6 - 7
FATMAP difficulty grade
Moderately Difficult Backcountry Targhee Pass at an elevation of 7072 feet is located between Island Park and West Yellowstone on US 20, about 4.2 miles north of the junction of US 20 and Idaho 87.
A major snowmobile route passes through this area, and because of heavy snowmobile traffic, skiing or snowboarding in the area is not recommended in the cold winter months. In the spring, however, this is a wonderful place for nordic downhill or snowboarding, and it also provides access to the steep slopes of the Targhee Mountains. The destination of most tours in the Targhee Pass area is Lionshead Ski Area which closed down 2 years ago.
It can be reached by starting from the top of Targhee Pass and following the broad ridge line (Continental Divide) 2 miles to the north until arriving at the top of the runs of the old ski area. From here, you can see Lionshead Peak, the prominent peak to the northwest, and other high points in the spectacular Henry Lake Mountains.
Below this point and draining to the southwest is Targhee Creek, which offers a descending ski tour to a point lower on US 20 at the base of the Idaho side of Targee Pass. The old ski runs and other nearby slopes are great for telly skiing or snowboarding.
Avalanche hazard exists on the steeper slopes and transceivers and shovels should be carried. For milder backcountry, Raynolds Pass provides mid-winter access to safe but inviting telemark country.