Afton Elk Horn Arch - There are some really neat attractions in this area. As I mentioned in a previous post, the world’s largest elkhorn arch is in Afton, about 20 miles away from Thayne. The arch was constructed in 1958 and contains 15 tons of antlers, totaling 3,011. The horns were picked up on the elk feeding grounds in Alpine and Jackson as the elk shed their horns every spring. The highest point of the arch reaches 24 feet high and spans Highway 89 for 75 feet. Based on the current value of elk horns, it would cost over $400,000 to build the same arch today.
Palisades Reservoir – The reservoir consists of 1.25 million acre feet, the Salt River, Snake River and Greys River converge here. It was completed in 1959, and forced the relocation of Alpine to its current location. It has excellent trout fishing and several public access boat ramps.
Elk Refuge in Alpine – Is located one mile south of Alpine on Highway 89. A 6 foot fence and hay sheds mark the area where over 500 tons of hay are fed to as many as 1000 elk fro late November until early May. This site has been in use since the 1940’s and is managed by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. The cost of this operation is supported by game and fishing license fees.
About Star Valley: Nestled on the western border of Wyoming and surrounded by the Bridger-Teton, Caribou and Targhee National Forests lies Star Valley. Originally known as the Salt River Valley, the name was changed to Star Valley around 1880. With no written explanation for this name change, perhaps our ancestors felt it self-explanatory. Indeed, the beauty and serenity found here truly makes this a start of all valleys. Approximately 12 miles wide and 45 miles long, altitudes range from 5,600 feet in the north rising to 7,000 feet in the south. The Salt River Mountain Range with peaks rising to 10,000 feet, is its eastern border. The Caribou and Webster Ranges, with 8,000 foot peaks, lie to the west. Those who traveled north on Hwy 89 have experienced crossing the Salt River Pass with its breathtaking view at 7,610 feet.
This valley was a good place for outlaws on the run long before it was settled. There were gold camps to the northwest and salt freighters coming in and out to the southwest. The major outlaw who surfaced as a Star Valley resident was Butch Cassidy. He earned his nickname from working in a butcher shop in Rock Springs. It is said that Cassidy made his famous trip to South America soon after the Winnemucca Bank Robbery.
Interesting things to see and do in and around Thayne…..