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Idaho Falls to Jackson

Recently I had a rare Fall weekend to myself in Idaho Falls with no plans.  But I had a Sprinter Revel and my dog, Champ, and the open road!   Where to go?  The distance from Idaho Falls to Jackson, Wyoming is less than 90 miles so off we went. 

I don’t know about all RVers, but one of the aspects I love most is the actual road trip portion of the adventure.  I appreciate being able to pick up and head out with all the comforts of home basically at a moment’s notice and explore.   

After a leisurely Saturday morning at our RV Park in Idaho Falls, Champ and I stopped downtown at my favorite coffee place, Villa Coffeehouse, for a latte and then headed out on Hwy 26 to Jackson.  I grabbed my sunglasses and put on some good road trip music and watched the hills and fields roll by.   

Along the way through Swan Valley, we were stopped by REAL Western cowboys who were on a cattle drive which crossed the road.  If not for a road trip, I would never be able to glimpse this authentic Western way of life. (I didn’t see Rip, but he was probably busy solving problems on the Yellowstone Ranch).  Champ lost her mind of course – barking at the cattle.

We continued driving, and, although I was tempted to stop in Victor for lunch, I had food on board and looked for a good picnic spot instead.   I stopped first to check out a mountain biking trail – I might want to return another day with my bike – and noticed that there was also a paved biking trail that ran parallel to the road.  There were several people and families using the trails, yet it certainly wasn’t crowded. 

I drove another few miles and stopped to check out a small campground (I think it was Little Cottonwood Campground) that had several sites that backed up to a stream.  I want to return to camp overnight sometime!  We pulled into one of the spots, I made a sandwich, pulled a cold drink from the fridge, and stretched my legs.   

Onward to Jackson!  Although the names seem to be interchangeable, I learned that the town is named Jackson, while “Jackson Hole” refers to the entire valley—which also includes Teton Village, Wilson, the Aspens, Moran Junction, Moose, and more.  The area is named after Davey Jackson, a nineteenth-century fur trapper who was one of the first to settle in the area.  

I had booked an overnight spot at the Virginian RV Park since this was within walking distance of the main square.  I walked to town, wandered through some shops and stopped at Moos Gourmet Ice Cream.  A few years ago, their wild huckleberry ice cream was designated as the best dessert in the state of Wyoming! So good!! 

I did notice that Jackson caters to RV travelers and actually has a day use public parking lot next to the visitors center that accommodates smaller RVs! It is just two blocks from the main square. This would be a good option if I wasn’t spending the night.  

Champ and I had a quiet night in the Sprinter van and the next morning, we explored Jackson some more.  First stop – Genevieve’s for Sunday breakfast – fantastic Eggs Benedict and a side of pig candy (yummy caramelized bacon)! 

On the way back to Idaho Falls, we drove through the Teton National Park which is one of my favorite places in the region.  I love the dramatic mountains and over 200 miles of trails without the crowds of Yellowstone.  

I would put this weekend itinerary on repeat any time of year. Easy, and lots to see.  Who knows? Maybe this winter I’ll slip some snow shoes into the Sprinter van… 

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