Jedediah Smith Wilderness


The Jedediah Smith Wilderness was designated because of the unique karst limestone features, including numerous caves and outstanding scenery. The United States Congress designated the Jedediah Smith Wilderness  in 1984 and it now has a total of 123,451 acres. This wilderness is located on both sides of the Idaho / Wyoming state lines and is managed by the Forest Service.

Jedediah Smith Wilderness Area

This wilderness area 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.

West Slopes of Jedediah Smith Wilderness, Caribou-Targhee National Forest, WY

West Slopes of Jedediah Smith Wilderness, Caribou-Targhee National Forest, WY
Click Image to Enlarge

Long and narrow, this wilderness  lies on both sides of the Idaho/Wyoming state line including most of the west slope of the famous 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 Moose Creek Trail on the southern end of the Jedediah Smith Wilderness is maintained by Wilderness Volunteers, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization created in 1997.

The classic view of the Tetons is from the east — from Jackson Hole — where the peaks rise 5000 to 7500 feet with no intervening foothills. The west slope of the Tetons is quite different; the magnificent range rises gradually with valleys and ridges forming heavily forested slopes.

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.

The following wilderness regulations are in effect for the Jedediah Smith Wilderness Area.


The group size limit is 20 people. Larger groups must split into two or more smaller groups and remain a minimum of one half mile apart.

Storing equipment, personal property or supplies is prohibited.

The disposal of debris, garbage and other waste is prohibited.

Possessing or placing salt for the purpose of attracting wildlife is prohibited.

Shortcutting a switchback is prohibited.

Wagons, carts, and other vehicles (including game carts) are prohibited. The use of a wheelchair as a necessary medical appliance is exempt from this prohibition.


The maximum number of stock allowed is 20 horses or pack stock.

Hitching stock within 200 feet of a lake or 100 feet of a stream is prohibited.

Feed must be pelletized or certified weed seed free hay, stray, whole grains or cubed products.

Camping with or grazing stock is not permitted in the following areas:

— Within 1/2 mile of any lake in the Moose Lake Basin.

— Within 1/4 mile of Camp Lake.

— Within 600 feet of Hidden Lake.

— The Alaska Basin-Sunset Lake area above a point 1/4 mile west of the Teton Crest Trail (#008).

— The South Fork of Bitch Creek above the Teton Crest Trail (#008) stream.

— Crossing of Bitch Creek 2.5 miles above and east of Hidden Corral Basin.


Food and other attractants must be properly stored while unattended and at night.

Camping within 200 feet of any lakeshore and 100 feet of any stream bank is prohibited.

Campfires are not allowed at Alaska Basin, Sunset Lake, Moose Lake and the Fox Pass area.

Camping or occupying a single location for a period longer than 16 days is prohibited.

It is prohibited to camp longer than five consecutive days at Hidden Lake, Crystal Springs and Hidden Corral Basin.