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.
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!
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
Trail Notes: The view from here is great – in the spring, the snow on the Tetons would make it spectacular!
Would I go 100 miles out of my way for this?
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″)
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.
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- 11:20 PM MST on February 19, 2018
- 9:00 AM MST on February 20, 2018
Tuesday Tue Feb 20 30%
Mostly cloudy skies with a few snow showers later in the day. High 7F. Winds WSW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of snow 30%.
Wednesday Wed Feb 21 20%
Mostly cloudy skies. High 13F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph.
Thursday Thu Feb 22 20%
Partly cloudy skies in the morning will give way to cloudy skies during the afternoon. High 19F. Winds SSE at 5 to 10 mph.
Friday Fri Feb 23 20%
Partly cloudy skies in the morning will give way to cloudy skies during the afternoon. High 19F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph.
Saturday Sat Feb 24 70%
Variably cloudy with snow showers. High near 20F. Winds SSW at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of snow 70%. Snow accumulating 1 to 3 inches.