Cycling in Jackson Hole
Jackson Hole, Wyo. is quickly becoming a summertime cycling mecca. Staying at Spring Creek Ranch gives you the perfect location point to access the many cycling opportunities like fun family rides, long road bike tours, exciting downhill mountain biking adventures and more. Here’s a highlight below of some of the Valley’s best places to bike. Spring Creek’s concierge staff can help you find which of the Valley’s roads, pathways or trails suits you best, then, hop on and pedal away.
Road cyclists abound in Jackson Hole in the summertime. Pathways galore, varied terrain with wonderful views, smooth pavement, friendly athletic residents and relatively little traffic make it a must bike for skinny tire lovers.
The League of American Bicyclists recently listed the latest round of Bicycle Friendly Communities (BFC) and Jackson/Teton County was named a Gold BFC, one of only 16 cities across the country to earn Gold designation.
Don’t miss North 89 Pathway, which is a recently completed pathway that makes it possible for cyclists to ride from the town of Jackson to Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park on a 20-mile, auto-free path with fabulous views of the Teton Range, the National Elk Refuge, and Grand Teton National Park. Here’s a map to all the pathways in Jackson Hole (note: this map hasn’t been updated since Northway 89 Pathway was completed, so disregard the “future” part).
Spring Creek Ranch is located at about 7000 ft. elevation atop East Butte, which is a popular road bike climb in the Valley. If you stay here, you’ll get to climb almost 1000 ft. of winding switchbacks after every ride! Or, drive over to the Stilson parking lot and climb the Teton Pass via the Old Pass Road.
If you’re a hardcore athletic type or a racing cyclist or triathlete, try your hand (or legs) at the Tuesday night training ride, which starts from the Jackson High School at 5:30 or 6:00 p.m. depending on the season. Ask one of the five, or so, bike shops for the details or for other group rides available in the Valley. It’s a great way to meet locals while getting your workout in.
There’s something for every ability level, but you have to know where to go. Here are a few trails to check out before your stay is over.
Putt-Putt is a fun, single-track trail on open grassland/aspen bench that’s a very popular bike trail, which is suitable for beginner to intermediate mountain bikers. Short loop options with Cache Creek trail and Cache sidewalk via short connector trails.
The 18-mile Cache Creek to Game Creek Loop starts out on a gentle climb up an old, dirt road. Although congested for first 1.5 miles (watch for wagons on trail in evening) it’s a beautiful ride along a windy creek. Take the junction to the Game Creek trail at approximately mile 4. Climb a bit and you’ll be rewarded with a kind of technical, but super fun downhill in to Game Creek canyon. You’ll be dumped out on to Squaw Creek Road at the trailhead, which you can take to the Pathway along Highway 89 to take back to town (or shuttle some cars to cut some miles). The trail often offers animal sightings, as the name “Game Creek” suggests.
Munger Mountain is a spectacular, secluded spot for mountain biking. Although it’s about 14 miles from Spring Creek, the trail and the scenic drive up makes it worth it! Follow Hwy. 22 west to Wilson. Follow Fall Creek road south to the bridge crossing Fall Creek in willow bottom.
Perfect for intermediate to advanced riders, the trail features rocky climbs and beautiful scenery with excellent views of Jackson Hole and surrounding mountains. Although you won’t encounter many other riders, you may run into some grazing cows on the trail. Don’t be afraid, just tell them to, “moo-ve!”
Downhill Mountain Biking
Downhill mountain biking, or freeriding, in the Valley has really taken off (pun intended). This adventure-seekers sport can be accessed at the ski resort via chairlift and on the Teton Pass via car or riding up. Read on for the details.
Lift-Served Downhill Mountain Biking
Stop in to JH Sports to rent a downhill-specific bike, or sign up for a day with the resort’s mountain bike guides. Click here for a map of the trails. Check out a video of some of the sweet terrain at the bike park.
Teton Pass Downhill Mountain Biking Trails
“The Pass,” as it’s called by locals, has some of the gnarliest freeride mountain biking trails in the country. Created by a group of riders from the Valley in combination with the US Forest Service, these trails are a popular destination for thrill seekers and those with advanced bike handling skills.
There’s a great movie, called Freedom Riders, by KGB Productions about the evolution and progression of trail building in the US and tells the inside story of this group of riders that built these Teton Pass trails.
The Mountain Pulse has a great, interactive map of the Teton Pass trails with color-coded difficulty ratings reminiscent of skiing (green = easiest, blue=intermediate, black = expert only). Take heed of these cautions. If it’s blue or black in Jackson Hole, it’s going to be extremely extreme! Be prepared.
You must have the proper safety gear including a downhill helmet and body armor such as knee and elbow pads. Stop in Wilson Backcountry Sports on the way to learn more, get a map, rent a bike and get some tips from their knowledgeable staff.
Jackson Hole Cycling Resources
Please visit Friends of Pathways for a list of many useful cycling resources including maps and bike shop links.