Plan a visit to the Teton Mountains this summer and enjoy one of these classic trail runs on the western (Idaho) side of the mountains.
Even with a combined population under 5,000 people, the Driggs and Victor are home to an array of world-class cuisine, a handful of local breweries, and array of trail running options! Whether you’re staying at the Grand Targhee Resort, visiting town, or just passing through for the day, these are the top trail runs on the western slopes of the Teton Mountains. Even if you’re staying in Jackson, a day trip to the other side of Teton Pass is well worth the time.
Starting with the Grand Targhee Resort, head trail builder Andy Williams maintains a stifling 60-mile network of trail according to this article. If you only have time for one run, the Bannock Trail should top the list. 6-miles round trip, this out-and-back to the summit of Fred’s Mountain is one of the park’s best kept secrets and offers stunning views of the western faces of the Tetons. Consider an early morning start to enjoy the sun as it rises above the mountains, just to the left of the Grand Teton itself. Even if you’re not up for a trail run, the Dreamcatcher Lift is the perfect opportunity for the entire family to enjoy the views from the 9,700’ peak!
Just down the road, the Table Mountain Loop is a staple hike or run that awards unparalleled views of the of the Cathedral Group. Wildlife, wildflowers, and wild berries are abundant through the summer and the trailhead doubles as the ending point for the Death Canyon and Static Peak Shuttle. Should you have two vehicles and a day to spare, this epic traverse through the heart of the Tetons will leave you feeling like you can conquer the world.
If you haven’t yet, add the Wind Cave in Darby Canyon to your list of must-visit destinations? In addition to the views, this 10k trail run is loaded with wild huckleberries, a trailside delicacy and rare occurrence found only in select pockets through the Tetons. Fueled by a nearby ice cave, the cave produces a chilling wind that some adventurers even repel into! Watch your step though, the steep drop offs could prove dangerous if ignored.
As you leave Victor en-route for Teton Pass, two other routes make this list of classics. At the state line, the Rush Hour Trail is a local favorite and perfect for those short on time, or even new to trail running. In contrast, if you’re looking for a quad-
busting climb, the Taylor Mountain Loop is just minutes into Wyoming, just before the road begins to climb up the switchbacks. This loop is quite possibly the steepest on the list, climbing a stout 3000’ in just 1.7 miles to start things off! If you’re up for the challenge however, the views are nothing short of spectacular.