Best Fall Hiking and Biking Trails in Teton Valley
Fall in Teton Valley is beautiful to see. The abundant aspen groves always put on a show with leaves changing to vibrant reds, oranges, and golds. Trumpeter swans, Canada Geese and Sandhill Cranes fly overhead, the temperatures are sunny and mild, and it’s the perfect time for seeing the sites as you hike and bike throughout the valley.
If you’re planning a trip this autumn to our corner of paradise and want to find some great trails for nature hikes or bicycle rides, here are a few that are fun to explore and guaranteed to provide some beautiful sites.
Darby Canyon is a very popular trail in Teton Valley, and Fall is a great time to visit with less people on the trails and the weather cool and perfect for long hikes. The mountain views are stunning, and the aspens turning colors create amazing views and photo ops to capture the moment.
Here’s how to get there: From Highway 33, take Darby Canyon Road to the east about 3 miles, turn right at the “T” intersection, then you’ll drive another 4 miles or so, following the signs, until you reach the parking area. The trailhead is found by the foot bridge at the end of Darby Canyon Road.
On this nearly 3-mile trail you can see waterfalls, mountain views, aspen and evergreen groves, and flowered meadows. You can make this hike as easy or as long as you like, and several miles in you can reach the famous Darby Canyon Wind Caves, a popular destination.
If you’re heading to Darby Canyon, there’s another trail you can find that is closer and just as good for great fall foliage – it’s even named after the aspen trees that form a canopy all around you as you hike or bike it! Follow the same directions above for Darby Canyon, but the entrance to Aspen Trail is about 2 miles before you get to the trailhead for Darby Canyon. There is not a marked parking lot for this trail, but you can park on the side of the road and in a couple small pullout areas. Here’s a useful link to help you get there: Trailforks Aspen Trail.
You can make this trail as short or as long as you like. It offers a bit of everything, smooth trail, rock gardens, several easy creek crossings, mountain springs, and lots and lots of aspen groves with stunning fall color.
Teton Canyon Trails
Located northeast of Driggs, on the way to Grand Targhee Ski Resort, is Teton Canyon which is home to several great trails for hiking and biking. From downtown Driggs, take Ski Hill Road and exit right on Teton Canyon Road.
SHEEP’S BRIDGE TRAIL: The first trailhead you’ll see is for Sheep’s Bridge. This is a great trail for an easy hike. The full hike is about 4.5-miles there-and-back and takes an average of 1.5 hours to complete. If you want something shorter, you can go about half a mile to a large bridge over water and turn back. This is a great hike for those with young kids. You’ll want to park in the first parking area you see, where breathtaking views of the Teton mountain range provide the perfect backdrop for photos.
This is a popular trail for birding, hiking, biking, and horseback riding. Fall shows off with stunning foliage, and the always running creek waters provide a visual and audio soundtrack to your hike that perfectly complements the towering trees and fall foliage.
TETON CANYON TRAIL: If you want to check out another great place to hike that’s near Sheep Bridge, just keep driving another few miles down Teton Canyon road until you read the end and a large parking area. This is the Teton Canyon Trailhead. From this trailhead, there are a few places you can head, including Table Mountain and Devil’s Stairs. If you’ve got little ones, don’t let the longer hikes scare you away. Just off the parking area to the northeast there is a short trail that parallels a stream with pretty waterfalls that’s not too strenuous. While the other trails are attractive for longer, more advanced hikes, even if you just go a mile or so in then turn around, you’ll be treated to beautiful mountains and cliffs, wildflower-filled fields, and fall foliage that never disappoints.
Outdoor Adventures and Wildlife Encounters
Teton Valley is home to a wide variety of wildlife and it’s always a good idea to prepare for encounters when you explore our wilderness areas. Fall is a time when many of them are especially active, so knowing how to safely react if you run into any of the moose, bear, or any other animals in our region will ensure an enjoyable – and safe – time for all.
Here are a few simple rules from the National Park Service:
- Give animals room. The best way to stay safe when watching wildlife is to give animals room to move. Stay a minimum distance of 25 yards from most wildlife and 100 yards from predators like bears and wolves. In general, if animals react to your presence you are too close. If you’re close enough for a selfie, you’re definitely too close.
- Do not disturb. Even when you’re farther away, leaving wildlife alone can help your viewing experience—plus it’s the law. It’s illegal to feed, touch, tease, frighten, or intentionally disturb wildlife. Remember that wildlife can be unpredictable when they’re disturbed or surprised. Interacting with wildlife also can cause harm to both people and wildlife, including injury and disease. Stay on trails to help keep human presence in predictable areas.
- Keep your eyes on the road. Vehicle strikes are one of the most deadly types of encounters for wildlife. Roads cut through their habitats or migration routes. As you are traveling to the hiking or biking trails you plan to visit, be sure to always follow the speed limits and watch for wildlife that may dart into the road. When you want to stop to watch wildlife, pull your vehicle completely off of the road safely — this keeps wildlife safe as well as other motorists.
If you’re looking for more ideas for exploring Teton Valley, be sure to check out these guides on our website:
After hiking, biking, and enjoying the gorgeous fall foliage found throughout Teton Valley, the best way to unwind at the end of the day is relaxing in a comfortable rental home, enjoying good food, maybe some s’mores around the firepit, and reliving your memories.
If you are planning a trip to Teton Valley, Idaho, we offer a wide range of rental homes in Driggs, Victor, and for anyone looking to visit the Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Grand Targhee area. Check out our website or give us a call, we’re here to help you create the mountain vacation of your dreams.