Underwriting provided by:
The Laura Moore Cunningham


A healthy fawn in the Palisades [Credit: Kris Millgate]

It doesn't take long for winter to wrap its withering hold around the watershed and when it does, Palisades is no place for anyone less than thoroughly rugged. Extreme temperatures, well below zero, make for extreme beauty where only the boldest of outdoor users dare to venture. "Very white. Very bright. The sun is out," says Ryan Case, snowshoer. "The trees are just beautiful with frost on them. Cliffs and wildlife everywhere."

Snowshoeing in the Palisades [Credit: Kris Millgate]

Palisades is prime winter range. The canyon stretch of the South Fork is closed to motorized use in the winter. Come in on snowshoes and you'll see why. "In the winter the real value of the corridor is revealed," says Chet Work, Teton Regional Land Trust executive director. "In a heavy year, the South Fork supports upward to 2,500 mule deer and 1,000 elk. No one sees them and that's exactly why the wildlife are here."

More than 20,000 acres are protected along the river. Almost 100 pieces of private property worth $50 million in easements create an intact corridor. The fawns who survive the snow season here are the largest in the state. They're nearly double the weight of fawns born on the other side of the state. They're built for over-the-top cold.

** Winter range protected through Teton Regional Land Trust

** The value of winter range: The Idaho Department of Fish and Game (pdf)