Best time to visit Wyoming

Darby Wind Caves in Wyoming

A great short hike in the Teton Range

Best time: June–September

Darby Wind Caves

The Darby Wind Caves is the major attraction of the Teton Valley and Jedidiah Smith Wilderness, not far from Driggs, Wyoming. In addition to a cave to explore, hikers get fantastic views and wildlife watching, a walk along a beautiful creek, and meadows with huckleberries and wildflowers. The best time to hike to the cave is from June through September or early October.

The Darby Wind Caves Trail is about 9.6 km (6 mi) round trip. It can be done in one day. If you start in the morning or early afternoon, you'll be back before sunset. From the trailhead, the route heads up and across the footbridge, entering the boundary into the Jedediah Smith Wilderness. The Wind Cave is clearly visible after three miles of the hike across the canyon. The trail splits, and the right side will lead you across the creek, past a waterfall, and to the cave entrance.

Hikers can look around in the mouth of the cave, but it's not recommended to go into tunnels without experience and equipment. The tunnel ends with a drop-off, and hikers will need repelling gear to go down. The first cave is connected to Darby ice cave, which results in a cold wind, hence its name.

Practical info

When is the best time to visit the Darby Wind Caves?

It is preferable to visit the Darby Wind Cave trail between June and September or early October. During this time, the climate is pleasant, and the meadows are abundant with huckleberries and wildflowers. Tourists can opt for a day hike that doesn't take more than 6 hours to complete. Show more

Where is Darby Wind Cave located?

Positioned in the Teton Valley and Jedidiah Smith Wilderness, near Driggs, Wyoming, the Darby Wind Caves are east of the Wind Cave area, a few miles north of Highway 22. The trailhead is just a 50-minute drive from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, an accessible gateway for travelers visiting Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park. Show more

Can hikers explore the cave without equipment?

While hikers can glance at the first chamber of Darby Wind Cave without equipment, they should avoid crawling or climbing beyond the lower cave level without the proper caving gear and rope techniques. The tunnel has steep slopes and unexpected drop-offs, necessitating experience and appropriate equipment for steep descents and vertical movements. Show more

What is the distance of the trail to the cave?

The Darby Wind Cave Trail, offering beautiful views, covers about 9.6 km (6 mi) round trip, including an elevation gain of 579 m (1,900 ft). As they pass through the canyon and the creek, hikers will encounter waterfalls and wildflowers, and may visit Darby Wind Cave while remaining cautious about the extreme conditions of the tunnels. Show more

Are there any other attractions to see along the way to the Darby Wind Cave?

Attractions along the Darby Wind Cave Trail include outstanding views of the Teton Range, a variety of flora and fauna, such as numerous flowers, berries, and wildlife, such as moose and elk. The creek is lovely and must be crossed a few times along the trail, and rushing cascades make it an excellent destination for photography enthusiasts. Show more

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Last updated: by Dari Vasiljeva