I do have to take exception to some of your polemics on the crowds in the Tetons, and especially in the Winds. Even if you travel to Titcomb or the Cirque, you aren't likely to see 75-100 people, much less camps. My wife and I spent two months in the Winds in the summer of '99, including the cirque, and I'll bet we talked to maybe 20 people the whole time.
Thank you, and exception noted-- I'm just reporting what I've read many times in many sources. I got lucky during my time in the Winds in 2001 and saw very few others once I was a few miles from the trailheads on two different multi-night trips. I have had similar luck on overnights in the Tetons since I've gone mid-week and sought out destinations that see less traffic, but I again understand from many sources that those were exceptional experiences. I remember hiking down Paintbrush Canyon and seeing dozens heading up (during storm hours, too) and hiking out of Death Canyon and seeing literally hundreds playing in the water around the ranger cabin.
The Teton crowds are localized and pretty easy to avoid. The Winds are just simply enormous and not many people are willing to hike or even ride a horse that far. That experience in the Winds is standard, I think. Even in Titcomb, since we weren't climbing Gannett, we really didn't run in to many people, and it was the week of Labor Day. It may not feel like the Bob, with the openness and tundra, but it's every bit as wild, especially off trail. Let me know if you head to either place again, and I could probably help you avoid the crowds. Thanks again for this page.
Thanks for that. I did try to make clear in my comments on both ranges that solitude is easy to find off-trail and/or away from the most popular areas. My own experiences tell me you're exactly right in what you say about the typical backcountry experience out there, especially in the Winds. And I may be out there next summer, so maybe I will get in touch closer to then.
Fantastic job, Bob! Glad to see you mentioning the oft-misunderstood "Jackson" vs. "Jackson Hole" bit; I've always delighted in pointing out the difference to the unknowing....
On a more serious and important note, there is an excellent book, "Yellowstone to Yukon: Freedom to Roam," dealing with the proposed wildlife "corridor" linking those two geographical areas. Well worth checking out! Also, it might be good to note that in addition to what you've mentioned, the Mission Range (having as abrupt and great a topographical upthrust as the Tetons), Swan Range (the crest of the Swans is the western boundary of the "Bob"), and Great Bear and Scapegoat wildernesses are also an important link in the Yellowstone to Yukon thinking/planning here in the Continental U.S.
I enjoyed this page! A lot.
Great area. I'd generally agree with b. about the crowds, but during the tourist season with a limited amount of time, I think your experience is pretty normal. Too much territory to be crowded everywhere in those ranges, though.
Shorten the name to "Yellowstone Ecosystem," since the mountain ranges part is implied, and the current title is long in my opinion.
Include the Snake River Range.
Mention the book "Select Peaks of the Greater Yellowstone," by Thomas Turiano. It is one of the best out there.
Good suggestion on the name-- I made the change. In truth, I never liked the name I used and preferred "Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem," but I thought that title might not pop up on many searches for Yellowstone locations. Why I never thought of just "Yellowstone Ecosystem" I really don't know.
I will add a short section with book suggestions and include the one you suggested.
About the Snake River Range-- I know of it but really didn't consider it to be one of the really major ranges of the area because of its size relative to the others. I also know almost nothing about it beyond the fact that I've seen it a few times from near Alpine and Jackson. But if you, knowing the area more thoroughly than I do, think it should be included, I can attach it with what little I do know about it. I'll look on the SP page to see if there are any photos I might want to attach, too.
And about the crowds-- I don't mean to argue much, but I think you and b. focused a little too much on those parts of the page. There's ample acknowledgement in there that outside those very popular areas, solitude is easy to find, especially in the Winds. All of my backpacking experiences in both ranges can testify to it.