Boasting extensive trail systems, breathtaking backcountry and an annual snowfall ranging from 100 to 500 inches throughout the region, eastern Idaho is a hot spot when it comes to cool winter adventures. Whether you’re looking to enjoy a leisurely sleigh ride or take off on a high-powered snowmobiling adventure, eastern Idaho is the ideal place for a winter retreat.
Pick Your Basecamp
The first step in planning your eastern Idaho winter getaway is deciding on a basecamp. Located within the gorgeous Teton Valley, the towns of Victor and Driggs offer several opportunities for wintry fun, along with restaurants and breweries, making this area an excellent place to call home for the weekend (or the week). Moose Creek Ranch has a variety of lodging options from luxury cabins to RV sites. At Teton Springs Lodge & Spa you’ll find luxury suites as well as spacious cabins ranging from 3-5 bedrooms, perfect for larger groups.
Idaho Falls is another great option, offering convenient access to Kelly Canyon Ski Resort located in Ririe, as well as museums if you’d like to take a little break from the winter weather. Located along the beautiful Snake River, Hilton Garden Inn Idaho Falls and SpringHill Suites by Marriott Idaho Falls are just minutes away from the downtown area, local dining and shopping. Hampton Inn Idaho Falls At the Mall is just a short drive from Grand Teton Mall and the Museum of Idaho.
Looking for more places to stay? Find even more lodging options here.
Choose Your Adventures
There are numerous cities in eastern Idaho within driving distance of each other, each offering their own unique brand of winter adventure. The only catch is, with so many activities to choose from, you might end up extending your stay!
Victor & Driggs
Serving up incredible views of the Grand Teton Mountains, Victor and Driggs offer winter adventure with a side of stunning scenery. Teton Valley Trails and Pathways maintains numerous trails in the Victor/Driggs area which are available for snowshoeing, Nordic skiing and fat biking. The Teton Springs Trail features several different loops, including a separate fat bike single track. (Tip: TVTAP provides an up-to-date grooming report with trail status and grooming updates as well as trail maps.)
Need gear? Not a problem. Head to Peaked Sports or Yostmark Mountain Equipment to find rental equipment. Yostmark also offers backcountry ski tours, as well as Nordic and backcountry ski lessons. If you’re looking for a guided snowmobile experience, check out Teton Valley Adventures. For snowmobile rentals, consider High Mountain Adventures in Island Park.
Bundle up for a sleigh ride at Linn Canyon Ranch and take in the spectacular views of the Teton Mountains as you dash through snow-covered fields. After your sleigh ride, warm up by the fire with a cup of cocoa back at the ranch.
Tucked away on the western slope of the Teton Range, roughly 20-30 minutes from Victor and Driggs, you’ll find Grand Targhee Resort. This Wyoming resort offers Nordic skiing, fat biking, cat skiing, professionally guided backcountry tours and, of course, plenty of aprés. (Tip: take advantage of the complimentary shuttles to Victor and Driggs).
Eat & Drink:
Victor Valley Market & Cafe is a great one-stop-shop if you need to stock up for your stay in the Teton Valley. Here you’ll find grocery items, grab-and-go sandwiches, wine and more. Care for some al fresco dining? Savor authentic, finely crafted recipes on the enclosed, heated patio at Teton Thai. After a day of adventure, chase away the winter chill with a craft beer at Grand Teton Brewing or swing by Citizen 33 for locally sourced food and brews. For an extra treat, stop by Victor Emporium for their famous huckleberry milkshakes.
Located north of Victor and Driggs, Island Park is another eastern Idaho destination worthy of your winter weekend adventure. With 500 miles of groomed trails, 200 inches of annual snowfall and stunning views to boot, it’s no surprise that snowmobile enthusiasts from all over flock to Island Park. Snowmobilers of all skill levels will enjoy racing through the powder-filled meadows of Black Canyon, while more experienced riders can experience the thrill of speeding through the deep snow, past towering ghost trees at Mount Two Top. Craving more snow time? Discover even more of this region’s renowned snowmobiling territory by checking out the Eastern Idaho Snowmobile Guide.
Get geared up for your snowmobile excursion at High Mountain Adventures or Island Park Rentals. If you’re looking for a guided experience, Island Park Adventures provides both snowmobile rentals and tours.
Can’t get enough of Island Park’s winter terrain? Then make your way to Harriman State Park where you’ll find over 25 miles of groomed trails for Nordic skiing and snowshoeing. Whether you’re a Nordic novice, a black diamond beast, or just want to watch for wintering wildlife, there are hours of fun to be had for your whole crew. If you’re angling to do some angling, Henrys Lake State Park is home to some of the best ice-fishing in Idaho, offering hefty cutthroats, trophy brook trout and more.
Bonus: On your way to Island Park, stop by Ashton to check out the American Dog Derby. Starting in 1917, this is the oldest dog sled race in the US and is held each year on the third weekend of February.
Eat & Drink:
Having worked up a hunger, it’s time to explore the culinary side of Island Park. Find traditional Mexican cuisine at Cafe Sabor, or sink your teeth into tender, fall off the bone baby back ribs at Connie’s Restaurant & Saloon. Henry’s Fork Lodge & Restaurant is another noteworthy spot, offering a decadent dining experience featuring locally-sourced ingredients.
Feature image credited to Idaho Tourism.
Published on October 29, 2021