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Old 02-03-2012, 05:39 AM
 
15 posts, read 73,328 times
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What is the driving time between Driggs and Idaho Falls. We have found a couple houses we like in Driggs, but husband's job requires at least weekly flights to the West and East Coast. What is the driving time between Driggs and the Idaho Falls airport? Is is drivable in the winter on a regular basis? Would we be better off just finding something in Idaho Falls? Husband likes the log houses and land that are available in the Driggs area. Is there a grocery store in Driggs?
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Old 02-03-2012, 02:23 PM
 
Location: Eastern Idaho
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I've only done the drive a couple of times but here is some remedial info:

- Drive time is approximately 90 minutes between IF and Driggs.
- There are two routes you can use: one goes south from Driggs to Victor, then across the Teton Pass to Swan Valley, and then into IF; the other goes north from Driggs to Tetonia then west to Hwy. 20 and south to IF (this second path can take closer to 2 hours, if the roads are icy).

There are times that the Teton Pass is closed to all traffic, during and shortly after moderate to heavy snow storms, but is pretty well kept in the winter otherwise. Many of the closures happen overnight as a storm is brewing or in progress. While this winter has been exceptionally light, I can recall over the past 2-3 winters, Teton Pass can be closed for a couple of days at a time, maybe for a total of 7-10 days over the entire winter season (that is a very rough estimate). The more northern route may get closed as well, but not so much that I remember hearing about it - that drive is a little flatter.

There are several stores and shops between Driggs and Victor (which is less than 10 miles south of Driggs) - one of them had a downtown corner market for groceries. Victor has an excellent (IMO) brewpub & pizza parlor - Wildlife Brewing. Several 'foodie' places as well to get locally made food. Our favorite (we've only been there twice, mind you) is a bakery called Pendl's.

Grocers: there is a Broulim's grocery store in Driggs (regional chain), a mid-size supermarket. I know some folks also make treks to Jackson WY or to Idaho Falls for groceries on occasion, but that seems more out of 'want' than 'need'

Hope this gets you started...
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Old 02-03-2012, 10:51 PM
 
Location: Old Mother Idaho
26,988 posts, read 18,268,151 times
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Hi, 10...
Driggs is a beautiful little town for sure.
All the stuff breer mentioned was true, except that the pass isn't the Teton pass- it's the Targhee Pass, I believe. The Teton Pass goes east, over the mountains between Victor and Jackson Hole.

The most reliable route to I.F. is not the one that goes south through Victor. It's the one that goes Northwest on State Hwy. 32 to Ashton, or State Hwy 33, which goes to Rexburg. (I haven't driven the 33 route much, so I can't comment on it).

The road from Driggs to Ashton can be snaky in the winter, as it gets icy spots. A real good set of ice & snow tires is recommended for safe travel. Once you pass through Ashton, you would hit Hwy. 20, which becomes a 4-lane about 20 miles or less southward. This is the main arterial route of the corridor, and will take your hubby straight to the I.F. airport.

There are times during a hard winter when all roads leading to Driggs blow shut during a blizzard. Clearing them usually takes one day, but can sometimes require 2 days if the winds keep blowing. If your husband's flights are critical, this should be considered. There are no flights out of Driggs, and during these periods, the Jackson Hole airport is also often shut down.

The hwy. 26 route, which goes through Victor and then southeast to I.F. is much slower, but more scenic. It goes through part of the Targhee Natl. Forest, and dumps out in Swan Valley, a great little hole right next to the upper South Fork of the Snake river. It essentially follows the river most of the way to Idaho Falls. Part of it is narrow 2-lane, and part of it is more developed 2-lane. It ends at the Yellowstone Highway in Idaho Falls, and getting to the airport takes more time traveling through the city, as the airport is on the other side of the river.

As Breer said, the drive is about 90 minutes on either route. Probably more time needed when going through Victor.

Driggs is high snow country in the winters. While this might not sound like a big deal, it can be, especially during a cold and snowy winter. Driggs will often get a foot of snow while the valley gets 4 inches in I.F. Keeping your road to the house clear can be a major and repetitive undertaking!

You haven't mentioned where you are living now, or whether you are living in an urban or a more rural place. A little cabin home in the woods isn't cut out as some people believe it to be when they are accustomed to living in a city.

There isn't much in the way of big city amenities in Driggs, and depending on where your house is, the nearest neighbor can be pretty far away. Winters stick around up there for a long time, and the snow that was charming in late October can get pretty tiresome in the middle of May.

The best advice I have for you is to plan on spending a week or more out here before you move, if possible. Some drive time around the area will tell you much more than any of us here can. If in doubt, or if you have to move first, I think finding a rental home in Idaho Falls for quick transplant would be better than considering Driggs as the first place.

Once here, a short day trip in all directions will tell you a lot, and give you lots of choices. You'll get lots of help from the folks here- it's in our nature.

Last edited by banjomike; 02-03-2012 at 11:05 PM..
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Old 02-04-2012, 12:33 PM
 
Location: Planet Earth
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The drive from Driggs to Idaho Falls takes just over an hour driving the speed limit when the roads are dry. It's about 70 miles. An hour and a half would be sufficient most of the time during the winter if it's not snowing or blowing too hard. I make the drive dozens of time in the winter and the route using Highways 33 and 20 is usually faster. The roads are plowed daily as needed and usually in good shape but it's normal for Highway 33 to close several times a year for short periods, usually because of drifting snow.

The route through Victor and Swan Valley takes Highway 31 over Pine Creek Pass. Highway 31 intersects Highway 26 at Swan Valley. The distance to Idaho Falls is virtually the same either way but Pine Creek Pass is narrower and shadier than the other route and has a 55mph speed limit so it's a little slower in my experience.

