High up in the Two Ocean Pass area in Wyoming’s Bridger-Teton National Forest, there’s a creek that splits at the Contential Divide.
One fork of Two Ocean Creek becomes Pacific Creek and it flows into the Snake River near Moran Junction in Grand Teton National Park. From there, the Snake eventually winds its way into the Columbia and then into the Pacific Ocean, a total distance of 1,353 miles. The other creek is Atlantic Creek, which flows 3,488 miles to the Gulf (which of course, opens to the Atlantic Ocean) via the Yellowstone, Missouri and Mississippi Rivers.
So, before the dams, a steelhead or salmon coming up out of the Pacific hypothetically could have made it up and over the “hump” and then down through St. Louis and eventually out to the salt past New Orleans. Or how about something kooky like a paddlefish coming up outta the Missouri and making it down to Portland on the Columbia? I’m sure there were plenty of impassable barriers somewhere alone the way, but it’s kinda fun to think about, anyway…
Some fish really do make it over the divide — the creek is the immigration route of the cutthroat trout from the Snake River (Pacific drainage) to Yellowstone Lake of the Missouri River Drainage (Atlantic drainage).
Read more about Two Oceans Creek HERE