If you happen to find yourself in the quaint town of Victor, Idaho, odds are you are there to enjoy some of the stellar outdoor adventures and activities this area has to offer, nestled at the base of the majestic and rugged Teton Mountains! Don’t leave town without checking out this list of the top 15 outdoor things to do in Victor Idaho!
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Table of Contents
Top 15 Outdoor Things to Do in Victor Idaho
There are a wide range of outdoor activities near Victor Idaho, and here are the best ones!
- #1: Explore Grand Teton National Park
- #2: Explore Yellowstone National Park
- #3: Camp at the Mike Harris Campground
- #4: Whitewater Raft on the Snake River
- #5: Have Fun on the Teton River
- #6: Drive the Scenic Teton Byway
- #7: Visit the National Elk Refuge
- #8: Play at Grand Targhee Resort
- #9: Get Up Close and Personal with Bears at Yellowstone Bear World
- #10: Visit the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center
- #11: Explore the Victor to Driggs Rail Trail
- #12: Run the Annual Grand Teton Half Marathon and 5k
- #13: Take a Hot Air Balloon Tour
- #14: View Mesa Falls
- #15: Indulge at the Victor Emporium
Why Victor Idaho?
While many visitors may not be fully aware of just how many things there are to do near Victor Idaho, chances are they have at least heard of one – Grand Teton National Park. And it is for that reason that Victor is emerging into the spotlight as a great place to base your local visit out of, instead of the traditional Jackson, Wyoming center.
Distance to Closest Towns:
- Jackson, Wyoming: ~ 35 minutes
- Idaho Falls, Idaho: ~ 1 hour and 10 minutes
- Rexburg, Idaho: ~ 1 hour
- West Yellowstone, Montana: ~ 2 hours
Distance to Closest Airports:
- Idaho Falls Regional Airport: ~ 1 hour and 10 minutes
- Jackson Hole Airport: ~ 1 hour
- West Yellowstone Airport: ~ 2 hours
- Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport: ~ 3 and a half hours
While Victor may be small, accommodations are much more reasonably priced that the exorbitant prices of nearby Jackson, Wyoming. Victor may not have the larger hotels and chains that you can find in Jackson, but what Victor can offer is unique, quaint, secluded, private, and non-touristy vacation rentals, cottages, and cabins. That and less traffic, friendly locals, an uncrowded main street, small town eateries, and a more genuine mountain town feel.
At just a little over a half hour drive to the entrance of Grand Teton National Park, Victor is a great place to stay during a visit of not only Grand Teton National Park, but all of the following things to do in Victor, Idaho! Now let’s dive into the rest of the list!
#1: Explore Grand Teton National Park
No list of Victor Idaho activities would be complete without the highlight of Idaho attractions – Grand Teton National Park!
Grand Teton National Park is a mecca of outdoor adventures! The jagged mountains of the Teton range have created a haven of exhilarating hiking trails, camping destinations, water activities, and more! Below are a few of my favorite hikes and outdoor adventures in Grand Teton National Park!
Jenny Lake is heralded as one of Grand Teton’s most beautiful lakes, and arguably one of its most popular hikes!
Length: 7.2 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 456 feet
An easy stroll around another stunning mountain lake in the Tetons!
Length: 3.8 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 423 feet
This hike has it all – lake, forests, and mountain views!
Length: 7.1 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 91 feet
There’s a trend here in Grand Teton National Park – these mountain lake hikes cannot be beat!
Length: 7 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 725 feet
Colter Bay Lakeshore Trail at Jackson Lake
A low key, idyllic, family friendly jaunt around Grand Teton’s largest lake.
Length: 2.5 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 85 feet
This trail takes you deep into the heart of Grand Teton National Park. Start at Jenny Lake, and along the way, pass landmarks like Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point.
Length: 9.1 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 1,102 feet
A short stroll to view iconic historical structures.
Length: 0.2 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 2 feet
#2: Explore Yellowstone National Park
While a visit to Yellowstone National Park’s west entrance is about a 2 hour drive away, it is still very deserving of a spot on the list of best things to do in Victor Idaho! That’s because, for much of the same rationale as Grand Teton National Park, Victor is a great place to home base when visiting Yellowstone National Park.
