Idaho Falls and Grand Tetons NP

Idaho Falls, ID

We continued our journey south from Butte, MT for 200 miles into Idaho.  We had reservations for a three day visit to Idaho Falls, Idaho’s second largest city (after Boise) located along the Snake River.

The “falls” in Idaho Falls is a series of small falls and a spillway where the river “falls”over a concrete barrier and a wall of rocks.

The city maintains an extensive river walk featuring running and biking trails along several miles of the Snake River as it flows through the center of town.

Japanese garden along the river walk

One day during our stay in Idaho Falls we took a day trip to the east to visit Grand Teton National Park.  The drive from Idaho Falls is very scenic, with the highlight the crossing of Teton Pass between Victor, ID and Jackson, WY at 8,431 feet.

View east from Teton Pass

At the bottom of the pass we turned north on WY 390 (Moose Wilson Rd) toward the entrance to Grand Teton National Park, driving along the beautiful Teton Range.

Once in the park, we drove up a rough, dirt road to the trailhead for the Death Canyon Trail.  We intended to hike a mile up the trail to an overlook for Phelps Lake.

Phelps Lake from the overlook

We didn’t intend to go any further, but another hiker said there were some nice views if you continued down to the lake from the overlook.  So we added another mile and went down the steep trail to a spot near the lake.

Heading down toward the lake

One of many waterfalls along the lake

What goes down must come up!

Once we returned to the Jeep we continued north through the park.  As we passed a swampy area we spotted this girl enjoying lunch.

A second moose sighting was a young buck

Once we exited the park we returned back down US 26 toward Jackson.  That route has a great view of the Tetons.

We had to drive through Jackson, a crowded tourist town, to get to the route back to Idaho Falls.  While going through town we passed a park with the famous arch
of shed elk antlers,

Many people brighten up the back of their RV with some sort of beautiful artwork.  We’ve not done that for many reasons, but while driving through the RV park in Idaho Falls, we spotted a picture that we are thinking of putting on the back of our motorhome.



Next up is a visit to the ski resort area of Sun Valley, ID.  More on that later . . .

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28 Responses to Idaho Falls and Grand Tetons NP

  1. Laurel says:

    Hahaha, yes indeed, I expect to see that painting on the back of your motorhome next time we see you! I think it really captures your free spirits.
    Waterfalls, snow-capped mountains, wildflowers, a great hike, and MOOSE. I am jealous. We better see moose this summer. 🙂

    • placestheygo says:

      Laurel, our best moose sightings was in Nova Scotia as we rode the Cape Breton loop road on our motorcycle. The moose was standing right on the side of the road at the edge of the trees and allowed me to stand very close in front for a photo. She pose for a few people then just turned and walked into the woods. I was just a couple feet away. Gave great perspective. Hope she is there for your visit!

  2. Jodee Gravel says:

    The Tetons is on the top of the list of places we still need to see. I love those jagged peaks! Of course you hiked a placed called Death Canyon without hesitation – what could go wrong?! Looks beautiful 🙂 I think I’d like to know that couple with the painting, except maybe avoid going drinking with them.

    • Joe Taylor says:

      Jodee Gravel, you are too funny!

    • placestheygo says:

      The trailhead name didn’t strike me til later. Luckily, everything was very pleasant. Maybe it was the steep climbs involved! Yes, avoiding the couple who posed might be a good idea. Haha! The couple with the painting didn’t look at all like someone who would have this on their RV. Great spirit!

  3. Jeff Pierce says:

    A beautiful hike in Death Canyon, the name does not do it justice. After going down the ‘steep trail’ to the lake, bet you had to climb that same steep trail! Nice sighting of TWO moose.

    • placestheygo says:

      Jeff, this was a two steep climb hike. It was a steep mile up to the overlook and then a steep climb up from the lake to return to the parking lot. But worth the effort.

  4. Ingrid says:

    I love the Tetons and seeing a moose is always a special sighting. Can’t wait to see your new paint job on the rear of your RV 😆

  5. Two moose sightings–awesome! That area of the country is so beautiful!

  6. Joe Taylor says:

    Two moose in one day…I just can’t believe it! I would be happy to just see one! Looks like a great hike. Always love pictures of the Tetons and cant wait to go as we are counting down the days! Great photo of the RV…definitely think you should go for it!

    • placestheygo says:

      It was a great day for moose sightings! We didn’t have to drive too far into the park to find these two otherwise it might have been a long day for John. I was on a moose hunt. Gee, if only we had more room on the back of our MH!!

  7. When will we see the new logo of “Oh the Places They Go ?” It’s a good conversation starter in the campground.
    Always love the Tetons! And looks like you had the trail to yourself? When we were there we can’t even park at the trailhead.
    Moose sightings, not one but two! how cool is that.

    • placestheygo says:

      Don’t hold your breath waiting for the new logo!! Haha! Their were a lot of cars parked from a mile out for the trail. We went right to the end and found a spot right at the TH. But luckily, the trail was rather empty. As a matter of fact, we were totally alone for our mile hike down from the Overlook. We both comment on the absolute quiet of the forest except for the birds, rushing water, and our boots on the ground. Totally lucky! As were the moose sightings.

  8. YAY…Moose! I can just see a painting like that on your RV! You’d be the talk of the park!

  9. We, too, drove from Idaho falls to Grand Teton for a one day visit and we loved it! Just the drive in is incredible (check your brakes!!!), and GTNP is the only place we’ve ever seen a moose. That place was magical and your photos are a perfect way to bring us back there. Sadly, the east coast scenery is just a bit less jaw dropping. 😂 Glad you guys are having such a great trip!

    • placestheygo says:

      Yes, it is hard to appreciate the east’s scenery after spending time in the beautiful west. Nothing like high mountains, open views, and colorful rocks. It was always exciting to return west after an eastern trip. Safe travels on the east coast.

  10. Sue says:

    That RV mural just proves the old adage, “you can’t judge a book by it’s cover”…..I’m sure it represents who they really are and not what they look like on the outside! You just never know! I wonder what your mural would be…
    Loved the scenery in this post. The Teton’s just don’t look real or natural to me, they’re too perfect, picture postcard photos!

  11. geogypsy2u says:

    OMWow! The Tetons have been on my list a very long time. Love the RV mural.

  12. Steve & Dianne Colibaba says:

    We’ve only blasted by Idaho Falls. From your pics I think it’s worth a visit next time. Love the art work on the trailer.
    Safe travels!

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