For the west bound traveler, Togwotee (toe-go-tee) Pass in northwest Wyoming is the final obstacle before reaching Jackson Hole and Yellowstone Country. At an altitude of 9,600 ft, the pass crosses the Absaroka Mountains, home of big game and even bigger weather. This drive should not be taken lightly anytime of year. Fortunately for the modern day passenger, unlike in the days of the early pioneers who first made the trek, an unsung hero of the west, the fearless snow-plow driver risks life and limb to keep the mountain road clear year round.

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KC O’Connor is a Guide to Wyoming for The American Guide. He’s a writer and photographer based in Lander, Wyoming. Follow him on Tumblr and Twitter.