Location & Population
Teton Valley is an area located on the west slope of the Teton Mountain Range and is known as “The quiet side of the Tetons.” It is composed of the cities of Victor, Driggs, and Tetonia, Idaho and Alta, Wyoming. These cities have become “bedroom communities” for the nearby resort area of Jackson Hole, WY which is accessed over Teton Pass. The valley’s elevation is at 6,109 ft above sea level. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 451 square miles. It is the second-smallest county in Idaho by area with a population of 10,275. Residents consist of farmers, ranchers, families, second homeowners, commuters, retires, and outdoor enthusiast.
This mountain climate has large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot (and often dry) summers and cold (sometimes severely cold) winters. The average annual precipitation is 15.9 inches with an average snowfall of 73.7 inches (which is way above normal compared to the average US city getting 25 inches of snow per year). In July, the average high is 81.7°F. In January, the average low is 6.4°F. The driest month is November and the wettest is June. It can be sunny and warm one minute and quickly change to stormy and windy the next.
Teton Valley is a rural, agriculture and ranching based economy with a shifting emphasis towards recreational tourism. The valley is know for its wide variety of attractions including national parks, national forests, wildlife, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, biking, skiing and cultural arts. Visit the Teton Valley Chamber of Commerce for information on local businesses including dining, shopping, lodging, and the new Geotourism Center located in Driggs. The chamber also has information for relocating your business or home in Teton Valley. For up-to-date information check out the Teton Valley News.
Agriculture and Ranching
With a growing season subject to frost at anytime, Teton Valleys agriculture community works hard all season long. There are many farms and ranch operations located in the valley. Products range from the ever popular Idaho potatoes to other crop and cattle production. The wave of organic produce also exits in this valley with farms like Full Circle Farm and Cosmic Apple Gardens. Ranches and farms are a major part of Teton Valley’s landscape and are appreciated by residents and tourists alike. For more information contact the Driggs, US Department of Agriculture Service Center at (208) 354-2680.
The wildlife, vegetation, and water resources are an important part of the area’s beauty and economy. Elk, moose, deer, bighorn sheep, black bear, grizzly bear, wolves, bald eagles, and other species can all be found throughout the valley. Forests, grasslands, rivers and wetlands dominate the landscape and provide habitat for mammals, birds, and fish . Along with VARD, organizations such as the Teton Regional Land Trust and Friends of the Teton River work to preserve and protect these irreplaceable treasures.
Located east of the valley is the Teton Mountain Range and west is the Big Hole Mountain Range. East of Driggs in Alta, Wyoming, is the popular Grand Targhee Resort . Other nearby recreation areas include Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park, and the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. The Bridger-Teton and Caribou-Targhee National Forests are also both located in and near the area and offer endless access to recreation. Visit Teton Valley Trails & Pathways for additional local information.
Arts & Music
The growing community is home to many artists who live here to paint and photograph the spectacular views, mountains, streams and Teton River. Many live and outdoor musical concerts occur during the summer months. The performing bands include local talent as well as nationally recognized tours. Types of performances range from bluegrass to jazz to reggae music. For more on the areas culture and community visit he Teton Valley Foundation.
Teton Valley was initially populated by the Shoshone-Bannock and Norther Paiute Indian tribes. The valley was discovered by John Colter in 1808, a member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804–06). It became known as Pierre’s Hole, and it hosted the well-attended 1832 Rendezvous, which was followed by the Battle of Pierre’s Hole. The county was officially established in 1915 and was named after the Teton Mountains. Discover the roots of Teton Valley from its beginning to the thriving community it has become at the Teton Valley Historical Museum located at 137 Highway 33, in Driggs or call them at (208) 354-6000. The Valley of the Tetons Library is also a great resource for additional historical information.
Similar to other Idaho counties, an elected three-member county commission heads the county government. Other elected officials include mayor, clerk, treasurer, sheriff, assessor, coroner, prosecutor, city council, and other boards. Until quite recently Teton County voted Republican along with most other Eastern Idaho counties. However, since 2004 the county has strongly trended towards the Democratic Party. At the State level Teton County is located in District 31 of the Idaho Legislature. As counties neighboring Teton County are still strongly Republican, Republicans currently control the district.