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- National Museum of Wildlife Art
- 2820 Rungius Road - Jackson
- Wyoming 83002 - United States
- (307) 733-5771
The National Museum of Wildlife Art opened to the public in May of 1987. In September of 1994, the museum moved to its current site. Located just three miles north of the town of Jackson, the National Museum of Wildlife Art is nestled into the hillside. The building's red Arizona sandstone blends in with the landscape. This location was chosen because of the surrounding landscape and abundance of wildlife.
Initially, the Museum represented the culmination of a lifetime of study and collection of wildlife art by Bill and Joffa Kerr. Images were primarily of large mammals native to North America. As the museum has grown, the collection of over 2,300 works now includes a broader array of wildlife from around the world.
Renowned for fair skies and pleasant temperatures during the summer, renowned for winters that an Alaskan would love, Jackson Hole's temperatures range annually across a gradient of more than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. But things are rarely what they first appear, especially in the mountains.
While it is true that the valley's reputation for arctic cold has been a curse for publicists at the Jackson Hole Ski Resort, it is also true that on those days when the temperature does not climb above 10 degrees (on an estimated average of 15 days each winter), there is usually a strong inversion. That is, the temperatures 2,000 feet above the valley floor can be and frequently are 10 to 20 degrees warmer than they are in the valley (hence Hole) that acts as a cold air sump. This has the peculiar effect on residents of driving people outdoors on the coldest days to higher elevations.
Simply put Jackson Hole is the valley, Jackson the town that rests between the mountains and buttes at the southern end of that valley. "Hole" is a term early mountain men used for any wide, high mountain valley. Travelers are often surprised by the size and flat terrain of Jackson Hole because the four highways that approach the valley traverse mountain passes or push through steep-sided canyons. The valley’s pastoral tranquility is deceptive, however, because the growing season is short, and the soils are thin, rocky and generally poor.
Jackson Hole is surrounded by several Ranges. The Teton Range to the west, Snake River range to the south west and south. Gros Ventres (pronounced "Grow Vawnts") to the east and the North Winds and Yellowstone to the north.
Teton Mountain Range - When people hear about Jackson Hole, the range that first comes to mind is the Tetons. One of America's youngest ranges, the Tetons boast a dramatic collection of steep and jagged peaks. With no foot hills on the eastern side of the range the tallest of the peaks twice as breath taking because they look and feel overwhelmingly close.
Snake River Canyon - To the south, the valley ends abruptly at the northern end of the Snake River canyon. The canyon starts about 10 miles south of town. This is where most of the valley’s whitewater rafting activity is concentrated. On warm summer days, literally thousands of vacationers escape the summer heat floating along the Snake River as it passes between the Snake River and Grey's River Ranges.
Teton Range/Snake River Range and Teton Pass - Dividing the Snake River Range and the Teton Mountain Rages, Teton Pass is the main highway into Teton Valley, Idaho, to the communities of Driggs and Victor, and Grand Targhee ski resort. It is also a backcountry skiing Mecca where a short hike reveals untapped powder stashes even days or weeks after the last storm.
Gros Ventre Mountains - The Gros Ventre Mountain range is much older, wider and more rolling than the Teton Range. It has great expanses of wilderness where one might not cross the road for dozens of miles. The Sleeping Indian on top of Sheep Mountain watches over Jackson Hole and the National Elk Refuge.
Cache Creek Canyon - Located in the southern region of the Gros Ventres, Cache Creek is Jackson's (the town of) immediate access to is great hiking, x-country skiing, and mountain biking. Starting literally at the edge of town, Cache Creek travels up into the Gros Ventres connecting with several creek drainages providing for great full day adventures. Farther up Cache Creek lies Jackson Peak which over looks town and is a popular destination for spring skiing.
Togwotee Pass - Togwotee Pass bisects the Norther Winds and Gros Ventre Mountain Ranges. A long wide climb takes one up to a high plateau (over 10,000 feet) of open meadows and glades renowned by snowmobilers the world over. To the east, lies the tiny town of Dubois and the warmer, drier climate of West-Central Wyoming.
The Town of Jackson (not Jackson Hole) is situated on the eastern edge of the valley near its southern end. The first homesteaders lived directly across the valley below the pass they used to enter the valley. But some of them soon moved across the valley’s floor when they noticed that there was less snowfall and milder winter temperatures on the site of today’s town.
At the base of Teton Pass, Wilson, Wyoming (population 200) and the surrounding area is the wealthiest zip code in the U.S. Despite this fact, there is a great bar, the Stagecoach, one of the most unique trading posts, Hungry Jack's, and lots of funky charm. Wilson was the original settlement in Jackson Hole, until settlers realized the snow was shallower at the present location of Jackson and moved.
