Max slope angle
30-45 Degrees
Primary aspect
North facing
Vertical descent
3,000.00 ft (914.40 m)
Distance
12.00 mi (19.31 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Backcountry yurt trips are a backcountry skier's dream. Imagine being tucked away deep in the wilderness for days, skiing remote lines, and being warm and cozy at night. Yeah, dreamy. The Baldy Knoll Yurt, which lies on the border of the Jedediah Smith Wilderness in the Teton Mountains of Idaho and Wyoming, is a top-tier yurt. Period. The ski terrain surrounding this yurt ranges from mellow meadows to extremely steep chutes and alpine faces. It is not uncommon to hear wolves at night or find fresh bobcat tracks in the skintrack. A trip to the Baldy Knoll yurt will be a year-long highlight for just about anyone, pros included. 

Reserving the Baldy Knoll Yurt is arguably the hardest part of the journey. This yurt is known as the best yurt in arguably the best skiing range in the Lower 48 states, so space fills up quick. Contact Teton Backcountry Guides ASAP to inquire about reservations. It is likely that you will have to reserve this yurt at least 6 months in advance, but probably more. Once reserved, you can plan on getting supplies and lodging in Driggs, Idaho, the night before the adventure. This yurt is on the Western Slope of the Tetons, so all access points run through Driggs. 

Finding the yurt can also be tricky. Start skinning up Fox Creek and follow the drainage for about 3 miles. There is a path cut out of the trees that will slowly take you to Baldy Knoll, but it can be very difficult to find. A map and route-finding skills are essential for the hike in. Consult with Teton Backcountry Guides and try and place a pin on a map before wandering out into the wild Western Tetons. If you have a snowmobile, the trailhead will be a bit different and you will not go up Fox Creek at all. There is generally a snowmobile track leading from Driggs to Baldy Knoll. 

Once at the yurt, you will start to fully realize the potential of the surrounding area. Peak 10,024 is the highest point in what the local terrain, although Housetop Mountain is just beyond 10,024, and it is the most significant challenge in the area. Right out the door are a series of sub 30-degree meadows that are perfect for high avalanche days or for beginners. To the east, a series of steep trees with pillowy cliffs await the expert skier on a powder day; and, due to the special wilderness designation, snowmobile traffic is non-existent. The Baldy Knoll Yurt is truly a paradise for the backcountry skier.

Once your stay is complete, return to the car exactly the same way you hiked into the yurt. The terrain surrounding the Baldy Knoll Yurt can be extreme, and the wilderness wild and remote. To have a safe and memorable time in this area, be aware of your surroundings and the avalanche conditions. It is imperative to be self-sufficient. Respect the land and the snow conditions, and any amount of time spent in the Baldy Knoll Yurt will be time to remember. 

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

No

Open from

November 15 to June 01

Days

2

Pros

Varied terrain. Deep snow. Solitude. Warm shelter.

Cons

Approach can be difficult. Some snowmobile traffic.

Pets allowed

Not Allowed

Trailhead Elevation

7,000.00 ft (2,133.60 m)

Highest point

10,024.00 ft (3,055.32 m)

Total elevation gain

3,024.00 ft (921.72 m)

Net Elevation Gain

3,000.00 ft (914.40 m)

One-way approach distance

6.00 mi (9.66 km)

Features

Vault toilet
Backcountry camping
Old-growth forest
Wildlife
Shelters
Big vistas
Big Game Watching

Trail type

There-and-back

Access

Hike-in

Typically multi-day

Yes

Shuttle required

No

Terrain type

Bowls

Snowmobiles allowed

Yes

Drinking water

Snowmelt

Location

Nearby Adventures

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