Stunning views and smooth trails grace the valley this week. As storms pull back and Nordic centers finally have a chance to catch up on their grooming, this is a fantastic opportunity to explore open terrain and snap those perfect photos you have been waiting for all winter.
Avalanche danger remains above average this week, making this a great time to explore the Nordic centers throughout the valley, most of which avoid avalanche-prone areas.
Scott Horn’s Masters Clinic is at Trail Creek this week. This Thursday, January 13th, join him and JH Ski Club Nordic coaches for great tips and advice for intermediate to advanced skiers.
Please register online at JHNordic.com/events prior to attendance. This week’s focus is on skate skiing.
This Friday check out the Women’s Skate Skiing Clinic, hosted by Kim Springer at Teton Pines. Get expert advice, tailored just for you.
Tech tip of the week
Courtesy of Scott Horn
This tech tip is part of a three-part series. Last week focused on pre-ski tips. This week focuses on tips while skiing:
1. Look up, not down at your skis. Allow the eyes to focus down the trail or track about 6 to 8 feet. This will not only align your body in the proper position for skiing but also allow you to prepare for changing track or trail conditions and avoid the potential moose ahead. In addition it opens up a panoramic view of this magnificent place in which we have the opportunity to ski.
2. If you plan to ski for more than about 45 minutes, take hydration and some fuel. Skiing is not fun when your body is running on empty.
3. Be kind and compassionate to all the skiers you meet. This is your tribe; share your enthusiasm for the sport and the outdoors with others who have the same interests.
Bridger-Teton National Forest and Teton County public trails
Last week’s storm has brought the valley to above-average snowfall totals for this time of year, and Teton County trails are no exception. With clear skies and plenty of snow, every one of these trails should be fantastic skiing this week. Cache Creek makes for a great ski just east of town, while those looking for a quick bit of exercise might head to the high school fields, where a few laps will be the perfect way to burn off those holiday calories.
Dogs must be leashed in the Cache Creek trailhead, the Game Creek trailhead, the first 1.3 miles of the Game Creek trail and the entire Putt-Putt trail out of the Nelson trailhead in East Jackson. Resolve to avoid parking directly in front or behind the grooming trailer.
Monday: Cache Creek to Noker Mine.
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday: High School Fields, Emily’s Pond Levee, Wilson Centennial Pathway.
Wednesday, Friday: Cache Creek, Wayne May Park, Game Creek, South Park Pathway.
Grand Teton National Park
Grand Teton National Park will be beautifully clear this week, opening up fantastic opportunities for photos of the majestic Tetons. With plentiful snow and regular grooming, this is a fantastic place to ski this week.
Areas nearer to town have been very popular, especially on weekends, making parking areas quite full. If possible, consider carpooling.
Cross-country skiing, skate skiing, walking and snowshoeing are permitted on the groomed trails. Recreationists are reminded to use the designated tracks for the appropriate uses. Dogs are permitted only in the multiuse lane (west side) and must be on leash. The JHNordic Daily Trail Report provides the most up-to-date grooming info.
Tuesday, Sunday: Taggart trailhead to Jenny Lake via Teton Park Road.
Friday: Taggart to Signal Mountain via Teton Park Road.
Trails are fast and smooth at Trail Creek. Located partway up Teton Pass, this location should enjoy cooler temperatures during the end of the week, as the lower valley suffers a warm spell.
Increased snow depth has allowed for trail signs to be placed; take time to note the wide assortment of quirky trail names, established over many decades. Enjoy these trails, but please remain on them; many pass through private property.
Groomed daily; open sunrise to sunset.
Trail pass costs $15.
Teton Pines is pristine and beautiful this week, offering 13 kilometers of trails on mostly flat terrain. Services include rentals, retail and lessons; call ahead for details and reservations.
Groomed daily; open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Trail pass costs $20.
Turpin Meadow Ranch
Conditions at Turpin Meadow Ranch are excellent. As many trails closer to town get overwhelmed by heavy traffic, Turpin Meadow is the perfect place to escape to peace. Lunch and dinner dining is also available in the lodge.
Purchase trail passes and sign waivers online in advance at TurpinMeadowRanch.com, and practice safe outdoor protocols. Ski rentals are available. Masks are required in the lodge. View the Ranch Cam online to see current conditions and weather in real time.
Please keep dogs leashed near the lodge and cabins.
Trail pass costs $15 (youth: $5).
Snake River Sporting Club
Nineteen miles south of Jackson, Snake River Sporting Club offers a great place to ski in a location where trails are otherwise limited. Lunch is available Wednesdays through Sundays.
Trail pass costs $50.
Shooting Star Nordic trails remain limited to the Yellow Loop, due to equipment malfunction, but the Pisten Bully is expected to be back in full form early next week. This is great for a quick ski.
Groomed daily; open to the public from noon to 5 p.m.
Trail pass costs $40.
Teton Valley, Idaho
At higher elevation than many trails in Teton Valley, Teton Canyon will have some of the best skiing in the area, especially on warmer days later in the week.
Keep dogs leashed for the first 100 yards of the trails. Show your appreciation and support of grooming by purchasing a winter trail sticker from Teton Valley Trails and Pathways (TVTAP.org).
Groomed Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
With clear skies and light winds, expect good Nordic skiing at Alta Track, especially on grooming days.
Please do not park in the library parking lot.
Groomed Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.
Sherman Park may be a bit warm this week but is a great option for a quick ski in the morning or late afternoon. If it is getting dark and you need to clear the cobwebs at the end of the day, give it a try.
Southern Valley Nordic
Southern Valley should be great this week. Clear skies will allow the parking lot to be cleared, opening these trails to wider participation, so take advantage while the opportunity is available.
No dogs on the trail.
Finally, a pause in the storms at Targhee. With heavy snow slowing to a halt, groomers should have a chance to set the trails perfectly.
No dogs on groomed trails. Please keep dogs leashed in the parking lots.
Groomed Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.
Trail pass costs $20.
Teton Reserve has been groomed and is in great shape. Stop by the concession area for drinks and snacks.
Groomed Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
For all things Nordic, especially daily grooming status updates, go to the official website at JHNordic.com/TrailReports. For advance planning, skiers can find all grooming schedules online at JHNordic.com/grooming.
Fat bike reports
A brief temperature spike toward the end of the week will quickly cool back to lower temperatures, leading to solid trails and fantastic fat biking over the weekend. What a great time to try it out!
Targhee singletracks should finally be available this week. Following several weeks of nonstop snow, clear weather should allow tracks to be set and reopened. If biking at Targhee is on your bucket list, this is the perfect time to check it.
No dogs allowed on groomed trails.
Trail pass costs $20.
Southern Valley singletrack
Trails should be great at Southern Valley Singletrack. It may take a day or two for all the snow from the storm cycle to firm, but hopefully by the weekend it should be fast and smooth. Give it a try.
Teton County public trails
Teton Country trails will be excellent, though temperatures will rise toward the end of the week. The best riding will be in the morning. Be sure to check out the new dedicated fat bike trail on Cache Creek, courtesy of Friends of Pathways.
Go to FriendsOfPathways.org for information on local bike trails, many of which are available year-round.
These trails, and many more, are listed online at JHNordic.com. With trail maps, descriptions, dog access areas, driving directions, and daily grooming reports, it is the best way to be in the know about Nordic skiing and fat biking in the valley throughout the week.
— Gannett Swan