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Eastern Idaho's Yellowstone Teton Territory
Summer in the Yellowstone Teton Territory means endless hours of daylight for mountain adventures, from fly-fishing in world-class streams to mountain biking, backpacking, ATV riding, and more.
The region is packed with incredible trail systems to enjoy, from the Caribou-Targhee National Forest to the Snake River Range and beyond. Explore the St. Anthony Sand Dunes, and be sure to head to one of the reservoirs to beat the heat with stand-up paddleboarding, wake boarding, or just a leisurely swim.
Make sure to also mark your calendar for the bounty of summer events. Farmers markets—many which include artisan fairs—and free outdoor summer concerts are a weekly staple during the summer season. Enjoy a variety of markets around the region, as well as Music on Main in Victor and weekly music in Idaho Falls. Yellowstone Teton Territory is also home to amazing summer festivals, from the Grand Targhee Bluegrass Festival and Targhee Fest to the Plein Air Festival, Idaho International Dance Festival, Teton Storytelling Festival, and more.
Known for its endless curves, small inlets, and world-class fishing, the Snake River is an angler's paradise. Hatches of caddis, green and brown drakes, olives, trincos, and speckled spinners are just a few of the hatches which make the fishing along the 30 miles of the Henry's Fork stretch so incredible.
Check out YTT's Fly-Fishing Directory and plan your trip to Henry's Fork, Harriman State Park, Teton River, Snake River, and beyond. Be sure to check with one of the region's many guides and outfitters for expert instruction and advice.
The Yellowstone Teton Territory is paradise for biking aficionados, from those who love a casual afternoon ride on pavement to those who enjoy epic backcountry adventures, and even those who appreciate a hard-charging, adrenaline-packed downhill course, complete with jumps. Whatever type of biking experience you desire, Eastern Idaho is the place to find it.
Mountain Bike the Tetons offers great resources about area rides, and also sets up events and volunteer days. Also, be sure to visit Yellowstone Teton Territory's maps page for information about trails and trailheads.
Whether you crave pristine alpine scenery, stunning mountain lakes, wide-open fields of wildflowers, or picturesque rivers, you'll find it all when you venture out in Eastern Idaho. Here are a few hikes to enjoy, but keep in mind the hiking opportunities in the Yellowstone Teton Territory are almost endless.
Palisades Lake Trails: See how these lakes were formed ages ago when giant landslides came down the canyon and blocked the creek. The canyon is thickly forested with fir, as well as some aspen and willow. If you scan the mountain walls you may see mountain goats. It is 4 miles to the lower end of the lower lake.
Wind Caves: An interesting cave by Darby Canyon is the major draw to this popular hike on the western slope of the Tetons. The Wind Cave hike snakes through the Darby Formation, a thick layer of 350 million year-old dolomite. The trailhead is located about 20 minutes just outside the town of Driggs.
Golden Lake: The hike to Golden Lake in Harriman State Park is an easy hike that leads through the wildflower meadows beside crystal ponds, creeks, and lakes that reflect the sky and clouds. Golden Lake nestles in lodgepole pine-covered hills, marsh grass, and meadows with a view of the blue crags of the Tetons in the distance, like mountains in a dream.
Packsaddle Lake Hiking Trail: Packsaddle Lake is located in the Big Hole Mountains on the western side of Teton Valley. The drive to the Packsaddle Lakes trailhead and the hike itself provide unparalleled panoramic views of the Teton mountain range.
Cress Creek Trail: For years, schools have brought elementary school students to the Cress Creek Nature Trail. The gentle hike provides a wonderful panorama of the South Fork of the Snake River during the summer, and an explosion of color in the fall, which all age groups will enjoy.
Coffee Pot Rapids: This hike beside the Henry's Fork of the Snake River provides opportunities to observe the birds and wildlife of the river along a tranquil stretch. The river flows so gently here that algae makes the water green. Because the trail is shaded, the hike is pleasant on a hot day. The destination, Coffee Pot Rapids, sprays whitewater in a dark, narrow section of the canyon.