Highway 32 between Tetonia and Ashton is not the way to go at all. Instead just stay on Highway 33 heading west from Tetonia and it takes you to Highway 20 just a few miles north of Rexburg. The other route on Highway 32 is a nice drive in summer but it must be at least 30 to 40 miles out of your way.
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Old 02-05-2012, 06:15 AM
 
15 posts, read 73,328 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by banjomike View Post
Hi, 10...

You haven't mentioned where you are living now, or whether you are living in an urban or a more rural place. A little cabin home in the woods isn't cut out as some people believe it to be when they are accustomed to living in a city.

There isn't much in the way of big city amenities in Driggs, and depending on where your house is, the nearest neighbor can be pretty far away. Winters stick around up there for a long time, and the snow that was charming in late October can get pretty tiresome in the middle of May.

The best advice I have for you is to plan on spending a week or more out here before you move, if possible. Some drive time around the area will tell you much more than any of us here can. If in doubt, or if you have to move first, I think finding a rental home in Idaho Falls for quick transplant would be better than considering Driggs as the first place.

Once here, a short day trip in all directions will tell you a lot, and give you lots of choices. You'll get lots of help from the folks here- it's in our nature.
Thanks for the info! We are from the SE, so not a lot of snow that is for sure. But, we live in a rural area but not as rural as we would be in Driggs. We live outside a little town of about 35,000. We are used to rural life, we are not big city folks.

My husband is an executive level business man by day, but once he gets out of his work clothes he is a genuine good ole southern country boy at heart. He loves hunting, fishing and outdoors stuff. We are NOT shoppers, we go, get what is on our list and leave. Can't tell you the last time we went to the movie theater, we prefer to rent them and watch as a family. We prefer to cook most of our food from scratch, though we occasionally go out to eat.

Our kids prefer to be outside rather than inside, in fact if it is nice out we have to beat them back inside! LOL!! We love outdoor activities. I am not worried about the lack of big city amenities at all, we don't use them even here. Though it is about a 45 minute drive if we wanted to.

The only thing I am really worried about is the snow, as far as driving in it to and from the airport in Idaho Falls. Most of his travel is pretty flexible. He usually goes out a day ahead of when he needs to be there and if he was to get stuck and not be able to get there when needed, he can reschedule. I am fine being stuck at home for days if need be! I keep a well stocked pantry and there is always stuff to make/eat for at least a week. Sometimes I go 4-5 days without leaving home here even in summer. With 8 kids there is always something for them to do at home. They play well together and are very creative/imaginative.

We are definitely going to be coming out for at least 3-4 days before hand to find a house and look at areas. My first thought is to find something in Idaho Falls for a year or so then look at outer areas, but most of the stuff hubby finds is in the Driggs area that he likes.
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Old 02-15-2012, 09:54 AM
 
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10ofus,

I'm one of those big-city transplants who is a small town guy at heart. After a decade of visiting Driggs/Teton Valley, my wife and I bought 8 acres. We love it here. We visited extensively during the winters in order to make sure we could handle the climate change (we're from the very warm southwest). We found that some common sense and good planning are your best allies. Since you're used to a stocked pantry and 4-5 days at home, you'll be just fine.

Skidaho's driving estimates are the most correct; it's about an hour driving the speed limit, and about 90 minutes in snow. The 20-33 route is by far the best route, though if you're in Victor, then the Swan Valley route is better. I've driven both hundreds of times now.

I'm in a similar situation as your husband; I fly frequently and have versatile travel dates. I love the Idaho Falls airport; sure it's small, but the people are nice and polite, it's incredibly easy to get in and out of. Exit the airport and you're on 20 North in under three minutes.

If your kids love the outdoors as you say, and your husband loves hunting, fishing and other outdoor activities, then Teton Valley is nirvana. Your family will be like kids in a candy store. Winter or summer, there are just so many wonderful things to do.

I only have one warning, which it sounds like isn't an issue for your family: if you have to rely upon a job within Teton Valley for your income, it is extraordinarily difficult. I could not recommend the area for someone needing to find local employment, unless said employment was just part-time.

The Broulim's market is superb. I would call it larger than a mid-sized market. Victor Valley Market in Victor is small but has wonderful meat and produce. Real small town people.

I think Idaho Falls is a nice enough small city, but it's a small city, and not really so rural.

Good luck in your search.
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Old 02-15-2012, 09:58 AM
 
2 posts, read 13,234 times
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Ooops, forgot one more thing.

There are some exceptional deals to be had on newly constructed homes on acreage, in Teton Valley. We bought land because we wanted to build our dream house, but it was a tough decision because it's just massively cheaper to buy a 2-4 year-old house from the boom years, that's now an REO or foreclosure. Many of them are 3500-4000 sf custom homes on 2-5 acres.

Again, good luck!
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Old 02-15-2012, 01:58 PM
 
15 posts, read 73,328 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teton_feller View Post
10ofus,

I only have one warning, which it sounds like isn't an issue for your family: if you have to rely upon a job within Teton Valley for your income, it is extraordinarily difficult. I could not recommend the area for someone needing to find local employment, unless said employment was just part-time.

The Broulim's market is superb. I would call it larger than a mid-sized market. Victor Valley Market in Victor is small but has wonderful meat and produce. Real small town people.

I think Idaho Falls is a nice enough small city, but it's a small city, and not really so rural.

Good luck in your search.
No he would still be working his same job. He really travels most of the time so he can live anywhere in the western half of the US. We are choosing Idaho because the homeschool laws are better than most states out there. I used to camp out there as a kid and LOVE the area. We have done extensive research and this feels like a good fit for us.
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