Idaho's Teton Basin Ranger District
Teton Basin Ranger District - Regional attractions include:
Alaska Basin sits nestled at an elevation of around 9,500 feet (Sunset Lake) and presents a flurry of emerald green evergreens contrasted by the windswept aspens spotted across the terrain. Astounding scenery transcends into enthralling views overlooking Mt. Jedediah Smith, The Wedge, and Mt. Meek. Battleship Mountain, Veiled Peak, Buck Mountain, and Mt. Meek. Aspen Trail is commonly accessed and utilized for backpacking, hiking, nature trips, landscape & nature photography, wildlife viewing, dispersed camping, birding, lake, and river access. Reported wildlife viewing includes pika, marmots, and bighorn sheep to name a few. Sunsets from this location are said to be one of a kind and worth the effort. It might be something to consider to bring: a water filter if gathering water from one of the streams is preferred, perhaps some insect repellent, proper gear and clothing for inclement weather, various bear deterrent methods, and sunscreen for maximum year-round comfort. Data has indicated increasing elevation by 1,000 feet of gain, may intensify the sun's UV rays by 8-10 percent due to the thinning atmosphere.
The terrain boasts views of soaring cliffs, pristine lakes, babbling brooks and churning streams, vast open fields decked with vibrantly colored wildflowers, dramatic mountain peak views, and depending on the time of year snowy vistas. Bring a camera, waterproof bags and cases that might be considered in the event that it rains.
The basin is located west of Buck Mountain and is one of the Tetons peaks that generally goes without much recognition due to it’s presentation. The basin is graciously spread out and dotted with alpine lakes, wildflowers, and mountain pine. Remarkably beautiful, the fresh mountain air and stunning scenery can be very rewarding after all the effort it takes to get to a high-altitude destination like the Alaska Basin. The pass is home to scenic views of the Cathedrals, Buck Mountain, Teton Creek, Teton Crest Trail, Mount Meek Pass, Jedediah Smith Wilderness, Teton Canyon, Death Canyon Shelf, and views across to the Teton Peaks and Sheep’s Stairs.
Due to the higher elevations of a few of these destinations, it’s wise to consider altitude sickness prior to getting out on the trail. It’s reported that symptoms include headache, sickness, dizziness, to get the list started. Know the symptoms and have a plan of action beforehand. Anytime the body communicates that it’s struggling is certainly something to take seriously. Getting back down the mountain has been reported as being one of the most effective remedies for many suffering from mild cases of altitude sickness. Don’t ignore any abnormal symptoms. Be prepared, communicate with fellow hikers if symptoms present themselves, get informed, stay aware, and have a protocol.
Alaskan Basin-Buck Mountain Pass (026) commences at Trail (008) and comes to a close at Trail 027 Buck Mt. Pass. panoramas of extraordinary views are offered from the pass. Scenic views overlooking the diverse topography are noteworthy of the exceptional land formations that adorn this unique destination Alaska Basin via Devil’s Stairs. Be it that is may, the Alaska Basin is accessible from several trail options one of which is the Devil’s Stairs! Devils Stairs, stairs inherently implying some degree of strenuous physical work. Difficult is a fairly accurate representation of the Devil’s Stair trail option, though the payoff is likely worth the effort for the many travelers who make their way to and through the area as the surrounding areas are world-renowned for nature and the wealth of beauty in the surreal surroundings. The largely undisturbed landscapes could be described as somewhat prehistoric, where wildlife is submerged in its natural environment without a hint of modern civilization anywhere near. It’s an experience worth the effort to travel to this location even if trails are not preferred or an option.
Throughout the region, visitors may identify multiple outlooks to accomplish somewhat similar topographical scenic views as one would find along various trails if trails are not an option or don’t make sense. The entire region is filled to the brim with spectacular geological wonders, beauty, great stops to take a break and enjoy an excellent meal, and destinations for all to enjoy.
Regional trails include:
Andy Stone Trail, otherwise known as Pole Canyon Trail (014), lies South of Victor, ID. This commonly traveled trail offers mixed-use for mountain bikers, horseback riders, and hikers alike. Traverse the pleasant terrain on this uphill grade moderately demanding trek across steep rock sections of the mountain. Described as ideal for expert class adventures the trail may be combined with other area trails to create a loop. Allen Canyon-Pole Canyon Trail (014) - Situated South of Victor, ID, the Allen Canyon-Pole Canyon Trail (014) is a common destination for mountain biking, horseback, and equestrian use, backpacking, hiking, trail trekking, backcountry adventures, nature treks, and wildlife viewing.