It is within a reasonable driving distance to still be able to have a full day’s worth of exploration at Yellowstone National Park. Accommodations will be much, much cheaper in Victor, and you will not have to deal with the throngs of crowds that can overflow towns near the entrances of Yellowstone National Park, like West Yellowstone. Plus, if you stay in Victor, you will have even that much more of an excuse to check out BOTH of these epic National Parks in one visit!
While Grand Teton National Park is known for its towering and imposing mountains, Yellowstone is known for its otherworldly paint pots, geysers, and cascading waterfalls! There is a never ending array of hiking and scenic viewing opportunities in Yellowstone National Park, and below are a few of my favorites, based on entering Yellowstone National Park from its west gate at West Yellowstone:
You can have an easy viewing of the timely Old Faithful Geyser, or you can hike the surrounding Old Faithful Geyser Loop Trail that allows you to view it from a unique and loftier perspective!
Length: 0.7 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 19 feet
Grand Prismatic Springs
There is no way to describe the vivid colors that are present in Yellowstone’s basins and springs, but the Grand Prismatic Springs is probably the best way to try! This boardwalk trail will take you to the “bank” of one of the most iconic sights in the whole National Park!
Length: 1.5 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 200 feet
Midway Geyser Basin
The basin that contains the Grand Prismatic Hot Springs, among many more unique geothermal features and landmarks!
Length: 0.7 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 55 feet
An easy forest trail that leads to the 200 foot tall Fairy Falls!
Length: 4.8 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 170 feet
Fountain Paint Pots
Yellowstone National Park is home to a one of a kind natural occurrence known as “paint pots”, and there are several trails where you can witness these quirky pots, including the large “Red Spouter”! The Fountain Paint Pots and Artist Paint Pots trails are two of the best.
Length: 0.6 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 22 feet
Artist Paint Pots
Another fun and engaging trail on which to witness paint pots up close!
Length: 1 mile roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 101 feet
Norris Geyser Basin
The Norris Geyser Basin is just that, a large basin collection of geysers, fumaroles, springs, and paint pots. On this trail, there is a discovery around every bend!
Length: 1.8 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 150 feet
Yellowstone puts on a pretty impressive show with its waterfalls too. Gibbon Falls may not be the largest (or most famous) waterfall in Yellowstone, but it is no less stunning! You can park and view Gibbon Falls from a viewpoint, or hike to it!
Length: 0.5 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 55 feet
If you are looking for a secluded hike in Yellowstone (trust me, that’s hard to find) that ends on the shores of a calm, still, and pristine lake, then the short and family friendly Harlequin Lake hike is for you! It is also located very near the entrance of Yellowstone, which makes it a convenient place to stop and hike.
Length: 1 mile roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 137 feet
Grand Canyon of Yellowstone: Upper Falls, Lower Falls, and Artist Point
You can easily spend an entire day, or more, at the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone area. This is the most recognizable waterfall in Yellowstone, and the hikes in this area all highlight that as the focal point!
Upper Falls and Lower Falls Trail
Length: 4.1 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 459 feet
Artist Point Trail
Length: 0.2 miles
Elevation Gain: 16 feet
Two Ribbons Trail
The Two Ribbons Trail, located just inside the park borders after entering the west gate, hardly gets any attention at all when compared to the jaw dropping geysers, waterfalls, and springs of Yellowstone, but it has a way of becoming an endearing trail. It is secluded, quiet, and peaceful, and its boardwalk trail is family friendly, while being graced by river views running parallel to the trail. It is a quiet escape from the sometimes chaotic nature of some of Yellowstone’s more popular outdoor attractions.
Length: 0.9 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 13 feet
Check BOTH of these National Parks off your list with this National Parks Checklist!
#3: Camp at the Mike Harris Campground
Just 5 miles east of Victor, a few minutes drive on Highway 33, you will find the Mike Harris Campground. Surrounded by gentle streams and forested cliffsides, this is the perfect place to spend the day fishing or just relaxing outdoors, and also the perfect place to sleep beneath the stars!
#4: Whitewater Raft on the Snake River
For the adrenaline junkie searching for the best things to do in Victor Idaho, whitewater rafting the iconic Snake River should be on your list! There are multiple vendors you can take a tour with in the area.
#5: Have Fun on the Teton River
The Teton River is the sister waterway to the mighty Snake River. Beloved by local flyfishers and fisherman, you can also kayak, canoe, float, and raft, plus explore the scenery along the banks of the neighboring Teton River.
