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2000 Antlers: The artistic arches of Jackson Hole’s Town Square

If you book a vacation in Jackson Hole, it will not be long before you come across the famous antler arches. These four arches are famous features of the town, and they have become important symbols for Jackson.

You will find one on each of the four corners of the town square, and many of the millions of tourists who visit Jackson each year like to take photos of themselves standing next to the arches. Here is a brief guide to the arches so that you have more information about them when you see them up close yourself.

Brief History of the Arches

If you stay in one of the many Jackson Hole luxury hotels on your vacation, it won’t be long before you come across the four arches. The first arch dates back to the 1950s, and the other three were built about a decade afterwards.

They were constructed after being funded by the Rotary Club, and they immediately proved to be popular with both locals and tourists for their representation of the wildlife and history of the area.

Where Do the Antlers Come From?

The antlers that are used to build the arches are collected from the National Elk Refuge every year. Some people assume that the antlers come from hunting, but in fact the elk shed their antlers every year and the Boy Scouts Members collect them and auction them to raise funds.

Construction of the Arches

Each one of the arches is made up of about 2,000 antlers, and these weigh as much as 12,000 pounds. These individual antlers are then weaved onto a metal frame, and some of them are screwed into place to prevent them from moving.

Rebuilding the Arches

Because antlers are a natural material, they deteriorate over time. The weather affects them over the years and wears them down, and theft and vandalism are also a problem, usually because some visitors decide an antler will make a good souvenir. For that reason, every few decades the arches need to be rebuilt.

The arches were recently rebuilt using about 8,000 antlers with a combined weight of around 40,000 pounds. Once again, the Rotary Club raised the money to rebuild them, so now the arches can be enjoyed for another few decades.

An Enduring Symbol of Jackson Hole

The antler arches remain an enduring landmark of Jackson Hole. And with the help of the Rotary Club, the Boy Scouts, and the locals, they will remain a popular feature of the town for many years to come.

Take Your Photo Next to One of the Arches

Taking a photo next to one of the famous arches is a popular souvenir for many visitors to Jackson. However, just remember not to touch them and to instead simply admire their beauty and construction without causing any damage to them. These arches have come to be an important symbol of the town, so make sure you get a good look of them during your vacation.

Peter O’Reilly is a travel agency associate. He enjoys sharing his travel experiences on the web. You can find his posts on many vacation blogs.

photo credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Mountain-Prairie Region via Facebook

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