Enjoying the West Tetons Overlook

The Tetons from the West Tetons Overlook, Ski Hill Road, Wyoming

The Tetons from the West Tetons Overlook – from L to R: Mt. Owen, Grand Teton, Middle Teton, and South Teton

If you want to enjoy views of the western (non-tourist) side of the Teton Range, but aren’t thrilled about 8+ mile hikes, don’t despair.  Although most hikes into the Jedidiah Smith Wilderness are long by dayhike standards (trails up Table Mountain, the Stairway to Heaven, and Alaska Basin Overlook are examples), there is at least one short hike (stroll, really) that offers stunning views of the back side of the Tetons, especially just before sunset.  I’ll call it the Western Tetons Overlook, for lack of a better title.

 


 

The trail is paved, wheelchair accessible, and certainly not more than 0.1 miles RT.  So really, you won’t be stressing yourself out for this one.

Approaching the West Tetons Overlook, Ski Hill Road, Wyoming

Approaching the overlook

It’s also a great place to stop if you will be (or have) hiking Table Mountain – the peak is very visible, and it’s fun to try and follow the trail with your eyes (with the help of binoculars) from this vantage point.

 

The trail directions are simple: from the parking area, follow the paved path to its end at a round concert pad.  Viola!  The Tetons!

Close up of Mt. Own (L) and Grand Teton. Notice Table Mountain just below the speck of white snow on Grand Teton. West Teton Overlook, Ski Hill Road, Wyoming

Close up of Mt. Own (L) and Grand Teton. Notice Table Mountain just below the speck of white snow on Grand Teton.

Overall: This is a great little place to stop if you’ll be hiking in Teton Canyon (Table Mountain, Alaska Basin, etc.) because it’s just slightly further down the road beyond the Teton Canyon turnoff.  There aren’t any picnic tables, but otherwise it makes a great place to have a tailgate picnic.

 

Round Trip Trail Length: 0.1 miles

Net Elevation Change: N/A

Facilities: None

Fees: None

Trail Notes:  The view from here is great – in the spring, the snow on the Tetons would make it spectacular!

Realistic view of what you'd see from the West Tetons Overlook, Ski Hill Road, Wyoming

Realistic view of what you’d see from the overlook

Trail ★★★★★

Road ★★★★☆

Signs ★★★☆☆

Scenery ★★★★★

Would I go 100 miles out of my way for this? ★★★☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

 

Key GPS Coordinates for the West Tetons Overlook

Parking: 43.76805N / -110.99947W (43° 46′ 4.98″ / -110° 59′ 58.092″) (7,050 ft.)

Viewpoint: 43.767765, -110.999203 (43° 46′ 3.9534″ / -110° 59′ 57.1302″)

I think the photographer was having fun with the sun... West Tetons Overlook, Ski Hill Road, Wyoming

I think the photographer was having fun with the sun…

Getting to the West Tetons Overlook

From ID-33 in Driggs, ID, turn east (toward the Tetons) at the traffic light onto E-Little Avenue (aka Ski Hill Road).  If coming from Yellowstone and the north, this will be a left turn, if coming from Jackson Hole and the south, this will be a right turn.  Pass Teton Canyon Road at mile 4.4; 3.8 miles later, arrive at the parking area, on right, signed simply as a “Scenic Overlook” with a blue sign (sort of like a rest area sign).  Park in the spacious parking area.


Overcast
Wednesday Wed Nov 22 20%
Overcast
Generally cloudy. Slight chance of a rain shower. High 43F. Winds light and variable.
Chance of Rain
Thursday Thu Nov 23 50%
Chance of Rain
Partly cloudy early followed by increasing clouds with showers developing later in the day. High 47F. Winds SSW at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 50%.
Snow
Friday Fri Nov 24 70%
Snow
Snow during the morning will give way to lingering snow showers during the afternoon. High 38F. Winds SW at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of snow 70%. 1 to 3 inches of snow expected.
Chance of Rain
Saturday Sat Nov 25 50%
Chance of Rain
Partly cloudy skies during the morning hours will give way to occasional showers in the afternoon. High 43F. Winds S at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 50%.
Mostly Cloudy
Sunday Sun Nov 26 20%
Mostly Cloudy
Mostly cloudy. High around 45F. Winds S at 10 to 15 mph.

 


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