#6: Drive the Scenic Teton Byway
For a more relaxed outdoor venture near Victor, you can drive the 68 mile long scenic Teton Byway, which can offer less hands on appreciation of the Teton Mountains, while still being in awe of the outdoors! The Teton Byway starts in Swan Valley, just south of Victor, and then proceeds north through Victor, Driggs, and on to Ashton, Idaho, where it ends.
#7: Visit the National Elk Refuge
About 30 minutes east, outside of Jackson, Wyoming, lies the National Elk Refuge, home to one of the area’s most notable residents. And lots of them for that matter! Ever wonder where the iconic antler archway in Jackson Town Square got all its antlers? From antlers shed at the National Elk Refuge!
#8: Check out Grand Targhee Resort
No list of things to do in Victor Idaho would be complete without mentioning the Grand Targhee Resort. While there are year round activities you can enjoy here, this resort really shines in winter!
In the summer, enjoy hiking, biking, disc golf, chair lift rides, and climbing walls for the whole family. In winter, the highlight is skiing! But you can also snowshoe, bike, and take backcountry tours in the winter.
#9: Visit Yellowstone Bear World
About an hour west of Victor, off Highway 33, is Yellowstone Bear World, a center full of various grizzly and black bears, including baby cubs! Yellowstone Bear World is a drive through format, plus a small museum, gift shop, and petting zoo where you can get out, grab a gift or snack, pet the goats, and stretch your legs. There are also additional guided excursions and baby cub bottle feeding tours you can purchase as additional.
#10: Visit the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center
Speaking of outdoor things to do that involve wildlife, the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center is another great place to view and learn more about native wildlife in the region. This center contains a pack of wolves, grizzly bears, a prairie dog town, otters, and various birds of prey. It is about 2 hours north of Victor, in the town of West Yellowstone, just outside Yellowstone National Park.
#11: explore the Victor to Driggs Rail Trail
This long distance trail is a great way to get in some lengthy exploring when checking out the best things to do in Victor Idaho. This paved, multipurpose trail runs 104 miles from Victor to West Yellowstone. Expect to see rolling hills, rugged mountains, pastures, farmlands, and forests! For a shorter sampling of this epic trail, take the Victor to Driggs section for just under 8 miles worth.
#12: Run the annual Grand Teton Half Marathon and 5k
Time your visit to Victor right, and you can participate in the annual Grand Teton Half Marathon and 5k, held during the first weekend in June! This is not only a great race, but an entire “runcation” – a destination running vacation centered around a race, but incorporating all the great things about the area! This race is held in the small town of Wilson, Idaho, which is just down the road from Victor. And as you might have guessed, the beautiful course traverses the Teton Mountains!
The Grand Teton Half Marathon is just one of the top National Parks races in the U.S. – check out all 12 of the best National Park races HERE!
Want to take your runcation up a notch? Yellowstone National Park has their own National Park half marathon and 5k races, and it is held the weekend following the Grand Teton Half Marathon and 5k. What a great excuse to extend your visit to the area and enjoy a runcation centered around the best of BOTH National Parks!
#13: Take a Hot Air Balloon Tour
This is literally at the “top” of things to do in Victor Idaho, because it is a chance to experience the area from above! There are several companies that offer once in a lifetime hot air balloon tours out of Jackson, including Elevated Ballooning and Wyoming Balloon Company.
#14: View Mesa Falls
Head about an hour north of Victor, and you will arrive at Mesa Falls, one of the grandest and most impressive waterfalls in all of Idaho! Located in Targhee National Forest, this waterfall consists of an upper section and a lower section, and the upper section is by far the most impressive! There are several short hiking trails, viewpoints, and nature trails on which to stretch your legs, soak in this waterfall experience, and snap an unforgettable picture!
#15: Indulge at the Victor Emporium
By the time you wrap up this list of best outdoor things to do in Victor Idaho, you may need a minute to relax and a well deserved indulgence. The best suggestion is to head to the Victor Emporium, in the heart of downtown Victor!
This may look like a humble main street shop just like any other, but the Victor Emporium is beloved by locals and visitors alike! Their main claim to fame? Their unbeatable huckleberry milkshakes! You can also purchase a gift from their unique souvenirs shop, or enjoy a cup of fresh brewed coffee, before heading out on more outdoor activities in Victor Idaho!
And there you have it, the 15 best outdoor things to do in Victor Idaho! Which ones are you looking forward to the most?
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