Take the Teton Pass or the Road Less Traveled from Teton Valley to GTNP

Photo by Brentwood Inn, showing the route through Snake River Canyon in Yellowstone Teton Territory.


The Main Artery from Teton Valley to Jackson Hole: The History of Teton Pass

Teton Pass in Yellowstone Teton Territory has a rich history, initially used by Native American tribes as a migration route. By the 19th century, fur trappers and explorers depended on it, and by the early 1900s, it was developed for automobiles to connect Teton Valley with Grand Teton National Park. Known for its challenging driving and stunning views, Teton Pass has played a crucial role in connecting communities, supporting tourism, and boosting local economies.

On June 8, 2024, a massive landslide collapsed a major section of Teton Pass, triggered by heavy rainfall, snowmelt, and unstable geology. While preemptive closures due to weather warnings prevented casualties, the collapse halted travel and raised serious concerns about infrastructure safety. After weeks of intensive repair efforts and community support, Teton Pass reopened on June 28, 2024. The reopening has been widely covered in the news, highlighting the swift restoration efforts by local authorities and the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT), thereby reconnecting communities and supporting the region's tourism and economy.

Photo by WYDOT of Teton Pass collapse, the main artery from Teton Valley to Grand Teton National Park in Yellowstone Teton Territory.
The Teton Pass repair, photo by WYDOT, in Yellowstone Teton Territory.

The collapse of the Teton Pass disrupted many travel plans, especially for those heading to Grand Teton National Park from Teton Valley. However, with Teton Pass reopening on June 28th, travelers can, once again, choose between that direct route to Jackson Hole or the fantastic alternate route through the beautiful Swan Valley.

Adding only a few hours (or as long as you want) to your trip, we invite you to take the road less traveled to Grand Teton National Park.


From Teton Valley through Swan Valley

Your journey starts in the charming Teton Valley, with the welcoming towns of Tetonia, Driggs, and Victor. These small towns are perfect for a relaxed start. YTT offers the ultimate summertime guide to Teton Valley, which highlights recreation, dining, and overnight accommodations. Take a few days to explore all that the western side of the Tetons has to offer.

Through Swan Valley

From Victor, hop onto ID-31 and head west towards Swan Valley. You will travel over Pine Creek Pass to Swan Valley, a small but incredible place to enjoy outdoor activities. The majesty of Swan Valley is unforgettable, and there are plenty of places to lodge, camp, or hook up your RV. This area is growing, but for now, it remains a bastion of classic Idaho solitude. It's truly worth stopping and staying awhile!

Following US-26

Next, you’ll take US-26 south, which runs alongside the South Fork of the Snake River. This stretch of road is known for its scenic beauty. We are not kidding!  This area is a paradise if you’re into fishing, hiking, or biking. Don’t have time for outdoor recreation? A quick riverside picnic is a great way to break up the drive. Small towns like Irwin offer charming spots to stretch your legs, and the drive offers roadside stops overlooking the Palisade Reservoir and Dam.

Photo by Jason Husband of the sun over the Teton Mountains through the clouds in Teton Valley, a part of Eastern Idaho and Yellowstone Teton Territory.
A woman paddle boards on the Palisades Reservoir in Swan Valley in Eastern Idaho, a part of Yellowstone Teton Territory.


From Wyoming into the Park

Your journey on US-26 brings you to Alpine, Wyoming, and connects with the final stretch to the Park on US-89. You will drive through the stunning Snake River Canyon, where the dramatic canyon walls and the flowing river make this part of the trip particularly memorable. There are plenty of spots to pull over and take photos, so keep your camera handy. With wild mountain terrain on either side of the highway, deer, moose, elk, porcupines, skunks, and bears, to name a few, frequently cross the road. Please watch your speed and be on the lookout for our wild four-footed friends (for their safety and yours!)

From Jackson to Grand Teton National Park

Once you reach Jackson, you’re almost there. If you have time, stroll around the town square and check out the iconic elk antler arches. Then, head north on US-191 to reach the south entrance of Grand Teton National Park.

Elk stand on the road in Snake River Canyon, a part of Yellowstone Teton Territory, connecting Swan Valley Idaho to Grand Teton National Park.
Snake River Canyon from Swan Valley to Grand Teton National Park, a part of Yellowstone Teton Territory.


Adding to the Adventure

The alternate route from Teton Valley through Swan Valley opens up new avenues of exploration and makes getting to Grand Teton National Park even more gorgeous. The detour ensures that your journey remains uninterrupted and enriches your travel experience through Yellowstone Teton Territory. Embrace the scenic beauty, the friendly communities, and the unexpected delights this alternate path offers, and your trip to the Tetons will be as unforgettable as ever.

If you want to continue your trip to Yellowstone National Park, check out our Get Loopy blog, which offers an itinerary in reverse through Eastern Idaho from Grand Teton National Park. Meander your way through Ashton , swing by Mesa Falls , hike in Harriman State Park , fly fish in Island Park or heat things up in a hot spring.

A view of the Teton Mountain Range from Grand Teton National Park.

Whatever your adventure, Eastern Idaho is full of fun!

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