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  • Writer's picturePaige Alise

Star Valley, Wyoming Explained

Updated: Jun 10

Map of Star Valley, WY showing all 11 towns as well as The Narrows and Upper and Lower parts of the Valley

Star Valley, Wyoming Explained: Comprised of eleven small towns, Star Valley, Wyoming rests along the western edge of the state bordering eastern Idaho. Running north along Highway 89, these towns include Smoot, Fairview, Afton, Auburn, Grover, Thayne, Bedford, Star Valley Ranch, Freedom, Etna, and Alpine with honorable mentions to Osmond, Turnerville and Freedom, ID. The last 3 being “census designated places” rather than incorporated towns. Together, they form a close-knit community named for being “The Star of all Valleys”.

Photo of snow covered Afton, Wyoming

One of the distinctive features of Star Valley is the division into the upper and lower regions. Contrary to geographical expectations, the lower valley is situated to the north, extending from Thayne to Alpine. This lower elevation region is a collection of towns that includes Thayne, Bedford, Turnerville, Star Valley Ranch, Freedom (WY), Freedom (ID), Etna, and Alpine. On the other hand, the upper valley (higher elevation) encompasses Smoot, Fairview, Osmond, Afton, Auburn, and Grover. Known to locals as "the narrows," a section of Highway 89 that winds along the Salt River between Auburn and Thayne, acts as a natural boundary, separating these two regions.

Photo of the Salt River in Star Valley, Wyoming

Star Valley also boasts the presence of three significant rivers—Snake River, Salt River, and Greys River—all converging at the majestic Palisades Reservoir. The convergence of these rivers creates a natural spectacle and contributes to the valley's rich ecosystem. Despite the general southward flow of the Snake River, the Salt River and Greys River run north due to the lower elevation of the lower valley.

Photo of the Snake River along HWY 89 in Wyoming

Star Valley, Wyoming, is a hidden gem that beckons those in search of tranquility, natural beauty, and the warmth of a close-knit community. The eleven towns, the distinctive upper and lower valley regions, the convergence of three rivers, and the scenic narrows collectively contribute to the unique charm of Star Valley. Whether you are an outdoor enthusiast, a history buff, or someone seeking a peaceful retreat, Star Valley has something special to offer, making it a destination worthy of exploration.

Are you or someone you know looking to buy or sell real estate in the Star Valley area? Contact me, your trusted Star Valley realtor, for expert advice and personalized service. Let's make your real estate dreams a reality!

Paige Alise - Realtor 


571 S Washington, Afton, WY 83110

Call/Text: (307)413-4645

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