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Best Teton Valley Hikes – Darby Canyon Wind Cave Trail

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This one ranks in our top 10 favorite hikes to date! It is also one of the best Teton Valley hikes that can be done in a day. While also one of the more difficult ones we have done with kids in a while. This 6.3 round trip hike also has 1800 feet of elevation gain. At least that means the way back is all downhill!

There is a reason why this is considered one of the best Teton Valley hikes! What starts as a flat walk by a a creek and through a meadow quickly turns into un uphill hike through the woods. As you climb the view of the surrounding canyon just gets better and better. From half way up you can already see the massive cave entrance in the distance! To top it off, a stream runs out of the cave to a beautiful waterfall.

Darby Wind Caves

There are actually two caves here that connect. Darby Wind Cave has the huge, iconic entrance. However, there is also a Darby Ice Cave just three quarters of a mile further up the canyon. A trip between the two not only requires some technical rope work, but it can also be completely blocked by ice.

Inside Darby Wind Cave

Darby Wind Cave gets its name from a small blowing hole in the back of it. It’s just large enough to crawl through and a massive amount of icy air moves through it. While we didn’t explore past it, we’re told that it doesn’t go very far before it becomes impassible without ropes and proper gear. DO NOT go back there without lights! As always, with caving, a main light and two backups are preferable.

Darby Canyon Camping

Darby Canyon

All of Darby Canyon is located within Caribou-Targhee National Forest. As such, free camping is everywhere! There are numerous pullouts along Darby Canyon Road. While it is a popular place to camp, there are also a lot of established campsites. Tent campers and smaller RVs should have no issue finding a spot. Many of the sites would even accommodate large RVs. However, we would not even consider taking our 40′ 5th Wheel down that road! It’s narrow, bumpy, and has a lot of low hanging trees.


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Pinnable image of the entrance to Darby Wind Cave
Pinnable image of couple in front of Darby Wind Cave
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