If you’re not feeling the 100-some-miles and climbs of Around the Block,or you want to do some serious sightseeing while you ride, Grand Teton National Park has a 100-kilometer loop. In addition to the shorter distance, it’s also fairly flat. Although if you’re looking to add some climbing you can. This ride goes right by the scenic road up Signal Mountain. This road climbs about 800 feet over a couple of miles. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
What Makes It Great
This ride isn’t a complete loop. It’s more like a lollipop with a giant head. Starting and ending in town, the first 13 miles are the same as the last 13 miles. The stick part is on one of the country’s most gorgeous stretches of bike path.
Head north out of Jackson on the bike path that starts less than ½-mile from the visitor center. You’ll ride through the National Elk Refuge. The biggest hill of this ride is just before mile 4. It’s called Fish Hatchery Hill and is about one-mile long. At the top, you’ll see the entrance sign for Grand Teton National Park and the Tetons will explode up from the valley floor in front of you. From here, the views only get better.
A bridge takes you across the Gros Ventre River. Stay straight as you go through Gros Ventre Junction. Pass Jackson Hole Airport, the only airport in the country inside a national park. Just before Moose, you’ll have to say good-bye to the pathway. Moose is the park’s southern entrance. We’re going to enter the park in the north and exit it at Moose.
We’re not sure why this is, but for cyclists continuing north on highway 89/191 at Moose, there is no elegant way to get from the pathway onto the highway. We just unclip from our bikes and walk across the patch of grass separating the two.
When you get to Moran, turn into the park. Four miles past the entrance don’t be afraid to stop for a photo at Oxbow Bend. Jackson Lake Junction is the half-way point. Turn left here, towards Signal Mountain. The convenience store at Signal Mountain, about three miles up the road from the junction, has a great selection of snacks. It also has a place where you can fill water bottles with cold, filtered water. There are bathrooms too.
If you decide you’d like to add some climbing into this ride, the Signal Mountain road is less than two miles up the main road from Signal Mountain Lodge. It’s a left hand turn.
No climbing? Stay straight. You’ll enjoy rolling terrain and decent shoulders all the way to South Jenny Lake. There’s another opportunity to buy snacks, fill water bottles, and go to the bathroom here. Also, this is where the bike path starts again. If you don’t turn into South Jenny Lake, ½-mile past the turn off for it, you’ll see the pathway running alongside the road. Hop on. If you do go into the South Jenny Lake area, head for the back parking lots. These are to the south of the convenience store and restrooms. You’ll see where the bike path starts again. From here it’s 20 miles—all on pathway—back to downtown.
Who is Going to Love It
This is a great historic ride with gorgeous views, and you can add a climb if you want.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Any point in downtown Jackson works. The parking lot of the Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center on N. Cache is our particular favorite starting point. It’s got restrooms, a display with nearly 10 taxidermied elk in it, and you can fill up water bottles