Jackson to Salt Lake City Via Idaho Falls


Day 6 was destined to be a day devoted mostly to traveling, with only a little time left for sightseeing.  Salt Lake City was roughly 300 miles away, and I hoped to get there in time to see the lake and the city before stopping for the night.


For the return trip to SLC, I took WY 22, ID 33, 31, US 26, I-15.  This is slightly longer than the US 89 route, which I took on the way to Jackson.  However, it spends more time on the Interstate and less time on back roads, so it’s an easier drive.

My Visit

For the third time on this trip, I crossed Teton Pass (Wy Rte. 22), but this was the first time that I could actually see it.  The previous two passes were after dark, on the way back from Yellowstone).  Even with daylight, the view wasn’t spectacular, since Day 6 was shaping up to be unexpectedly hazy (and it stayed that way all the way to SLC).

From a viewpoint at the side of the road, you can look down on Rte. 22 (in the distance you can see the Snake River)…

… and look ahead at the mountains Rte. 22 passes through, on its way into Idaho.

After you cross into Idaho, there’s a brief break from the mountains at Victor, then more hills.  Eventually, the road drops out of the mountains and into the Swan Valley…

… where you’ll find an occasional abandoned house (Idaho seems to have a lot of these)…

… and a whole lot of potato fields. Much of this road is long, straight, and boring.

The first big town you see is Idaho Falls, named for the man-made waterfall in the middle of the Snake River.  I took this picture from the river’s east bank, and you can just barely see the falls in the distance.  Walking across the Broadway Street bridge would give you a better view.

To see the falls, take the Broadway Street exit off I-15.  Or just follow the billboards for the hotels with “views of the falls”.

I could have spent a lot more time in Idaho.  It’s a state that’s certainly worth its own trip.  But this time, after leaving Idaho Falls, I just kept driving.  I had to cover too much ground to do any sightseeing.  So, my next stop was the Great Salt Lake.

Note: This trip was first published in 2007.

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