are a few permits issued directly by the park for non-guided tours, but otherwise you can’t get into Yellowstone without booking a tour.) Scenic Safaris has seasonal snowcoach and snowmobile options, depending on your preference. Stay toasty warm with your family inside the coach, or opt for a more thrilling and outdoorsy ride on a Ski-doo. Outside Yellowstone, visitors can take a guided ride on a groomed trail through the Gros Ventre Mountains, do a half-day in the forest or take an 8-hour ride through the backcountry near Turpin Meadows. Click here for a full list of guided tours available in the area. No matter which guided excursion you take, you’ll need to bundle up. Don’t forget to wear thermals and a heavy jacket, and bring a balaclava/ski mask and goggles if you’re taking a snowmobile ride.
Bridger-Teton National Forest is filled with photo-worthy spots, from the hot springs and Yellowstone National Park to a visible landslide and the tallest mountain in Wyoming. Bring a waterproof case for your camera or smartphone and prepare to snap amazing landscape photos. For information on guided tours and snowmobile rentals in and around Bridger-Teton National Forest near Jackson Hole, WY, call 888-734-8898 or book online today.