10 summer activities to add to your Teton Valley to-do list

28 Jun 2022

'Wydaho' has a little bit of everything

Summer 2022

Written By: Molly Absolon | Images: Courtesy Visit Idaho

Teton Valley, on the western side of the Teton Range, has long been considered “quiet” when compared to Jackson. But that doesn’t ring true anymore. The valley, with its world-class recreation, scenic splendor, thriving arts scene, festivals, and fine food, has come into its own, and many people prefer its rustic, laid-back vibe to the busier scene in Jackson. For visitors, Teton Valley, also known as “Wydaho,” has a little bit of everything.

Ride Through National Forest on Horseback

Several Teton Valley outfitters offer guided horse- back rides through the national forests that sur- round Teton Valley. You can go out for an hour, a half day, or take an overnight pack trip. Regardless of the length of your ride, you’ll enjoy spectacular mountain views from your elevated position while hearing about the area’s human and natural history from an experienced guide.

Pick Up Fresh Produce and Homemade Goodies at the Farmers Market

Every Friday between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., the city of Driggs hosts a summer farmers market in the downtown plaza that features fresh produce, local honey, fresh-cut flowers, handmade cheeses, locally grown mushrooms, baked goods, and plenty of other consumable products.

Bike the Flowy Southern Valley Trails

Over the past decade, Teton Valley has been developing a maze of mountain bike trails for all abilities. Beginner and intermediate riders should start at the Southern Valley Trails system just south of Victor. Here, you’ll find 11 miles of trail that include rolling singletrack with bermed corners, gradual climbs, and fun, fast descents.

Float Down the Teton River

By mid-summer, the Teton River is slow and lazy, making it perfect for first-time paddlers, families, and those looking to slowly float the current and enjoy nature. Put-in and take-out spots are scattered along the river, allowing you to decide how long and how far you want to go. Even the shortest sections will take you through open farmland, past expansive views, and, if you’re lucky, by moose, beavers, and the songbirds that live in the willows along the riverbank. You can rent a paddleboard or inflatable kayak and arrange for a shuttle through Wai Mauna Paddleboard Rentals or Teton River Supply, both in Driggs.

Slurp Down a World-Famous Huckleberry Shake

Huckleberries — a smaller, sweeter wild blueberry — are the Idaho state fruit, and the Victor Emporium claims to make the world’s best huckleberry shake. We’ll probably never know if that claim has been tested, but in the summer, you’ll find plenty of people lined up at the Emporium waiting for a shake. You can also find local gifts, fishing supplies, and clothing at this quirky shop on Victor’s Main Street.

Hike Table Mountain (or the Bannock Trail)

There’s plenty of great hiking in Teton Valley, but the most iconic hike is Table Mountain. It’s a strenuous, roughly 11-mile roundtrip hike with more than 4,000 feet of elevation gain. Reaching the summit takes work, but you’ll be rewarded with epic views. Most hikers opt to follow the steeper Face Trail on the ascent and the longer, more gradual Huckleberry Trail on the way down. If Table Mountain is a bit too ambitious, make your way to Grand Targhee Resort and hike the Bannock Trail. The trail is around 6.5 miles roundtrip with 1,800 feet of elevation gain, but you can cut that mileage in half by taking the Dreamcatcher chairlift one way.

Explore a Slice of Aviation History

The Warbirds Cafe is perched directly along the Driggs-Reed Memorial Airport’s sole runway. While you tuck into a mouthwatering lunch or dinner or sip a signature cocktail, enjoy a close-up view of small planes as they arrive and depart from the local airport. Before you leave, make sure to visit the adjoining museum to see an impressive collection of vintage aircraft.

Dance Under the Stars During Music on Main

Every Thursday night at 6 p.m., Victor City Park hosts Music on Main, a free concert that draws nearly 3,000 people for an evening of dancing, good food, and good friends. Music ranges from rock ‘n’ roll and country to blues and jazz, and there are food carts, face painting, and a bike valet. Plus, Grand Targhee Resort provides a shuttle between the resort and Victor with stops in Driggs so you don’t have to drive.

Soar Over Teton Valley in a Hot Air Balloon

In the early morning, as the sun comes up over the Teton Range, it’s common to see colorful balloons floating across the sky. Elevated Ballooning offers private balloon trips throughout the summer (weather permitting) — and over the Fourth of July weekend, Driggs hosts the Teton Valley Balloon Rally, which brings balloon pilots from all over to share their love for these colorful, magical balloons.

Watch Artists Capture Nature on Canvas at the Driggs Plein Air Festival

During the Driggs Plein Air Festival (July 24-30), you’re likely to see artists set up around Teton Valley, capturing the natural scene on canvas. This year marks the 11th anniversary of the festival, which also features art exhibitions, quick-draw competitions, workshops, and demonstrations, as well as a free music.
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