Each month, we feature a different trail as our ‘Trail of the Month’ to inspire and provide season-specific guidance. As snowfall accumulates in the valley, it is recommended to explore trails at higher elevations that will have better coverage during this time of year. For December, we invite you to explore Teton Canyon, a trail known for its early-season grooming, which can be accessed by heading up Ski Hill Road from Driggs, ID.
Distance = 7.6 miles
Elevation gain = 86 m
Fee = $0.00
The December ‘Trail of the Month’ is Teton Canyon, a groomed out-and-back trail located on the Idaho side of the Tetons. This canyon trail is an excellent option for early-season skiers who are seeking groomed tracks. Thanks to its higher elevation, early-season grooming is possible. It is accessible to beginners, while also offering more challenging opportunities for experienced skiers to explore further.
For directions and information on accessing Teton Canyon, please review our trail page here.
6 Reasons to Ski Teton Canyon this December
1. Early Season Grooming:
As the snow coverage builds up in the Tetons, it can be challenging to find groomed winter trails, especially in early December. Fortunately, Teton Canyon, with its higher elevation and the efforts of Teton Valley Trails and Pathways (TVTAP), is one of the first winter trails to be consistently groomed for the season. So far in the 2023 season, Teton Canyon has been one of the most consistently groomed trails. Stay updated on our live grooming updates to see the latest grooming status. To support this grooming work, contributions to TVTAP.org are encouraged to maintain both winter and summer trails in Teton Valley.
Teton Canyon is a trail that welcomes dogs. However, please remember to leash your dog in the parking area and for the first 200 yards of travel. For more dog-friendly winter trails, you can check out a few of our favorites here.
3. For Skiers of different skill levels:
Teton Canyon is a fantastic winter trail for Nordic skiers of different abilities. It provides a gradual climb in elevation, making it suitable for beginners. For more advanced skiers seeking a challenge, they can choose to continue beyond the end of the groomed trail.
4. Visit Driggs
Come to ski Teton Canyon, but stay a bit longer to explore the charming town of Driggs, Idaho. In recent years, the restaurant scene in Driggs has been gaining attention from food enthusiasts. There are several cuisine options to choose from, including Teton Thai, Provisions, Rise, Forage, King Sushi, Citizen 33, and Figgies. Take the opportunity to indulge in the diverse culinary offerings while in Idaho.
5. Ski at Grand Targhee
Teton Canyon is conveniently located near Grand Targhee Resort. If you’re up for it, combine your adventure in Teton Canyon with a trip to ski at Targhee. You can enjoy their numerous downhill ski runs or explore their world-class Nordic facilities.
6. Teton Views
Although it may not provide the same view as skiing in GTNP, Teton Canyon offers spectacular views of the Tetons from the other side. A change in perspective can often provide a different way of seeing things.
Teton Canyon is a multi-use trail
Teton Canyon is a great example of a multi-use trail in the Tetons. It caters to a variety of activities including classic and skate skiing, fat biking, snowshoeing, walking, and even welcomes our four-legged friends 🐾.
During the summer, Teton Canyon offers fantastic access to a variety of excellent hiking trails. It also serves as the gateway to the popular backpacking area known as Alaska Basin, which is located near the renowned Teton Crest Trail.
5 Things to keep in mind before skiing Teton Canyon.
- Watch Out for a Lack of Base:
- During the early season, it is important to be aware that there may not be a solid base on the trail. You may encounter rocks, roots, or grass while hiking.
- Share the Trail with a Friendly Community:
- Remember that you will be sharing the trail with a friendly community of fellow snow enthusiasts. Everyone is excited to rediscover the joy of skiing on the first snow of the season.
- Embrace Responsible Recreation Practices:
- Please become familiar with Responsible Recreation practices to have a positive outdoor experience.
- Prepare Your Vehicle for Snow:
- If you are coming from Wyoming, you will need to drive over Teton Pass. Check the weather conditions, as they can change quickly. Even if it is sunny in town, make sure your car is equipped with 4WD/AWD and snow tires for safety on snowy terrain.
- Assess Conditions and Your Ability:
- You know your abilities best. Make sure to read the trail description for Teton Canyon to determine if it will be a good fit for you. If you ever feel uncomfortable during your ski, you have the option to turn around and head back to the trailhead. There is no shame in doing so.
It’s December, Let it Snow!
As the snow continues to accumulate in the area, especially now that we’re halfway through December, Teton Canyon emerges as a winter trail suitable for Nordic skiers, walkers, snowshoers, AT skiers, and fat bikers looking for early-season grooming. It is strongly encouraged for recreationists to share the trail with others, fostering a sense of community. This community atmosphere is one of the many reasons why Teton Canyon is a fantastic winter trail in the Tetons and the obvious choice for our December Trail of the Month feature.
Enjoy your time outside and stay safe!