Excerpt from an interview with Jason Smith of Scenic Safaris.
We have host of different animals out there. We have Bald eagles and Golden Eagles. We’ve got Elk feed grounds in the Gros Ventre in Jackson Hole which the Game and Fish funds and allows the elk to help sustain themselves through the winter. There’s not bison out there, but we do have moose and then there’s also a lot of wolves that live in the Gros Ventre. A lot of our pictures come from the Gros Ventre in the winter time just because there is a large amount of activity back there.
It doesn’t get quite as much snow as the top of Togwotee, so it lends itself to those ungulates to be able to survive a harsh Wyoming winter by not having 15 feet of snow to trudge through and being able to walk through and make trails and paths in the winter time in the Gros Ventre, it’s more apt to allow them to survive.
We also have Mountain Lions back there. In fact, Netflix a few years ago and one of our former guides was in charge of this program where they filmed a documentary about mountain lions in the Gros Ventre, and you don’t see them that often. They’re extremely elusive creatures. But I have, run into them a couple of times and I have cut their tracks going across the road or down the down the trails many times over the years of guiding but like I say’ they’re extremely illusive critters and you don’t see them very often.
Are the views of the Tetons good on the Gros Ventre in Jackson Hole tour? What do you see exactly?
The Gros Ventre winds its way back towards Cottonwood Creek and Fish Creek and there’s some beautiful red hills along the way and it’s not uncommon for guests to go out and back on the same trail and think that they’ve done loop. The views are so different heading east than they are heading west and on the way back you really get the Tetons framed for a majority of your ride back to the trailer on the way out we stop as we see wildlife.
There’s also big horn sheep I forgot earlier to mention that there are Mountain Sheep. These Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep come out of the wilderness, areas of the Gros Ventre in Jackson Hole and down the lower elevations and they’re living on the side of the cliff. But lucky for us, one of our trails goes through one of these areas right at the beginning. They don’t stay in one spot all the time. They move around by all means, but they do to use this canyon every day so we have a very high chance and high possibility of seeing Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep as soon as we get off the trailer.
At one of these spots in particular, you can also see the Tetons in the same viewing corridor so that’s pretty unique. You know as you get back there it’s more of a rugged than it’s in the summertime and feels desolate in the winter time. It’s just big open grand landscape that as you pass through this narrow corridor that had a landslide in the mid-twenties, it bottlenecks down into a really small little canyon.
Then once you get past that canyon, the boundaries of the Gros Ventre in Jackson Hole just expand to these massive bowls and lots of beautiful terrain and red hills. There’s different types of rock and geological features from the glaciers that have receded and been built up in the last ice age through the Pinedale period over 17,000 years ago and you can see those scars and the marks on the geography out there, just by looking and sitting in a couple different spots.