5 Jaw-Dropping Fall Drives Near Jackson Hole to Get Excited About

By on September 16, 2020 Categories: Jackson Hole Fall

Jackson Hole celebrates the fall colors with epic mountain scenery. Head out on one of the best fall drives near Jackson Hole to experience the magic of the fall colors. Aside from the turning trees, you’ll also be able to spot plenty of wildlife such as elk, moose, bison, and more.

Grand Teton National Park’s Inner Loop Road

Why not take the scenic route right under the nose of Grand Teton National Park’s famed peaks? Get up early and drive the 20-mile Inner Loop Road for incredible lighting under the perfect mountain backdrop. 

The Inner Loop Road takes around 1 hour to complete with plenty of time for stops along the way. Located just 15 minutes outside of Jackson Hole, it’s one of the most accessible scenic drives near Jackson.

One of the best aspects of the Inner Loop Road for fall is that elk love to grace along the side of the road. In the morning, you can often hear male elk bugling in the distance, looking for their mate. 

Add on the short Jenny Lake Loop for even more stunning mountain views. Get out and take the ferry for a fun-filled pit stop along the way.

Nearby Attractions: plenty of amazing fall hikes, the Morman Row historic ranches, Schwabacher Landing scenic view, Jenny Lake, and the Elk Refuge

Teton Pass to Idaho

Check out nearby Idaho with an unbelievable mountain pass. Take the Teton Pass Road (HWY 22)  west out of Jackson towards Taylor Mountain. This incredibly scenic byway brings you right into the heart of the action with an array of fall colors around every bend.

The drive itself hosts an array of adventures from the nearby Grand Targhee Resort in Driggs to the Phillips Canyon hiking trail, and the small-town feel of Victor. This drive gives you a real flavor for the Jackson area and many locals commute over this pass daily. 

Overall the drive is around 23 miles and takes a little over an hour to complete (budget more time if you plan on stopping often).

Nearby Attractions: Grand Targhee Resort, West Entrance to Yellowstone (about an additional 2 hours away, but much less crowded), the Brakeman American Grill, Big Hole BBQ.

Snake River Canyon

Snake River Canyon, also known as US Highway 26/89, winds its way along the scenic Snake River. The steep canyon walls meet rushing water along this 37-mile canyon. Terminating in the quiet town of Alpine, Snake River Canyon makes for a wonderful half-day of fall driving.

Stop at one of the many pullouts to fish or kayak (check water levels before heading out) or check out at the dramatic canyon walls. Plenty of buttes and mountains line the tops of the canyon as you make your way towards Alpine. 

Spend the afternoon soaking in the hot springs at Astoria Bridge or relax in the quaint town of Alpine. Don’t forget to pack a picnic lunch. The drive is about 1 hour each way, so plan for a half-day with some downtime along the shores of the Palisade Reservoir. 

Nearby Attractions: white water rafting (seasonal), fly fishing, Astoria Bridge Hot Springs, Palisade Reservoir, and boat ramps for water access.

The Grand Loop Road in Yellowstone

If you’re willing to brave the crowds, the Grand Loop Road in Yellowstone is a noteworthy fall drive. Taking up most of the day, this 142-mile road is an epic loop that winds through Yellowstone, hitting many of the park’s main attractions. Don’t worry, the further from the entrance you venture, the less traffic. 

The “loop” is actually more of a figure 8 shape and features plenty of geysers, pools, plains, and wildlife. In the fall you can find the bison grazing in the distance. The changing grasses and nearby trees combined with the awe-inspiring geothermal activity create an idyllic scene that will take your breath away.

Nearby Attractions: Old Faithful, Grand Prismatic Hot Springs, Firehole Lake Drive, and Firehole Canyon.

Moose Wilson Road

For a quick-and-beautiful fall drive near Jackson, look no further than Moose Wilson Road. This dirt track offers up plenty of opportunities for fall wildlife viewing. In fact, the Moose Wilson Road is popular with moose, elk, and even bears! Drive in the mornings or evenings for your best chance at spotting wildlife.

Make your way out of Teton Village on a small dirt road for about 8 miles until you reach the town of Moose. Although the road is short, it still takes a minute to drive, so plan on at least a half-hour round trip. 

Nearby attractions: Grand Teton National Park, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Teton Village, Shooting Star Golf Course, and Laurance S Rockefeller Preserve

Kelley Loop

Head to the Gros Ventre Junction for a chance to see bison this fall. As these animals prepare for the long, cold winter, they are ready to eat up as much of the fall grasses as possible. The 16-mile Kelly Loop starts and ends at the Gros Ventre Junction.

This quick, 30-minute to 1-hour outing has lots of awesome stops to make (you could easily spend several hours checking everything out) including the Gros Ventre Slide, historic Morman Row, and the Moulton Barn. Since this scenic loop is literally a photographer’s dream, be sure to pack your best camera.

The Kelley Loop makes a great addition to the Grand Teton National Park’s Inner Loop Road for a day of scenic driving and sightseeing.

Nearby attractions: Mormon Row, Gros Ventre Slide, Grand Teton National Park, Shadow Mountain, and the Elk Refuge

Celebrate the season with these fantastic fall drives near Jackson Hole. See the magnificent mountains, steep canyons, and mesmerizing geology of our mountain home. Spot an abundance of wildlife getting ready for the cold months ahead and have a fun-filled adventure in Jackson. We would love to make your Jackson Hole fall getaway special this year.