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Teton Scenic Byway

Basics
Length:
68.9 miles (110 km)
Time:
Allow 2.5 hours
Fees:
Only for the attractions along the way

Description

Set against the backdrop of the stunning Teton Mountains and passing through the Caribou-Targhee National Forest, the Teton Scenic Byway is one that you'll spend hours exploring. Discover National Parks, river rafting and acres of forest along the seventy miles of the byway.

As you start off the byway in Swan Valley, collect your gear to enjoy hours of boating, rafting, or inner tubing on the Snake River. For those who enjoy catching their meal, the south fork of the river offers ideal spots for fly-fishing. The Palisades Reservoir boasts twenty miles of water for water skiing , sailing and fishing. Trek along dusty pathways on horseback and experience high mountain views or hike on foot through dozens of canyons scattered throughout the area. Palisades Creek rewards you with clear mountain lakes and dazzling waterfalls at the end of the hike. Before continuing on your trip, snack on a square ice cream cone down by the docks.

Turn back on to the byway and drive along the shaded roads of the Caribou-Targhee National Forest. The fertile valleys and extensive backcountry provide the perfect place to set up your camping gear and prepare for a day of mountain biking, rock climbing or simply hiking among leaf strewn paths. Escape from civilization for the day and backpack in the almost limitless space available. You can visit the forest any time of the year, but the fall foliage and spring wildflowers are especially spectacular.

Traveling north along the road, you'll pass through the Grand Teton National Park, where the jagged peaks and snow white spires of the Teton range dominate the region. While most of the Park is in Wyoming, the Idaho section provides plenty to discover with iridescent lakes surrounded by thick conifer forests. As you drift down the Snake River, the way is shaded by tall cottonwood and spruce pines.

Leaving the Grand Teton area, you pass into the outer edges of Yellowstone National Park, the first in the nation and largest park in the lower 48 states. No matter what time of the year you visit the area, varied activity always awaits. Learn about the diverse flora and fauna of the area as you join a nature tour or backpack across the vast acreage of Yellowstone.

From the tumbling waters of the Snake River to the glacier-formed peaks of the Teton Range, the Teton Scenic Byway is dominated by natural beauty formed over a millennium ago. Whether you view it from the vantage point of a mountain-bred horse or from the comfort of your own car, the Teton Range offers much to do and see.

Points of Interest

Points of Interest Along The Way

Caribou-Targhee National Forest (ID)

The Caribou-Targhee National Forest occupies over three million acres and stretches across southeastern Idaho, from the Montana, Utah, and Wyoming borders. Activities include mountain biking, hiking, camping, rock climbing, and mountain boarding.

Grand Teton National Park (ID)

The Teton Range, for which the park is named, dominates thelandscape with its jagged, glacially-carved peaks that rise withoutfoothills from the west side of the park.

But there's more to the park than the Tetons. There's JacksonHole, a level valley carpeted with silvery-green sagebrush shrubsthat forms the foreground for the mountains. And there are lakes:at the foot of the mountains, thick conifer forests encircle sevensparkling lakes. There's the Snake River: tall cottonwood andspruce trees line the river that bisects the valley into east andwest halves. And wildlife: a diverse array of large and smallmammals, a few hardy reptiles and amphibians, numerous birds andseveral kinds of native and introduced fish inhabit the park, alongwith countless kinds of insects and other invertebrates.

Although the park was originally established to protect theTeton Range and six of the piedmont lakes, the Jackson Hole valleywas later included in national park designation. Grand Teton boastsboth unusual scenery and large concentrations of wildlife. GrandTeton and the Rockefeller Parkway are adjacent to YellowstoneNational Park, and lie at the heart of the Greater YellowstoneEcosystem, which is the largest nearly intact ecosystem in thetemperate part of the world.

Directions

Located east of the byway, in Wyoming

Yellowstone National Park (ID)

The osprey soared over Yellowstone Falls, then hovered against the blue sky thousands of feet above the canyon floor. Slowly it descended below the rim, its mottled brown feathers becoming almost invisible against the yellow rocks of the canyon wall.

Viewed from high atop Mt. Washburn, a summer squall rolled slowly down the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. To the north, lightning crackled off the Beartooths, as an icy rain pelted the Mt. Washburn lookout into which groups of hikers huddled. Within minutes, the storm passed and the sun burst through the dark clouds.

A pair of Sandhill Cranes strutted in the grasses along the Gibbon River, their red-knobbed heads bobbing up and down. Suddenly they spread their mighty wings and glided smoothly down the river.

You are skiing through frigid air, then suddenly enveloped in steam escaping from deep within the Earth. All around you is a world of white. Waterfalls hang suspended as walls of ice, their ripples tricking the eyes with reflecting light. A geyser unleashes a torrential plume, boiling water crashing into the arctic temperatures.

These are the scenes that entice millions to visit Yellowstone. Straddling the Continental Divide where Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana meet, the park is truly a "Wonderland" for anyone from the casual tourist to the avid outdoorsman.

Directions

Located northeast of the byway, in Wyoming

Details

Length:
68.9 miles (110 km)
Time:
Allow 2.5 hours
Main Roads:
ID-32 N, ID-33 E and ID-31 W
Fees:
Only for the attractions along the way

Map + Directions

Customizable Directions


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