Immerse yourself in the complete Yellowstone Teton Territory experience by diving deep into the region’s museums and traditions. You’ll find a wide variety of museums to explore as well as plenty of unique events to attend. Spend a few days touring the local museums, and be sure to mark your calendar for one of YTT’s one-of-a-kind events.
In Idaho Falls, the Museum of Idaho hosts a wide variety of exhibits focusing on science and history, as well as an array of programs and events for both kids and adults. Learn about dinosaurs, early settlers, and be sure not to miss the Haunted History tours. The Art Museum of Eastern Idaho has a robust permanent collection, as well as rotating exhibits. The museum also hosts a variety of events and classes for kids, teens, and adults with topics like painting, pottery, spoken word performance, and more.
Explore Rexburg’s history at the Museum of Rexburg. The museum features rotating exhibits about the region’s history, a children’s room, and an exhibit about the tragic 1976 Teton Dam failure which flooded the area, killed 11 people, and caused millions of dollars in property damage. Also be sure to check out the Idaho Centennial Carousel, which is one of only 170 antique wooden carousels in the entire country—and it’s the only one in Idaho. Built around 1926, the carousel was initially used in a traveling carnival before settling in Utah for a few years and ultimately finding a home in Rexburg’s Porter Park in 1952. It was heavily damaged in the 1976 Teton Dam flood, but it was refurbished and restored in time for the state’s 100th anniversary.
The Teton Geotourism Center includes interactive exhibits which will keep the whole family enthralled while learning about Teton Valley’s history and heritage. Check out the dog sledding exhibit, learn about early inhabitants, local wildlife, and more. Take a virtual tour of the Teton Geotourism Center for a preview of the exhibits.
Stop by the Farnsworth TV and Pioneer Museum in Rigby to learn about Rigby’s history and heritage, including inventions by local innovators such as Philo T. Farnsworth from Rigby, who was one of the early visionaries behind the television. Be sure to check the museum’s hours before planning a visit. Sometimes appointments are required.
Traditions & Unique Events
Immerse yourself in the Yellowstone Teton Territory’s unique local culture and traditions. Mark your calendar for these fun festivities to get a taste of local life, from wacky ski hill fun to longstanding rodeo traditions.
Grand Targhee Spring Pond Skim & Cardboard Box Derby
Every spring, Grand Targhee Resort hosts a handful of quirky and beloved events. The “sink or skim” pond skimming contest is an annual tradition where competitors race down a hill on skis or snowboards and attempt to “skim” across a pool of water without falling in. Seeing the creative costumes people come up with is all part of the fun. The cardboard box derby is another fun event where competitors use cardboard, glue, paper, string, and tape to fashion a box that will carry them down the slopes. Points are awarded for originality, costumes, construction, and keeping all your team members from flying out of the box.
Snowmobile Hill Climb
Snowmobile riders relish the chance to race up the slopes of Grand Targhee at the Crazy Horse Hill Climb Snowmobile Race, which is the final event in the Rocky Mountain States Hillclimb Association winter series.
Rodeo has long been a part of life in the Yellowstone Teton Territory. Enjoy a wide range of events including bull riding, breakaway roping, saddle bronc riding, barrel racing, kids’ competitions, and more. Mark your calendar for the summer to enjoy a classic Wild West rodeo. The Clark County Rodeo in Dubois is a favorite local tradition, and it’s been going for over 60 years strong. The event is typically held for a weekend in June and then a night in September. In Idaho Falls, the War Bonnet Round Up is the state’s oldest rodeo, and over 15,000 spectators come out for the August event. Friday nights are rodeo nights at the Teton Valley Rodeo in Driggs. Enjoy fun for the whole family, including events for the kiddos like the calf scramble and mutton bustin’. Rigby Stampede Days includes a fun rodeo, which usually takes place in June. Don’t miss the Queen Coronation and other entertainment, as well as plenty of local vendors. The rodeo is one of the highlights of Fremont County Pioneer Days, which also includes a car show, play, and other entertainment. Rexburg’s Whoopee Days Rodeo is a fun family tradition that usually takes place in June.
Snow Plane Heritage
For a taste of tradition, head to Tetonia for the annual Dale Robson Memorial Snow Plane Rally, typically held in January. These beloved machines are fashioned from old airplane engines suited up with three long skis, a cockpit, propellers, and assorted parts—and they actually never leave the ground. Snow planes were quite popular from the 1930s to 1950s, but dipped in popularity when snowmobiles were introduced. Now around 20 snowplanes come to the rally each year, and some lucky attendees may even get to go out for a spin in one.
Sled Dog Events
Before people had four-wheel-drive vehicles and snow tires, many people would make their around via dogsled in the winter. Some people in the Yellowstone Teton Territory still carry on the tradition, and visitors can also enjoy this traditional method of getting around. February is prime time for sled dog races, so check out one of the local races or opt for a trip of your own with a local outfitter. Watch Ashton’s American Dog Derby and enjoy the oldest sled dog race held in the Lower 48. The Pedigree Stage Stop Sled Dog Race is another favorite local race. While much of it takes place in Wyoming, one of its legs takes place in Driggs.