Scenic USA - Wyoming

Centennial Byway

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Ambush Peak in Desolation Valley - Wind River Range, Centennial Byway, Wyoming

Photos by Jack Brauer
Jack Brauer Photography

     Wyoming's Centennial Byway guides today's visitors through the mountainous region of the Tetons, lands first described to Easterners by John Colter in the early 1800s. A onetime member of the Louis and Clark Expedition, Colter, along with Jedediah Smith, Jim Bridger and David Jackson, became famous Americans who explored this part of the western frontier.
The 160 mile, U-shaped byway follows U.S. Routes 26/287 in the north, climbing through the Togwotee Pass, near high alpine lakes, along the Wind River, and passed the Tie Hack Memorial. The Tie Hack site salutes Stroud Peak and Lake Bright - Wind River Range, Wyoming wood cutters who created countless rail ties for the Union Pacific. Tie Hacks, paid 12 cents per tie in 1913, produced 2500 ties for each mile of new railroad track.
     The byway continues through the Bridger-Teton National Forest, an immense forestland totaling nearly 3.5 million acres. The Teton Division encompasses an area around famous Jackson Hole, a 48 mile valley surrounding some of the grandest mountains of the West. Heading southward passed the Grand Teton National Park and the National Elk Refuge, the byway follows U.S. Route 189/191 and the Gros Ventre Range. The area is topped off by the highest point in Wyoming, Gannett Peak, reaching 13,804 feet. Just north of Cora, the byway offers glimpses of the Upper Green River and the Wind River Range. The Father DeSmet Monument is found nearby Daniel. The Centennial Byway, totaling just over 160 miles, offers a look at historic sites, access to several major visitor centers, wilderness trailheads and four river corridors, all coupled in with some of the most dramatic mountain scenery in Wyoming.

   Byway Route

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