The Centennial Scenic Byway crosses a stretch of 162 miles, from Dubois to Pinedale, Wyoming.
Recreational Vehicle accommodations are available in Dubois at The Longhorn Ranch, Lodge and RV Park. Make sure to call in advance – the outstanding beauty and recreational opportunities in this region can make peak season quite busy.
An ideal starting point for this part of your motorhome vacation would be the Wind River Historical Centre in Dubois. Here you can learn about the Mountain Shoshone people who were the first inhabitants of the area, the European settlers who came in the 1880s, and the Scandinavian loggers, called “Tie Hacks” who came to work and provide lumber to build the nations railroads.
Setting out on US 26, the route will take you to the Northwest past the eastern flank of the Wind River Range, up through Togwotee Pass. Be ready for the extensive wildlife viewing opportunities along the highway, as the area is heavily populated by moose, elk, and bears. Look upward, as well, as there’s a good chance there’ll be eagles and hawks hunting overhead. You’ll drive across the lush flood plains of the Buffalo Fork River on your way into Grand Teton National Park.
At Moran Junction, the Centennial Scenic Byway turns south across gently rolling terrain toward the Snake River Overlook, which affords a great opportunity to see Grand Teton, standing nearly 14,000 feet high. You’ll pass through the valley of Jackson Hole on your way to Jackson, Wyoming, a bustling town with approximately 9,500 occupants. Jackson is home to many ski resorts, the National Museum of Wildlife Art, and some very interesting arches that are constructed from antlers shed by the large elk population in the region. South of Jackson, at Hoback Junction, the road bears east onto US 189. You’ll drive up the Hoback Canyon, and descend into the Green River Valley. The Wind River Range will again be in view up ahead. Take US 191 to the end of the Byway, in Pinedale Wyoming. If you’ve taken your time, the day should be just about at its end. RV Camping is available at Lakeside Lodge, on the shores of Lake Fremont. Featured activities here are swimming, boating, and fishing.
While in Pinedale, consider visiting the Museum of the Mountain Man to learn about how the fur trade opened up the American west to commerce.
The Centennial Scenic Byway is open year-round, but is subject to local closure due to weather conditions. Make sure to check the status before journeying out in questionable weather. There are recreational opportunities available in all seasons, with excellent skiing at the famous resorts in the valley of Jackson Hole. Also of interest is the National Elk Refuge, also located near Jackson. Every winter it becomes home to 10,000 elk, which can be viewed by a sleigh ride taken from the refuge headquarters.
If you’re visiting Grand Teton or Yellowstone National Parks, the Centennial Scenic Byway affords excellent opportunities for RV Campers to experience the beauty of the West. Don’t miss it!
Picture credits: The picture in this post is from the National Scenic Byways website. Use is allowed if the user displays the copyright and credits with the item. The image is copyright © 1997 The Wagner Perspective.