Thursday, September 16, 2010


West side of the Tetons, on the road to Grand Targhee. If I could order up a day of perfect high mountain hiking weather, yesterday would have been that day – and we took advantage of it!

Drive 6 miles south from Tetonia to Driggs (the “urban center” of the Teton Valley, between Tetonia on the north and Victor on the south), hang a left (east) at the only signal in town, and follow the road up the mountainside to it’s end at Grand Targhee Ski Resort (in Wyoming).  The center of this small ski area is located just under 8,000 feet, on the west side of the Teton Range.

With summer season over (the hiker/biker lift had just closed three days ago) and winter season still many weeks away, the resort was very quiet, all the shops and restaurants closed, the lifts hanging idle.  The only sounds came from a couple of construction workers on the roof of the lodge, hammering down new shingles.  We wandered through the buildings until we found an administration office, where a couple of friendly staffers gave us a hiking map and advice (including the usual “bears in the area” cautions).   

Through the Aspen at Grand Targhee Hiking at Grand Targhee

“Quaker Ridge” trail through the aspen trees.

“Rick’s Basin” trail, looking east.

We had the mountain to ourselves – and whatever wildlife watched our progress well hidden from our prying eyes.  :)   We took our hiking GPS – it’s been a LONG time since it got a workout – and our elevation stayed within a few hundred feet of 8.000.  We were relieved to find we have acclimated to the elevation since our first hike in Yellowstone over the Labor Day weekend, when I thought I might need a lung transplant.

I was surprised to see so little fall color at this altitude.  Though the ground cover was red and gold, very few of the aspen leaves showed any sign that summer is waning.  I wonder how different this will look in a couple more weeks? 

Coming back down into the Teton Valley, we turned south on Stateline Road, the boundary between Wyoming and Idaho, to visit a 9-hole golf course at the base of the mountains.  A bench overlooking the driving range was the perfect place for our picnic lunch, sitting in short sleeves in full sun.

Looking towards the Teton Valley as we descended the mountain. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed our stay in the Teton Valley.  Odel played a round of golf at The Links at Teton Peaks and we had a delicious burger at North End Bar and Grill, a short walk from our RV park. 

I drove some of the “back roads” of the Teton Valley (anything off of Hwy 33 seems to be a back road, since blacktop ends almost immediately) and scratched the surface of Driggs (found more titles in a series of books I enjoy at Dark Horse Books).  We didn’t make it to Pendl’s Bakery and Cafe or the Warbirds Cafe, both recommended. 

Our short visit showed me that there is much more to explore, and when we leave this morning, the Teton Valley will be on the list of places to return one day for a longer stay. But now?  On to Grand Teton National Park!


  1. The Tetons are so majestic and your photos are lovely...I really want to get back out West again someday soon...We just gotta get the time...That' only one reason I could easily go fulltime!! Enjoy!

  2. What a lovely walk and such a beautiful area!

    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

  3. Mike and I spent three months one summer many years ago living in a tent on a ranch helping a friend with a construction project in Driggs, ID. The friend and his wife ended up buying a home there which they still own and it is on the way up to the ski hill. We all loved Driggs and Victor and you are right that hill between those two little towns and Jackson is a killer! Glad you guys had a good, good time there, it is a beautiful area.

  4. Your walk looked wonderful. That part of our country is outstanding in it's beauty. Nice photos.

  5. Loved the Tetons and your pictures are great. I never did get a blog up about it, but that's the way it goes sometimes.

    We wanted to move down to Gros Ventre when we were there but were having problems with our generator and ended up at the very expensive campground in Jackson. So happy you got a chance to spend time in Gros Ventre and the Tetons.

    But.........ACKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK.............the mouse problems...........Ack Ack Ack. Loved your narrative and "Acks". Made me really laugh. Hope the mice are gone.