- Jackson Hole
Jackson Hole is a
valleylocated in the west-central U.S. stateof Wyoming. The name "hole" derives from language used by early trappers or mountain men, who primarily entered the valley from the north and east and had to descend along relatively steep slopes, giving the sensation of entering a hole. These low-lying valleys surrounded by mountains contain rivers and streams, good habitat for beaverand other fur-bearing animals.
The valley is thought to be named for David (Davey) Edward Jackson, a mountain man who trapped the area for beaver in the early
nineteenth century. Though used by Native Americans for hunting and ceremonial purposes, the valley was not known to harbor year round human settlement prior to the 1870s. Descriptions of the valley and its features were recorded in the journals of John Colter, who had been a member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. After returning to the Rocky Mountains, Colter entered the region in 1806in the vicinity of Togwotee Passand became the first caucasian American to see the valley. His reports of the valley, the Teton Rangeand of the Yellowstone region to the north were viewed by people of the day with skepticism.
The only incorporated town in the valley is Jackson, sometimes also mistakenly called Jackson Hole itself. Other communities in the valley include Wilson, Teton Village, Moran Junction, Hoback, Moose (
Moose Wilson Road, Wyoming), and Kelly. On the west side of the valley, Teton Passcrosses the Teton Rangeproviding access to Victor and Driggs in eastern Idahoand Alta, Wyomingon the western side of the Tetons. Numerous elkuse the valley as grazingrange during the winter, and sleighrides are offered to tourists. The Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Snow Kingand Grand Targhee Resort ski areas, and nearby Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks are major tourism attractions throughout all seasons of the year.
The valley is formed by the
Teton Rangeon the western side and the Gros Ventre rangeon the eastern side. Grand Teton National Parkoccupies the north-western part of the valley encompassing the much of the Teton Rangeas well as Jackson Lake. The town of Jackson, Wyoming, is at the southern end. Between them lies the National Elk Refuge, home of the largest elk herd on earth. The Snake Riverthreads through the entire valley from its headwater in Yellowstone in the north to the mouth of the Snake River Canyon at the southern tip of the valley. Blacktail Butteis a prominent landformrising from the valley floor. The average altitude of the valley is over convert|6500|ft|m|-2.
High altitude and steep mountain slopes on all sides of the valley often causes calm
winternights to be very cold, as radiational coolingfrom snow-covered ground creates cold air near the surface, which then slides down into the valley due to its higher density. In 1993, this effect during an already severe cold snap plunged the morning low temperature down to convert|-56|°F|°C|0 in the valley, officially recorded by the National Weather Service. The state record low temperature was also recorded in the valley at Moran at convert|-66|°F|°C|0 in 1933.
*cite web|last = Daugherty| first = John |title = A Place Called Jackson Hole | publisher = Grand Teton Natural History Association | url = http://www.cr.nps.gov/history/online_books/grte2/hrs.htm| accessdate = 2006-10-06
*cite web|last = | first = |title = The Mystery of the Colter Stone | publisher = Grand Teton National Park | url =http://www.nps.gov/archive/grte/cult/cstone/stone.htm| accessdate = 2006-10-06
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