[sponsored by Grand Targhee]
The first thing that happens when you come to ride the Grand Targhee Bike Park is your jaw drops from the views.
It’s a fairly serious problem, too.
The Tetons are some of the most spectacular mountains in the world and trying to concentrate on keeping your bike in control while taking in the views is a challenge all in itself. The Grand Targhee Bike Park is one of those gems in the bike world. The Teton Valley, along with its brethren across the way in Jackson, is fast becoming a fave destination for DH and Enduro riders the world over.
Mountain biking has a colourful history here, closely related to the opening of the ski area boundaries around Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.
Like most places, mountain biking started as something rogue and underground.
Trails were being secretly built in Bridger-Teton National Forest until the day came where a hiker needed to be rescued off one of those trails and the game was up. But thanks to someone working for the Forest Service who had a little vision and foresight, those rogue trail builders were instead hired and singletrack became something legit, celebrated and loved in this part of the world. That led to an explosion of sustainably built bike trails all over the area and two bike parks have blossomed under this new mountain culture. Both Jackson and Grand Targhee offer lift serviced mountain biking but when it comes to DH riding, Grand Targhee is the prize.
The Grand Targhee Bike Park is a rider’s park and the last five years has seen over $400,000 put into trails, infrastructure, maintenance and general two-wheeled good times to keep the loam fresh and the singletrack riding fast.
Late last summer they opened the Shoshone Chairlift for bikes and this lift will open full time this year.
Shoshone offers something new at Grand Targhee in that it’s dedicated to the progression of riding the park. There are lots of beginner and intermediate options as well as options to flow into some of the lower end of the burlier trails off the higher lift accessed trails from the Dreamcatcher Chair. There have been some awesome developments of trails, too, with 11 miles of new trails built and more on the way. There is even a network of cross country trails, with another 10 miles opened recently for your XC riding pleasure.
Grand Targhee boasts some 2000ft of vertical in their park and their trails run the gamut; from the gnarly Rock Garden DH trail, which would be at home on the DH World Cup to the flow trails like Otter Slide and Chutes and Ladders.
Berms, jumps, tables, drops; everything is represented here. Astro is another gem, with step-ups and jumps making for a real black diamond ride.
But it’s how they’ve played with their terrain that makes all the difference.
The vertical here feels twice what it is, with long, flowy laps in some of the most beautiful terrain you’ll ever see.
Trails starting off the Dreamcatcher Lift are in the sub alpine, so it feels like you’re riding on top of the world. You are almost at 10,000ft, after all. The views are endless and as mentioned above, it can be difficult to keep the rubber side down when there’s so much to look at.
Looking ahead to this summer, the Park opens June 16th and runs through Mid September.
And there’s more to come, with a new blue/black DH trail named Blondie, set to open this summer.
The folks at the Grand Targhee Bike Park have worked really hard to build a proper progression into their trail system so that everyone, from the beginner to the seasoned pro, can have a great time shredding brown pow. Top that off with a family friendly, down to earth, local vibe and you’ve got a a real winner here. So this summer, pack up the van, the little ones and the dog and come visit Grand Targhee. There’s everything from mellow xc riding to enduro style trails to full on DH rig rides.
Be safe, ride hard.