Between Victor and Driggs in Teton Valley, Idaho Darby Canyon isn’t on Teton Valley Trails and Pathways’ grooming schedule, but “in the right conditions it’s a great [fat bike] ride,” says Scott Fitzgerald, the owner of Fitzgerald’s Bicycles in Victor and one of the main men behind Teton Valley’s emergence as one of the country’s Meccas for fat biking. We couldn’t agree with Fitzy more.
What Makes It Great
What are the right conditions? Sustained high pressure with solidly freezing day time temperatures. “You need for snowmobiles to have packed all the fresh snow down,” Fitzy says. If you want to know for sure if Darby is riding well, don’t be afraid to call Fitzy’s shop.
This ride/ski is on the summer road that leads to the trailhead for the Wind Cave and Mt. Meek.If you go all the way to the summer trailhead from where the road is no longer plowed, the trip will be about eight miles. Over this distance you will gradually climb several hundred feet.
The views while heading up (and then down) Darby Canyon are not spectacular on a macro level. The canyon is heavily treed and somewhat tight. On a micro level, the forest is beautiful and moose do live here. And even though snowmobilers are back here, they’re not here in great numbers, so it’s usually a quite peaceful experience.
Because of the thick trees and steep side hills, there really isn’t much of an option to explore and go up the canyon anywhere but the on road.
Once you’re at the summer trailhead though, adventurous cross country skiers with beefier gear (skis with metal edges) could head up to the Wind Cave, but know that the climb up to this cave’s gawping mouth is about 700 feet and will require switchbacks. This is an incredible big view. If you do it on AT skis with climbing skins, it’ll be easy. Don’t expect to make awesome turns on the way down though. This would be more of an adventure to see a supremely unique geological feature rather than awesome alpine skiing.
The Wind Cave is not an option for fat bikers.
Who is Going to Love It
Adventurous cross country classic skiers willing to break trail will love Darby Canyon even when there’s fresh snow. Even when the track is packed down by snowmobiles, Darby Canyon is a challenge for skate skiers because of ruts and bumps.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Darby Canyon is at the end of E. 3000 S., which is just over five miles north of Victor on Idaho Highway 33. Coming from Victor, turn right (east) onto E. 3000 S. You’ll soon see signs for Darby Canyon. Drive until the road is no longer plowed. There is no designated parking area, but it’s all right to park along the side of the road.