There are so many great spaces to explore in the PNW that it's hard to imagine that there can be so much in such a relatively small area anywhere else in the world.
A lifetime could be spent wandering PNW's wildernesses areas, its national parks full of mountains, lakes and rivers, as well as coasts and islands.
It all seems limitless, and readily available within at most a two-day drive.
After finishing undergraduate education in the South, my wife and I decided to make our home in the PNW because it offered so much of what we enjoy doing, and without having to be rich enough to fly all over the country to get to.
Having worked at summer jobs in Yellowstone while in college, we looked for a place that offered endless opportunities to enjoy hiking, camping, fishing, great scenery. From our experience with Yellowstone and the Tetons, the standard for our decision was pretty high -- but easily met by Oregon and Washington. And best of all, Wyoming was a "not-too-long" drive away.
On the other hand, there for are a great many beautiful places elsewhere, and we sure hope to visit many of them one day, especially after reading trip reports and seeing photos of many other wonderful "must see" places, especially the Scottish Highlands, Spain, and Asia, and . . . and . . . and a whole lot more!
Pictures for the Teton/Wind River trip I outlined? You ask if I've got pictures?
Well . . . . . . . I sure do!
And you are correct, we have made the Wind River/Teton journey several times in recent years. I'll attempt to post the pictures below from some of those trips, but perhaps you might appreciate a few photos below, for compare and contrast --
First and foremost, crowds of people! Nice for a weekend with great music, but also heighten attraction of the remote, quiet, and beautiful places elsewhere --
Revisiting Austin, Texas, in the fall a few years ago, after and before wilderness escapes the year before and several time since ---
And Crowds even at the outhouses!!!!
How about great views? NOT!!!
Fun? Yep, for a weekend of music, rain, mud . . . even in the crowds --
But now for the really good times -- to PNW and the Winds, the Tetons!!!
First, last Fall in the Winds --
Barbara Lake (from Elkhart TH)
Hobbs Lake campsite (reached along Seneca Trail)
Hobbs Lake, from "dinner site" near campsite
Hobbs Lake from shore below campsite
After "holing up" up through bad weather, hiked out in hail, then looking back
Plan to return this year and finish above trip, into Titcomb lakes!!!
In previous years, made the "Wyoming Journey" to hike the Teton Crest Trail and Wind River's Cirque of the Towers. Absolutely stupendous!!!
Here's a few photos from those trips, just a few --
First, Wind River, from Big Sandy to Cirque
Camping at Big Sandy Lake
Heading back to trailhead from over Jackass Pass, with hail, sleet, thunder and lightening all the way
Just a few more photos to show Teton Crest Trail, including one of us on windy Hurricane Pass before starting the all-downhill trek to Jenny Lake, the "highpoint" of our Teton Crest trip --
Campsite at Death Canyon Shelf
Trail along Death Canyon Shelf toward Meek Pass
Trail to Alaska Basin
Campsite at Sunset Lake
Looking back at Sunset Lake . . . with Alaska Basin & Meek Pass further back
Tetons from Hurricane Pass
Having fun at Hurricane Pass
Trail down South Fork of Cascade Canyon to Jenny Lake
Nearing trail's end at Jenny Lake
Only downside to these Wyoming journeys is that we like to go there in the Fall to miss the crowds, but then we miss the best time for getting into wilderness areas in Oregon and Washington at that same time each year, also when crowds are down.
It's hard to cram so much into September and October!!!