Just west of Yellowstone, Eastern Idaho is known for its wide open vistas, friendly communities, and the fertile soil that is home to the famous Idaho potato.
The region offers year-round and off-the-beaten path activities for outdoor enthusiasts and families. The natural grandeur of the lush valley that follows the Snake River between the Teton Mountains to the east, and the Lemhi Range to the west, will thrill visitors of all ages. And the natural beauty and abundant wildlife of Eastern Idaho can turn an ordinary vacation into the trip of a lifetime.
Area highlights include:
Mesa Falls Scenic Byway
Explore the historic back road less taken with a 29-mile journey through the splendor and geographic diversity of the Targhee National Forest. From gently rolling farmlands to raging rivers to a huge volcanic caldera, this road showcases the very best of the Idaho scenery.
Upper and Lower Mesa Falls
On the Mesa Falls Scenic Byway, the thunder of both Lower and Upper Mesa Falls can be heard, enticing a closer look. Hike the area and make camp at the Grandview Campground for the night.
For a trip to remember, head to the Henrys Fork of the Snake River, known by many as the best tail-water and dry-fly fisheries in the country. The river is home to trumpeter swans, moose, muskrat, blue herons, and geese. Stay a while: Several campgrounds can be found in this scenic area.
St. Anthony Sand Dunes
Live it up in a recreational haven featuring breathtaking sand dunes. With more than 41,000 acres of sandy playground for dune-buggy riding, sledding, and snowmobiling in winter, the area is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. Primitive camping is available on the eastern edge of the dunes.
South Fork Lodge
Offering expansive views of the South Fork of the Snake River, the South Fork Lodge provides rustic luxury and access to all the activities of the Swan Falls area, as well as the recreation opportunities of neighboring Yellowstone National Park and Jackson, Wyoming.
Teton Springs Lodge and Spa
Style and comfort come together in a tranquil, all-season luxury resort located at the foot of the Tetons. Book a private cabin or stay in the full-service hotel, then treat yourself with a trip to the spa for massages, body treatments, facials, and hair and nail services for men and women.
Harriman State Park
Set within a 16,000-acre wildlife refuge in the greater Yellowstone ecosystem, this park is home to moose, elk, and sandhill cranes, among many other species. Get back to nature with a hike, bike or horseback ride. Sleigh rides are even offered during Christmas week.
Who says history and education have to be boring? Eastern Idaho is full of fun and educational activities for all ages. Stop at Yellowstone Bear World in Rexburg to see real bruins. The Museum of Idaho in Idaho Falls lets kids of all ages travel back to the time of the dinosaurs with an educational exhibit on the Tyrannosaurus rex. Also in Idaho Falls, the Tautphaus Park Zoo has penguins, snow leopards, kangaroos, and a children’s zoo.
For more information on Yellowstone Teton Territory, visit www.yellowstoneteton.org or www.visitidaho.org/regions/eastern/.