Wonders of Wyoming, Dave Walsh

th  Photo courtesy of goosewingranch.com

By Dave Walsh  14 Dec. ’15

 

This Wonder was actually a brief moment in time, when the earth moved.

It took just a matter of moments, back on June 23, 1925.  In a matter of minutes, the landscape had changed at Sheep Mountain near the small village of Kelly, Wyoming, north of Jackson.  Melting snows and heavy rains in the spring of 125 had lubricated the underlying layer of shale on the north face of the mountain, and the mountain gave way.  A section a mile wide would begin to slide, and would hurtle down the slope at 50 miles per hour.  The slide carried 50-million cubic yards of rock and debris a mile-and-a-half down the mountain into Gros Ventre Canyon, and the force of the landslide would carry 300 feet up the opposite slope.

This massive Wonder blocked the Gros Ventre River, forming a natural dam, and created Slide Lake.  The Gros Ventre Slide, named after the surrounding area bearing the name of the Gros Ventre Indians, had changed the landscape, and still shows a huge gash in the mountain that is visible for miles around.
The Gros Ventre Slide, the day the earth moved, and became a Wonder of Wyoming.  I’m Dave Walsh, proud to live in Wyoming, and proud to tell her fascinating story.

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