While hiking on many of the different trails around Jackson Hole can be a blast for most people, others prefer to go a little faster. Cue mountain biking, the thrill seekers preferred method of transport on the vast trail systems throughout Jackson Hole. Aside from Grand Teton National Park, where biking along the hiking trails is not allowed, almost all other trails throughout the valley are fair game! Here are some of our favorite trails to get out for both downhill and cross country mountain biking action.
Cache-Game Area Trails
Cache Creek Dr. is the road on the southeast corner of town, that turns into a service road and travels back through the canyon on the east side of Snow King. There are plenty of beginner and intermediate trails that offshoot on either side of the road, all of these trails would be considered cross country as they each vary between uphill and downhill, requiring some pedaling no matter which one you take. These trails are also all interconnected, allowing you to create your own path depending on how far you want to go or if you wish to create a loop.
Cache Creek Sidewalk
The Sidewalk trail is one of the most beginner level trails in all of the area, it is short (1.5mi), and relatively flat in comparison to the other trails nearby, making it perfect for getting your mountain bike feet wet. The trail itself runs almost fully parallel to the road, and is mainly uphill on the way out, so you have the reward of riding it back downhill once you reach the end.
This trail is one of the most popular cross country trails that locals love to ride on a daily basis, it is a bit of a step up from the sidewalk, considered intermediate, but still nothing out of reach for someone looking to take their biking to the next level. Putt Putt is located on the West side of Cache Creek Dr. with its main beginning point starting at the Crystal Butte Trailhead. The trail is great because there are several great loops you can make out of it if you do not wish to ride out the full length of the trail. The full Putt Putt Trail is about 4.6 miles long with 893 ft. of uphill elevation gain and 362 ft. of downhill if you are riding it away from town, and it leads you back to the Cache Creek Rd and can be looped over to the end of the Hagen trail.
Hagen is another popular trail that is right on the other side of the road and has comparable difficulty to Putt Putt.
Upper Cache-Game Trails
There are a number of trails that provide some serious incline gain for those more experienced cross-country mountain bikers that are really looking to earn their downhill turns. One of the most popular and simultaneously most challenging trails in the area is the Ferrin’s trail, this trail serves as the most efficient way to the top of Snow King. Not for the faint of heart, Ferrin’s travels up 1217’ in just 3.4 miles with only 27’ of downhill travel in that span. Once you reach the top, rehydrate and have a quick snack, the world of Cache-Game trails is your oyster.
You can choose to head back behind Snow King, on the Wilson Canyon Trail and the several others that it links to, Head east on the Skyline trail to take a longer route back down to the Cache Creek Road, or head west on the skyline trail to reach the summit of Snow King. The Snow King Summit, offers a couple other options including the fast but not so fun Summit Trail which will take you to the base area of the Snow King Resort, Leeks Canyon Trail which is straight off the backside of the mountain, and Josies Ridge, which is a steep and technical ride down the west side of Snow King. All of the trails off of the summit of Snow King are considered black diamonds aside from riding Skyline back down to the top of Ferrins. It is important to note that if you decide to head down the backside of Snow King, that you are in for a long ride back to town, and many people opt to shuttle from south of town depending on their preferences.
For those less thrilled with the cardio side of mountain biking, Teton Pass and Teton Village offer ways to skip the uphill, by either shuttling on the Pass or riding the lift at Teton Village. There are options to ride uphill at both locations but pedaling is not as popular in these areas.
At Teton Pass, bikers can set a shuttle car somewhere in Wilson (often the Stagecoach bar for post ride refreshments) and drive their bikes up to the top of the pass where there is access to about 5 or 6 main trails with a few smaller offshoots of each. Some of the more notable ones being Phillips Canyon, Lithium, Black Canyon, and Fuzzy Bunny. All of the trails eventually lead you back to the base of Teton Pass in Wilson. Depending on whether or not you really hate pedaling, several of the trails do require a short trek to reach the downhill glory, these include Lithium, Black Canyon, and both Phillip’s Ridge and Canyon. Many of the more hardcore downhill riders will hike-a-bike to these trails, as they have bike setups that are less than ideal for uphill travel. Lithium is the holy grail of trails for expert downhill riders on the pass, with steep areas, technical features and mini kickers and gap jumps. All trails off of the pass are rated as blue or higher, and recommended for more experienced riders.
If you absolutely despise pedaling, riding a lift might be more of your cup of tea. Teton Village utilizes the Teewinot Lift, for a slew of trails ranging from beginner to expert. They also just this year opened two new trails off of the sweetwater lift for those interested in a longer ride down. The Teton Village Bike Park is great for those flying into town without a bike, as they have rental shops right at the base of the mountain. Lift Tickets are available for $49/day and they have special deals on Friday evenings for their Friday Night Bikes event, during which tickets are $20 and they offer a rental/ticket package for 50% off.