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Let’s be real, we’re all here for the Tetons. Their jaw-dropping beauty and incredible recreational opportunities make them a destination for skiers, climbers, boaters, sightseers, weddings, film, and practically any other use you can imagine. Perhaps I’m biased, but the Tetons are the most stunning mountain range in North America. A short, narrow, and high mountain range, the Tetons are a rectangular mountain block about 40 miles long and 10-15 miles wide and are flanked on the east and west by the flat-floored valleys of Jackson Hole and Teton Basin. Unlike most mountain ranges, the Tetons are extra special in the fact that they ride steeply from the valley floor with no foothills, making them a spectacular sight to see with little effort to access an alpine view. So we agree that they’re pretty, but what’s behind their name?

The Shoshone are believed to have lived in and around the Teton range for as long as 10,000 years calling the range “Teewinot”, which translates to “many pinnacles”. There is also a belief that the Shoshone called the trio of mountains including the South, Middle, and Grand Teton mountains the “hoary-headed fathers”. However, French explorers saw something different in the mountains when they stumbled upon the range while trudging across the frozen tundra of Western Wyoming. Tired and famished, possibly daydreaming of the comforts of home, they quickly came to name the iconic mountains “Les Trois Tetons’, or “The Three Breasts”. To top it off, they literally named the Grand Teton, the tallest mountain in the Teton Range and the third tallest in Wyoming, “the big tit”. Les Trois Tétons somehow stuck. 

There’s a lot of great ways to experience the Tetons, from hiking and climbing, to aerial tours, to skiing or riding the tram, but in our opinion you haven’t really experienced the Tetons until you’ve experienced them from the water. Similar to the Tetons, the Snake River is also a piece of history. A major tributary of the Columbia River with headwaters inside Yellowstone and Two Ocean Plateau, various stretches of the Snake River have had at least 15 different names, but the name that stuck was the Snake. The Snake River, which comes from the Snake (Shoshone) Indians, was applied to the river in 1812, making it one of the oldest names in the history of Grand Teton National Park. Meander down Jackson Hole’s iconic Snake River and view the Tetons (or Les Trois Tetons, Teewinot Range or the Hoary Headed Fathers) on a scenic river trip with Dave Hansen Whitewater. 

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How The Tetons Got Their Name

Let’s be real, we’re all here for the Tetons. Their jaw-dropping beauty and incredible recreational opportunities make them a destination for skiers, climbers, boaters, sightseers, weddings, film, and practically any other use you can imagine. Perhaps I’m biased, but the...

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How the Snake River Got Its Name

The Snake River Doesn’t Have Snakes! Have you ever wanted to take a rafting trip on the Snake River but you were scared because of the name of the river? Have no fear! As it turns out, the Snake does not...

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Virginian Lodge in Jackson Hole

Virginian Lodge in Jackson Hole

When coming to Jackson Hole, some times the biggest challenge is finding a place to stay that fits in your budget.  The Virginian Lodge is a great place to stay if you are looking for a nice clean hotel with a great...

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River Flow 10,300 cubic ft / sec