The Snake River Range starts at the southern end of the Grand Teton Mountain
Range between Jackson Hole Wyoming and Teton Valley Idaho and is part of the
Targhee National Forest. The range extends northwest to Victor Idaho, west
to Swan Valley Idaho and south to Alpine Wyoming. The Snake River is the eastern
boundary back up to the Tetons. This is rugged country, and has plenty of water;
glaciers and running water shaped the numerous deep canyons. The lush vegetation
will impress the visitor, the land is dynamic and unstable, rockslides and
earth flows are common, landslides created both Upper Palisades and Lower Palisades
Lakes a couple of jewels of the range. Mount Baird, at 10,042 feet, is the
highest point in the Snake River Range.
Snake River Range includes the Palisades Roadless Area which is over 200,000
acres in size, which is an awesome pocket of wilderness in the Idaho/Wyoming
border region; it encompasses most the Snake River Range. The Palisades Roadless
Area is one of those rare places in eastern Idaho where the Forest Service does
not permit the grazing of domestic livestock on public land. Much of the Wyoming
portion of the Palisades Roadless Area was designated as a "wilderness study area" by
Congress and The Targhee National Forest has recommended about 1/3 of the Palisades
Roadless Area to be designated as a wilderness area.
The high alpine meadows have prolific wild flower displays in the summer months starting with the balsamroot in early June. Meadows along the Idaho/Wyoming border mountains contain little grass, but many tall perennials such as cow parsnip, penstemon, lupine, monkshood, and western coneflower. These plants grow so tall that they obscure lightly used trails by mid summer.
Black bear are relatively common, elk and moose are abundant, there is a population of mountain goats in the much of the middle and southern part of the range. The peregrine falcon has been restored to the cliffs above Palisades
Creek. The Snake River Range is being considered as a possible dispersion place for grizzly bears and wolf expansion. Leading grizzly experts agree that the Snake River Range contains high-quality grizzly habitat, and they believe that bears will reoccupy this area. Wolves have been known to travel through the area.
Blue ribbon trout fishing is to be found throughout the western drainages of the range in its many streams. Pine Creek, Rainey Creek, Palisades Creek and Big
Elk Creek are prolific spawning areas for that enable the South Fork of the Snake River to be the number one wild trout fishery in the lower 48 states. On the east side Fall Creek provides some nice fishing, as does Mosquito Creek.
The hunting in the Snake River Range for elk, moose and mule deer is hard to
beat; there is even a hunt for mountain goats. When hunting be aware of where
the state line splits jurisdictions. If you are unfamiliar with the area you
may want to hire a guide and there are many to be found in the region.
popularity of the Snake River Range is increasing rapidly. The major trails on
the Idaho side of the range include Palisades Creek, Big Elk Creek, Indian Creek
and Little Elk Creek these are closed to motorcycles, ATVs, and mountain biking.
Burbank Creek, Pole Canyon, Pine Creek Pass and Mike Harris Canyon all provide
access to the Snake River Range from the Victor area. In Wyoming Teton Pass is
a popular backcountry skiing, mountain biking and hiking destination. Since the
parking lot lies at an elevation of 8,400 feet, a short ski or hike along the
scenic crest ridge provides easy access to
powder laden bowls for the skier or rich sub-alpine vistas for the hiker and
mountain biker. Mosquito Creek is popular with the locals, Fall Creek, Dog Creek,
Cabin Creek, East and West Table Creeks and Wolf creek all provide trails into
the heart of the Snake River Range.