Fantastic Jackson Single Track

Saturday I rode 17 miles of fantastic single-track just minutes from Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I had a goofy "this is awesome" grin on my face, a lot. Here's how it played out:

Jolene had plans to do the ICup race in Teton Village. I like the course and was intent on racing it, until I remembered how good the Snow King trails. I found and studied a map and got excited to try a new route with some new single-track. So Jolene dropped me off at Game Creek on her way to the race.

Below is part of the map I used. Game Creek is the two red lines that continue off the bottom of the map on the right side. Here's the detailed PDF map I found at the Snow King Resort website which even includes a mountain biking video.

It felt a little weird to ride solo on a trail I had only done once back in 2007. There's an interesting story to that ride. We were on our way to the Teton race when we were stopped by a traffic jam only 15 miles away. Turns out it was a bad crash up ahead. Jolene's cousin was behind us, also heading to the race, and he told me there was a trail nearby we could ride since we'd missed the race start. So up Game Creek we went and dropped down into Cache Creek. It was a very good ride.

I went up the mile of pavement to the trail head then up old double-track for a mile or less then it turned to single-track. Really good single-track, like this:

The creek is to the left with ponds every so often so the trail hugs the right hillside.

At 4.5 miles I turned left onto West Game Creek across a footbridge and rode up the drainage.

Near the head of the drainage the trail switchbacks up a ridge and follows it's crest for a while.

Next the trail drops off the ridge through some scattered conifers and into a meadow with a trail junction. I went right, heading to Snow King Summit.

Near the summit the trail climbs to the saddle on the left ...

with an incredible view of the Tetons (to the left). From here I went up the Snow King Summit trail which connects into a double-track service road which I took down to the top of the Snow King Resort chair lift. I looked around a bit then returned back up the service road and down the Snow King Summit trail to the saddle, then took Ferrin's trail down.

Ferrin's trail was a bit more rugged, but very fun as it switchback through conifers. (A side note: I had not seen another person on Game Creek or West Game Creek, but finally ran into another mountain biker about a third of the way down Ferrin's - on a Saturday morning!)

Down most of Ferrin's I took a right onto Upper Hagen trail (it was good) then popped down to the Cache Creek trail head to get my bearings, then back up and west on Hagen Highway where I dropped out onto Upper Cache Creek Drive via a sweet little connector trail that looked like this:

I made my way through Jackson and took the highway over to Teton Village for 15 miles of pavement riding.

I found the kids, ate some snacks then found Jolene at the awards ceremony to learn she'd taken 2nd.

I talked with Aaron about my ride and gave him my map - it sounds like he, Kieth, the Holleys and a few others did the most of the same trails with a different route (I suggested) and had a good time.

This ride rivaled the best single-track we have here along the Wasatch. Very good cross-country riding with long, mellow climbs (except for a few spots) and a smattering of technical stuff to keep it interesting. The wild flowers were profuse, as you can see in many of the photos. And the scenery is so striking I kept stopping every 100 yards to take pictures. I'd drive the 5.5 hours to Jackson for this ride right now. Yeah, it's that good.


JZ said...

Those are some sweet trails. They actually used to do the ICUP (or whatever it was called then) race on those trails. We would start on the front side of Snow King and take the fire road all the way up and over and then drop into the great trails on the back side.

KanyonKris said...

JZ - I had heard there was (and may still be) an annual Jackson race on those trails, but hadn't heard it was once part of a series. Thanks for historical point of interest.

Aaron said...

We were talking about how you could really make a great 25 mile race loop with these trails. 1 lap for CX and 2 laps for endurance.

Thanks again for the map, we had a blast!

Ski Bike Junkie said...

I'm staying at Snow King after Lotoja. Kinda doubt I'll have the legs to get out on the trails, though. Maybe I'll prolong my stay by a day or two...

JZ said...

Aaron, when they did the race there it was a one big loop type of race. When they did the race back there the trail was not that well used in some places and you would have some sections with four feet high grass that completely obscured the narrow single track. It was really scary not knowing what was under there.

SkiMoab said...

Looks gorgeous, now I know where I'll ride next time I'm in Jackson.

Keith said...

They are great trails and I can't wait to go back and explore a bit more. I couldn't stop grinning even on the climbs because they were so well graded and in such great shape. I think the loop we did rates as one of my top 10 rides anywhere.

KanyonKris said...

SBJ - maybe you and Steve should switch to a relay for LOTOJA so you'll have legs to ride the sweet trails?

SkiMoab - I believe you'll enjoy those trails.

Kieth - I agree 100%.