This article was created in partnership with Eastern Idaho’s Yellowstone Teton Territory. All photos provided by Eastern Idaho’s Yellowstone Teton Territory.
Lodging in Yellowstone Teton Territory
There is a range of accommodation options in the towns scattered throughout Eastern Idaho’s Yellowstone Teton Territory. Though temperatures cool down in the autumn months, many campgrounds and RV parks are still open. One of the most special places to stay during fall is Teton Mountain Ranch, where you can have the most intimate (and still safe!) experience with elk and wildlife. Additionally, all other cabin rentals, bed and breakfasts, and hotels are still available, including a tipi stay at Teton Valley Resort.
Dining in Yellowstone Teton Territory
The restaurants throughout Eastern Idaho showcase the local flair. The Badger Creek Cafe in Tetonia, specifically their chicken and waffles, are a must! When passing through Driggs, take your pick of restaurants, then taste true Idaho potato vodka at Grand Teton Distillery. Back in Victor, choose between BBQ, Thai, burgers, and so much more!
Activities – First Day
Find epic mountain views
Escape the crowds and hike a trail in Jedediah Smith Wilderness on the west side of Grand Teton National Park. Miles of trail wind through this gorgeous forest setting, including the Leigh Creek Trail. Marvel at the massive limestone karst geology scattered throughout the region!
Activities – Second Day
Hike up a canyon to a wind cave
Near Driggs, the 7 mile hike up Darby Canyon to the wind cave is not necessarily for the faint of heart. There is a 2,000 ft. elevation gain to the cave, but the views and features along the way are well worth the effort! Before you reach the wind cave–a spectacular sight itself–you’ll reach a plunging waterfall. If you’re willing to put in the work, this is one of eastern Idaho’s quintessential hikes!
…and/or ride some scenic singletrack
The Horseshoe Area singletrack trails west of Driggs showcase stellar mountain biking, mixed with gorgeous scenery. When riding southbound on the trails, you can look forward to epic views of the Teton mountain range. Warning: don’t forget to watch where you’re riding during this insanely beautiful mountain bike ride!
Activities – Third Day
Watch the wildlife
Staying at Teton Mountain Ranch is quite special during the autumn months with courting elk nearby. From the ranch you may hear them bugling, but for a truly special experience, consider hopping aboard an elk tour (available through the end of September). The elk rut is an intense time of year to witness nature, when male elk charge one another, and perform many other mating rituals. During an elk tour, you’ll be safely transported near an elk herd for a up-close encounter.
Find every color of fall, and maybe snag a fish!
Driving around Palisades Reservoir in the fall offers truly spectacular scenery. In a single location, you can place every color of fall, typically through September and into the beginning of October. The drive winds around the reservoir, and there are many pullouts to stop off and snap a photo of the foliage on the surrounding mountainsides. Photographers should note that sunrise is the best time to photograph colors near the lake. At dawn, the sun rises from behind the mountains and casts a lovely glow across the lake. Wildlife tends to be more active in the morning hours as well!
For avid anglers, autumn (and spring, for that matter) is one of the best times for fishing on the reservoir as the temperatures cool down and the fish are more active. Wade-fishing is possible at the reservoir, but the hillsides are relatively steep. If you’re keen to spend time fishing on the lake, the best way is to rent a boat or hire a guide for the day.
Although Eastern Idaho’s Yellowstone Teton Territory is absolutely stunning during the fall months, it’s also a wonderful place to visit in winter, spring and of course, summer.