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Jedediah Smith Wilderness

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The setting sun decends beyond a mountain chain, casting rays of pink and peach across the sky.
Library image #3947: Grand Tetons National Park with light coming from Jedidiah Smith Wilderness Area, Wyoming


The United States Congress designated the Jedediah Smith Wilderness (map) in 1984 and it now has a total of 123,896 acres. All of this wilderness is located in Wyoming and is managed by the Forest Service.


The Jedediah Smith Wilderness was designated because of the unique karst limestone features, including numerous caves and outstanding scenery. It was named after Jedediah Strong Smith, a well-educated and energetic mountain man from New York who explored the West in the early 1800's. Long and narrow, the Wilderness lies on the west slope of the Teton Range in western Wyoming and stretches from Yellowstone National Park south to Teton Pass. The Jedediah Smith Wilderness is part of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and home to a variety of wildlife including black and grizzly bear, big horn sheep, wolverine, moose and elk. The Forest Service and Park Service are working together to return fire to the ecosystem. Some lightning-ignited fires may be burning for Wildland Fire Use. The Teton Range receives heavy snowfall in the winter and heavy recreation use in the summer. Approximately 175 miles of trail provide access including some trails that cross into Grand Teton National Park. Dogs are not allowed and permits are required to camp overnight in Grand Teton National Park.

Planning to Visit the Jedediah Smith Wilderness?

Leave No Trace

How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the Jedediah Smith Wilderness.
  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
  2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  3. Dispose of Waste Properly
  4. Leave What You Find
  5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
  6. Respect Wildlife
  7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors
For more information on Leave No Trace, Visit the Leave No Trace, Inc. website.

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