A tiny hamlet at the base of the Gros Ventres, along the Gros Ventre River, has one of the most spectacular views of Tetons to be seen. Now an eclectic village of hippies, park employees, second home owners, and ranchers, the Town of Kelly was the victim of tragedy. In 19??, an giant earthen dam a few miles up the Gros Ventre River gave way flooding Jackson Hole and wiping out this little town, now rebuilt.
Aptly named Moose is twelve miles from Jackson and is the southern entrance for Grand Teton National Park and site of the Visitor's Center. To the north of Moose, the Snake River runs in a shallow canyon between alluvial plains, formed by the deposits and smoothing effects of glaciers.
30 mile north of Jackson, Moran is a small community of park employees at the junction of Highways 89 and US 26, 287. Here the road turns east towards Togwotee or north towards Yellowstone and Jackson Lake. Also nearby is the outlet where the Snake River leaves the confines of Jackson Lake and continues down through Jackson Hole.
55 mile from town and the southern entrance to Yellowstone, Flagg Ranch is the last stop for summer and winter enthusiasts before beginning the climb into Yellowstone Country.
About 18 miles south of Jackson, Hoback offers gas, food and a little lodging. Hwy. 89 heads to the right (traveling south) downstream along the Snake River to the southwest toward Evanston, Wyoming and Salt Lake City. And, Hwy. 191 heads upstream (and left) along the Hoback River southeast toward Pinedale, the Wind River Mountains and Rock Springs.
10 miles north of town lies the airport, the only municipal airport within a national park. While flying in to Jackson can be a bit expensive, if you land on a clear day the views are incredible and always worth the small extra expence. In the spring time, early in the morning, bird lovers visit the runway to watch the mating rituals of the strutting sage grouse males as they seek to impress their ladies by prancing on the runway tarmac.
Seventy miles north of Jackson lies the southern gateway to Yellowstone National Park, the world's first national park. Yellowstone country has a largely volcanic origin, the result of gigantic explosive forces swelling up from the depths of the earth's core.
After decades of wrangling Grand Teton National Park was established by an act of Congress. Since its original establishment, the park has almost doubled in size to encompass much of the valley floor through the efforts of John D. Rockefeller. Forged by tectonic uplift and glaciation the Teton Range and valley floor show us the geographic history of this area. Bisected by the Snake River, the valley ascends as one moves north in the Park until it strike the volcanic plateau of Yellowstone.
Highway 89, the only major road to the north, leaves town quickly behind passing along the southern edge of the National Elk Refuge, a 25,000 acre reserve created in 1912. The Refuge is home to the world’s largest elk herd during the winter months, usually numbering between 7,000 and 11,000 animals.
The town of Jackson is a small but growing community at the southern end of Jackson Hole where the wealthy and the working class pursue their pleasures in the mountains and rivers passing through Jackson Hole. Despite the fact that Teton County is one of the wealthiest counties in the United States, it is sometimes very difficult to tell the wealthy from the regular folk. Outward signs such as luxury automobiles, fur coats, and designer clothes are relatively rare.
Jackson is the county seat of Teton County and is its only incorporated town. Most Teton County residents live in and around the town of Jackson but there is a small outpost on the western slopes of the Tetons on the road towards Grand Targhee ski area, Alta, Wyoming.
The Town of Jackson is a small but growing community at the southern end of a valley called Jackson Hole. Less than 3 percent of Teton County is privately owned; most is contained withing Grand Teton National Park, the Bridger-Teton National Forest, the Targhee National Forest and the National Elk Refuge. Of Teton County's 3,826l,407 acres, 97 percent is under state of federal management.
With a population of 6,400 year-round residents, Jackson is not the quiet, isolated town it once was. Yet, it is still a far cry from a metropolitan area. It remains the kind of place where locals still greet each other with a smile and large open spaces cover a large majority of the valley floor. A multitude of shops and restaurants center around the town square along the boardwalks recalling Jackson Hole's western past.
Jackson is a gateway to the parks, Yellowstone and Grand Teton, which attract around 3 million visitors annually. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Snow King, ad Grand Targhee attract 350,000 or so destination skiers.
Outdoor enthusiasts seek out Jackson Hole to pursue their love of the outdoors from the Snake River to hundreds of miles of trails to hike, bike, and explore. Increasingly lovers of the arts, and fine food and wine find pleasant surprises as well. Some might say that Jackson Hole is a perfect combination of the wild and sophisticated in just the right proportions for nearly everyone to enjoy.