Togwotee Pass

View of the Grand Teton from Togwotee Pass

Luke Anderson: I first visited Grand Teton National Park when I was in fifth grade, but I didn't experience Togwotee Pass until many years later. When I did, it was unforgettable. The pass offers arguably the best view of the Teton Range as a whole. Looking across the open space of the valley, one's eyes are halted by the dominating presence of the mountains to the west. They stand like monolithic sentries, guarding something unknown to the mere mortals that look upon them. They look impenetrable, but yet they call to you from the pass. Their sublimity makes the viewer want to know more, to get even closer. We want to feel their size up close. What are they guarding? What's behind the wall? What can these mountains teach us about ourselves? Coming down the pass the mountains get even taller, more foreboding, and even more beautiful. It is only for the bravest and most adventurous of us to know what lurks beyond the igneous crowns of these stone guardians, but for the rest of us, the mystical nature of them as we see them from Togwotee Pass is enough to continue to humble us.

Togwotee Pass cuts through the Absaroka Mountains in Northwest Wyoming. It passes through the Bridger-Teton National Forest and follows the Continental Divide. It is named for a Sheeepeater named Togwotee who was a subchief under Chief Washakie. Togwotee led a government expedition over the pass in 1873.