Escape the dry heat and splash off the trail dust at one of Eastern Idaho's incredible swimming holes or lakes. Explore Ashton Reservoir, Palisades Reservoir, Ririe Reservoir, Blacktail Lake, Packsaddle Lake, and Egin Lake, among other options. Be sure to always check conditions and practice good water safety, including staying far away from waterways during lightning storms.
You don't have to hike to a lake to enjoy a swim. One favorite Yellowstone Teton Territory activity is enjoying the area's two hot springs, Heise Hot Springs and Green Canyon Hot Springs. Heise also has various other attractions on-site, including a golf course.
Water Sports, Paddling & Boating
Whether you prefer floating, paddling, fishing, or water skiing, Eastern Idaho has plenty of options to get out and enjoy the water. Go floating on the Teton River, wakeboarding on the Ashton Reservoir, stand-up paddleboarding on Palisades, or one of many other water-based options. Be sure to check with local outfitters to find out the conditions and get all the rental gear you need.
Check with Yellowstone Teton Territory's outfitters and shops like Drift Lodge & Fly Shop, WorldCast Anglers, The Lodge at Palisades Creek, Mad River Boats, Miller Drift Boat Rentals, and Hyde Drift Boats to find out about current conditions, river reports, and permit information.
Guides & Outfitters
Hiring a trusted guide or outfitter is one way to make sure your visit to the Yellowstone Teton Territory is spectacular. These experienced local pros offer up knowledge and insight to help make your trip amazing and safe. Rent any gear you may need, and prepare for an incredible trip of a lifetime.
Check out the guide and outfitter listings to learn more.
The St. Anthony Sand Dunes start about eight miles outside of St. Anthony, and these living sand dunes—which encompass over 10,000 acres—provide a playground for dune buggy enthusiasts. The white rolling hills of sand range in height, with the tallest reaching 400 feet tall. Be sure to follow BLM guidelines to protect this area since much of the land is managed as a wilderness study area. For more info visit the U.S. Bureau of Land Management website.
Take in the beauty of Idaho's backcountry from atop a horse. You don't have to be an expert horse rider to experience some of Idaho's most beautiful views on horseback. Various outfitters offer trail rides by the hour or the day, so you can opt for a short introductory ride or a longer backcountry journey. The horses are well-trained and the wranglers are safety conscious and knowledgeable about their areas. Pack trips are available throughout Eastern Idaho's Yellowstone Teton Territory from a variety of outfitters. Horseback guides and outfitters include Granite Creek Ranch and Cabins, Diamond P Ranch, Teton Mountain Ranch, Leigh Creek Outfitters, Dry Ridge Outfitters, Grand Targhee Resort, Linn Canyon Ranch, and Moose Creek Ranch.
If you have your own horses, you'll find many options, including the national forest land. See Parks and Recreation Areas for more information, and check the Special Events Listings to mark your calendar for local rodeos.
Eastern Idaho has a number of rock climbing routes, including Elephant Rock which is a located just a mile from Heise Hot Springs. There are also a number of climbs in the Tetons and surrounding areas.
The Yellowstone Teton Territory is home to a number of rock climbing gyms perfect for winter climbing, practicing new skills, or just enjoying the art of the climb. Check out Teton Rock Gym in Driggs, The Rock Gym-Rexburg, and the Edge Climbing Gym in Ammon.
Golfers will love the plentiful and scenic golf courses in the Yellowstone Teton Territory. Play a few rounds at some of the local courses, including Timberline Golf in Ashton, Teton Lakes in Rexburg, Jefferson Hills in Rigby, Heise Hot Springs, Fremont County Golf Course in St. Anthony, Cedar Park in Rigby, and Yellowstone Golf at Aspen Acres in Ashton.
With deer, elk, pronghorn, black bear, mountain lion, quail, pheasant, and more to pursue, hunting in Eastern Idaho is an unrivaled experience. Two-thirds of Idaho is public land, and much of it is open to hunting. Check with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game to find out everything you need to know for a safe, successful, and legal hunt. Also consider hiring one of Yellowstone Teton Territory's many guides and outfitters to enhance your hunting trip.