Plan to take the scenic route this spring through Eastern Idaho’s Yellowstone Teton Territory. The valley comes to life during the spring months, yet it’s still a quiet time to enjoy the national parks. During the spring, a few notable events take place in Eastern Idaho, from the Fisherman’s Breakfast to the Mountain Brewer Beer Festival. With this sample itinerary, enjoy spectacular scenery while still finding a way to play outside.
There is a range of accommodation options in the towns scattered throughout Eastern Idaho’s Yellowstone Teton Territory. From quaint bed and breakfasts and inns, to luxurious lodges and chain hotels–there are offerings for every budget and taste. The Sawtelle Mountain Resort in Island Park offers guests the most bang for their buck. Also in Island Park, stay at the Lakeside Lodge, where sunsets from the water’s edge will take your breath away. For time spent closer to Driggs, scope out the numerous vacation rental options.
The restaurants throughout Eastern Idaho really showcase their local flair. Anglers in Island Park congregate at the Last Chance Bar & Grill in the TroutHunter Lodge. When you make your way to the quaint town of Tetonia, be sure to check out the new Badger Creek Cafe and the revitalized Tetonia Club bar. Finally, satisfy your sweet tooth with a root beer float at Frostop in Ashton–you can’t miss the place with their massive mug sign off the highway!
Activities – First Day
Put your toes in the sand
The St. Anthony Sand Dunes offers a playground for kids and adults alike. Fly up and down the dunes on an ATV, or consider renting sand boards for the day. Springtime is a great time to play at the dunes since it’s not too hot yet. Idaho Sand Dunes RV offers a convenient campground for travelers in the area with RV hookups in addition to dry camping. Equipment can be conveniently rented at the dunes from PMS Dune Rentals.
A visit to Yellowstone Bear World is a must-do attraction when visiting eastern Idaho. This unique facility offers visitors an up close encounter with North American wildlife. The mission of Yellowstone Bear World is to “motivate and increase public awareness in the management of natural resources for conservation, education, scientific and recreational purposes”. Visiting and participating in some of the different experiences at Yellowstone Bear World provides meaningful and lasting encounters for the whole family.
Activities – Second Day
Take the scenic route
Idaho is full of scenic drives, but the one that winds to Upper Mesa Falls is lovely, finishing at a roaring plunge that is well worth the journey. If you prefer, take the scenery in from the saddle of your bicycle! Once you reach the falls, feel the rush and beauty at the Upper Mesa Falls viewpoint, but also tackle the short hike to the Lower Mesa Falls viewpoint–it’s worth the walk!
Photo by Steve Smede
…and/or throw some casts!
Spring can be a tricky time for fishing as mountain rivers are raging with snowmelt. Fortunately, the Henry’s Fork of the Snake River in Island Park is notoriously one of the earliest rivers to fish! Make the most out of your time fishing in eastern Idaho with the help of guides and outfitters in the Island Park region.
Activities – Third Day
Mosey down a historic rail line
Explore the historic 30 mile Ashton-Tetonia Rail Trail by foot or bicycle. Following the trail from Ashton to Tetonia offers dramatic views of the Tetons the whole way, but may challenge users with an 800 ft. elevation gain. Along the dirt and gravel trail, take in all the historic tidbits including a granary and several bridges and trestles.
Explore the charming downtown of Driggs. Especially if you’re planning to retreat to Driggs for the night, make a little extra time for the shops and businesses downtown.
With spare time, explore Idaho Falls!
Especially if your travels bring you through Idaho Falls, visit two of the state’s quintessential museums: The Art Museum of Eastern Idaho and the Museum of Idaho. The art museum features ongoing and rotating exhibits throughout the year. On the other hand, the Museum of Idaho is a science and natural history museum. The exhibits (many are interactive!) showcase the harmony between science and nature, and are fun and educational for the whole family.