Yellowstone Teton Territory: Your New Favorite Yellowstone Route

Did you know there is a small part of Yellowstone National Park in Idaho? Explore the secret sliver in Yellowstone Teton Territory.
Prepared By:

Casey A.

Traveler, writer, editor

This summer, approach America’s iconic mountain range and first national park from a different angle: from the west. Yellowstone Teton Territory in eastern Idaho is the gateway to the bucket-list stops you’ve never considered—and the one you’ll never forget.

This story was created in partnership with Yellowstone Teton Territory.

Day 1: Idaho Falls

Waterfall in Idaho Falls, Idaho, Yellowstone Teton Territory

Start by flying into Idaho Falls Regional Airport. This small city is the central hub of Yellowstone Teton Territory, characterized by the 600-foot-wide waterfall of the Snake River in the heart of town.

Stretch your legs after your flight by walking the Idaho Falls River Walk, 10 miles of path along the river, past picnic spots, through friendly Canada geese, and up to the edge of the rushing falls. Idaho Falls is a peaceful, beautiful start to your vacation, so settle in and enjoy. Sip a local brew over a meal, visit a museum or art gallery, and get a good night’s sleep before heading east.

Day 2: Ririe & Swan Valley

Snake River in Yellowstone Teton Territory, Idaho

You’ll make a short, 30-minute drive to Ririe, then on to Swan Valley today. Kelly Canyon’s hiking and biking trails await your smiles and speed, the river’s trout await your fly, and Heise Hot Springs are ready to soothe your exhausted muscles after. 

The South Fork of the Snake River that defines Swan Valley, and the mountain ranges to the north, south, and east highlight it. This a year-round hub for outdoor activities, and as part of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, the valley is rich in wildlife viewing opportunities. Treat yourself to a resort-level stay tonight and top it off with an exquisite dinner … and breakfast before you continue.

Day 3: Teton Valley & Jackson

Two mountain bikers (adult and child) biking in Idaho

Driggs and Victor are uncrowded extensions of Jackson—in our opinion even better. With room to breathe, a view of the Teton Mountains, and all kinds of hiking and biking access, why would you go anywhere else? Spend a day (or two!) here in Teton Valley enjoying this side of the iconic mountain range before crossing into Wyoming.

Day 4: Grand Teton National Park & Yellowstone National Park

Unmatched granite drama. Breathtaking alpine lakes. Iconic wildlife. Unbelievable geysers and geologic phenomena. Don’t miss Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks. Take them in for all of their grandeur and magic.

Day 5: Island Park

Mesa Falls near Island Park, Yellowstone Teton Territory, Idaho

Did you know that a sliver of Yellowstone National Park lies in Idaho? Most of the park is in Wyoming, and the most popular entrance is in Montana, but there is a special slice in Idaho. Drive up the edge of an ancient, collapsed volcano. Watch for wildlife that doesn’t know where a park boundary would be on a map, and enjoy easy access back to the park if you decide you want to see more.

Then hike to the massive Mesa Falls—a pair of waterfalls thundering over volcanic stone more than a million years old. Spend the evening at Herriman State Park, a massive wildlife refuge home to swans, elk, and more trails than you can possibly explore.

Day 6: Rexburg & back to Idaho Falls

Bear World in Rexburg, Idaho

As you plan your reentry back to the real world, Rexburg is a peaceful college town to ease you back into the rush of everyday life. Take in some culture—like a dance festival or a storyline and arts festival—or some more education at Yellowstone Bear World

Get one last outdoor adventure in at the St. Anthony Sand Dunes before returning to Idaho Falls to catch your flight home.

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Photo courtesy of @Ronakp967 via Instagram.


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