A gradual uphill trek leads explorers and adventurers alike may prove to be somewhat demanding with abrupt edges and rocky sections when proceeding to the Western portion of the 014 roundabout section that increases to an expert grade technical which simply means be prepared and train properly before attempting this section of the trail. The trail presents the option to return back to 014 by incorporating the connecting section of Powerline Trail (031). Priority while trekking Pole Canyon trail remains safe and this includes preparing for inclimate weather nearing the end of the summer season. The typical snow-free season for this trail begins around mid-June and goes to around the end of Oct. Typically anytime there is a multi-use trail, trail etiquette suggests that motorbikes yield to pedestrians, pedestrians yield to equestrian, and motorbikes yield to equestrian use. This formula was established in order to provide positive outcomes for all while maintaining efficiency.
Please remember to check trail policy if bringing a pet is the goal, some trails allow for off-leash use though that may vary. Bring a camera if taking photos might be part of your plan, and remember to enjoy your outdoor adventures. Preparing for trail use includes keeping in mind the Trail Rules and Right-Of-Way in order to accomplish positive outcomes for all. Last-minute additions to the travel bag might include emergency supplies, paper plates, water bottles, 2-way radio. If for any reason dispersed camping is in the order you may want to pack in a small shovel and hand wipes. Some additional items campers commonly forget to pack or accidentally leave behind include personal medications, stroke gauze pads, scissors, bee sting kit, first aid manual, and supplies.
Trail options galore may be found within the Teton Ranger District. Area exploration is a hot ticket item in this portion of the state and it’s clearly outlined with all that is offered when it comes to trail options.
Regional Campground: Mike Harris Campground
The splendid Mike Harris Campground and natural campsites are located within the heavily wooded pines of the Caribou-Targhee National Forest along the scenic Teton Pass at an elevation of 6,200 feet within the Mikesell Canyon area. Bathed in deciduous greenery the wilderness comes alive with wildlife including deer, grizzly bears, elk, and moose. Opportunities for birding might include the chance at coming across a Bald Eagle or Osprey.
Choose from 12 natural campsites each with its own fire pit alongside the free-flowing waters of Trail Creek and the Mike Harris Creek. Also, find picnic tables on-site as well as places to store food safely away from area wildlife. Campers frequently review this camp as an all-around positive experience.
Nestled in Teton County the territory trails in this area are quite popular. From the campground access and surrounded by picturesque scenery is the Mike Sell Canyon Trail, Victor to Driggs Rail-Trail, Upper Palisades Lake Trail, Lower Palisades Lake Trail, Palisades Creek Trailhead, and Creek Trailhead.
Heading into town? Traveling into the city of Victor, Idaho only takes a few minutes and is home to the neat Victor Heritage Museum. Take a hot air balloon ride and check out the Teton Mountain Range from a bird’s eye viewpoint or head over to grab some ice cream at one of the local shops. Take delight in rental options for outdoor sports, consider a day of horseback riding, or perhaps head over to the Grand Targhee Ski Lodge which offers trails ideal for winter exploration and sports or summer trail riding and trekking.
The spectacular Grand Teton Range is home to outdoor activity including hiking, fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing. The Mike Harris Campground is a seasonal location and is not plowed during the winter season, though, the surrounding area comes to life with opportunities for cross country skiing, fat bike trails, nordic skiing, snowshoeing, and various winter activities when the region becomes a winter wonderland and a stage for winter activities galore.
Positioned about 30 minutes to Jackson & the Teton National park, this excellent destination is ideally located to be revered as the “Gateway to the Tetons”. Heading the opposite direction over the pass will lead travelers to Swan Valley and the pristine waters of the Snake River.
Trekking mountain trails, narrowing past obstacles on a dirt bike, hiking with the much more determined version of yourself, all can make relaxing and taking a break from cleaning up camp sound quite appealing, right? Not quite. When in bear country, having the camp clean before retiring for the evening is a requirement no matter the time. Be bear aware, camp informed, and come prepared.
Whether you’ve decided to come to the region to visit a state park, soak in a hot spring, go on a road trip, visit museums and galleries or simply venture to a remote location for a weekend escape, there is certainly something to do and enjoy for everyone!