A great trail in winter or summer!

One of our favorite trails is Darby Canyon road to Darby Canyon trailhead. In the wintertime you nordic ski the road to the trailhead and beyond. But the fun doesn’t stop there! Darby Canyon is a great summer trail as well. Here’s why Darby Canyon is our top pick this month:

Accessible

Just a short drive from Driggs, the trailhead is easy to find. From Driggs you head south and three miles later you turn east onto 3000 south. Then you’ll drive 3.2 miles and make a right when you reach the T. Follow the signs to South Darby Trailhead and you’re there—easy peasy! 

Great for trail runners 

If you’re in search of a new running trail, look no further! Darby Canyon has what you need.

The out and back trail is approximately 6.3 miles roundtrip—making it a great 10k for your weekend. The vertical gain is about 1,748 feet. Many trailrunners love the relatively short distance and low vertical. Another perk is that some of the trail is shaded—a nice break from the intense sun at high elevation.

Darby Canyon offers breathtaking views

There are numerous reasons to choose Darby Canyon over another hike. 

  • The Darby Wind Cave at the end of the hike is spectacular. It’s not a dingy cramped cave that you could easily miss when you hike past. Instead, the mouth of the cave is quite vast and noticeable from a distance. The entrance is spacious but narrow the farther back you venture. You don’t have to explore far back in the cave to enjoy everything it has to offer. 

Tip #1: Bring a jacket if you plan to stay in the cave for a while because it is significantly cooler inside than the average outside summer day temps. 

Tip #2: Only explore deep in the cave if you have appropriate gear and spelunking experience.

  • The wildflowers and green meadows are serene. The trail starts in the forest and makes its way up the mountainside. You’ll pass streams, arrowleaf balsamroot flowers, indian paintbrush flowers, conifer forests, open meadows, beautiful rock faces, huckleberry bushes, and more.

Hidden Gem of the Tetons

Teton Canyon gets all the hype but Darby offers a peaceful alternative without the crowds. You’ll have to share the first 1.5 miles with snowmobilers but I have found the snowmobilers of Darby Canyon tend to be the most polite snowmobilers you will find in Teton Valley. A fun side excursion is skiing the half mile into the Darby Girls Camp before Read more about review stating Hidden Gem of the Tetonsthe second creek crossing. Distance can vary from what is posted based on road conditions. By mid-winter, you will have to park on Stateline Rd which can add 1 to 1.5 miles roundtrip if you go all the way back.

– Sarah
Darby Canyon is a great pick if you want to avoid the national park crowds

Although Darby Canyon is a well-known hiking area, it doesn’t see the same foot traffic as many of the trails in Grand Teton National Park like Lupin Meadows trailhead or Jenny Lake. Although the parking lot can fill by 10am, if you get an early start you can avoid crowds. Plus, you’re more likely to encounter wildlife when you’re hiking during the cool hours of the early morning.

Feeling motivated now? We hope so! Let us know if you try out Darby Canyon for the first time. We’d love to know about your experience.

Recreate Responsibly

No matter the recreation you are enjoying in Jackson Hole, let’s show love for land, water, wildlife and community.

  • Know Before You Go
  • Plan and Prepare
  • Build an Inclusive Outdoors
  • Respect Wildlife
  • Leave No Trace
  • Be Kind, Share the Trail

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LATEST JACKSON HOLE TRAIL REPORT

  • 5 Mar 24 – Daily Trail Report
    Keep up with the forecast as heavy snows and high winds may persist.Connect to the grooming page for relevant updates before you head out! Today’s Avalanche Forecast Nordic and winter trail users are urged to use caution when recreating on trails and terrain below steep slopes. The BTAC reports and their website is a valuable local resource for planning your outing. Visit their forecast page for the most up-to-date information. Trip Report: Trail Creek Nordic trails on a… Read More