Located just minutes from Driggs, Idaho on the western side of the Teton Mountains in Atla, Wyoming. The Darby Canyon Wind Cave offers visitors an incredible hike. Featuring incredible views and leading adventurers through remote bear country, to a waterfall, and the impressive Darby Wind Cave.
The cave itself connects to a larger cave system and is a popular location for local spelunkers. But with many people going in unrepaired and a large number of rescues over the years. It’s not advised for people to venture too far in without a guide. The complex features several large drops that require a rope and rappelling. And the exit is known for freezing over, which can trap unprepared explorers.
All that said, if you use your better judgment and come prepared with the right gear. Venturing into the cave a quarter mile plus can be perfectly safe. For even the most armature of cavers. Below is the video and tips from our day at the caves. Check it out and let us know your experience in the comments below!
The Darby Canyon Wind Cave – Alta, Wyoming – Grand Tetons Hiking & Caving
Length: 2+ Miles
Type: Out & Back
Elevation Gain: 1,900+
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Description: This trail is an out & back featuring incredible stunning valley views, a waterfall, and an impressive cave system. With the opening large enough to be seen from a mile + away. The trail is very easy to follow.
Hiking the Darby Canyon Wind Cave – Tips & Info
The Darby Canyon Wind Cave trail is a popular one, especially on holidays and weekends when the parking lot can become crowded. It is a well-maintained trail suitable for all ages, with the first 2 miles being relatively easy and the steeper section coming in the last mile. Visitors should exercise caution when the waterfall is wet, using the cut stairs on the left side when ascending. Inside the cave, there is a spacious opening where multiple groups can sit, eat, and explore comfortably. You can explore about 100 yards into the cave without crouching or requiring a helmet. However, if you wish to venture into the narrower tunnels further into the cave, it is advisable to wear a helmet. Some hikers felt they could safely go almost a quarter mile into the cave before it became too narrow for their comfort, pushing their limits slightly.
- If you plan on going into the cave, plan on having these basic items:
– Head Lamp
– Back up Light Sources (Always have 3 light sources)
– Backup Batteries
– Water Bottle
– Backup Food
- This is a popular trail and the parking lot can fill up on holidays and weekends.
- The trail is incredibly well worn when there is no snow and is suitable for all ages.
- Overall, this trail is pretty easy for the first 2 miles. With the majority of the gain coming in the last 1 miles.
- The waterfall can be slick when wet. Make sure to use the cut stairs up the left (when going up) side of the falls.
- There is a large opening directly inside the cave. Plenty of room for multiple groups of people to sit, eat, and explore.
- You can go into the cave about 100 yards without having to get low or needing a helmet. If you choose to go into the cave’s first small tunnel and beyond, please wear a helmet.
- We felt that we could safely make it almost a quarter mile into the cave before it got narrow for our taste. We felt comfortable while slightly pushing our limits.
The Darby Canyon Wind Cave near Driggs, Idaho and Alta, Wyoming offers a thrilling hiking adventure with stunning views and access to an impressive cave system. However, exploring deep inside the cave can be risky, so it’s advised to have proper gear and consider hiring a guide. While the trail is easy for the first 2 miles, the last mile involves significant elevation gain. The cave’s interior has a large opening, but those who venture deeper should wear a helmet. With the right equipment and cautious exploration, visitors can safely enjoy the cave for about a quarter-mile.