Jackson Hole’s mountain biking scene has a steadily beating heart. That heart are the Putt Putt and Hagen trails in the Cache (pronounced “cash”) Creek drainage. These aren’t difficult, either in terms of distance or features (the Hagen Staircase notwithstanding), but they’re wonderfully close to town, terribly scenic, and super fun.
What Makes It Great
Hagen goes up the south side of the drainage, so it’s north facing. Putt Putt cuts up the north side, making it south facing. We’re noting which way these trails face because which one we ride up is determined by the time of the day. If the late afternoon sun is cooking south-facing stuff, we go up Hagen, which because it is north facing, is also much more shaded by trees than the Putt Putt side of the drainage. Riding in the morning? Then we like being in the sun on Putt Putt.
Both trails gradually ascend the drainage, rolling along with a couple of short descents. Heading up Hagen you’ll hit the Hagen Staircase, the only real obstacle on the trail. We’ve never heard of anyone riding up it, but you’re welcome to try. Even if you’re descending Hagen, it is only the valley’s boldest riders that tackle the Staircase on their bikes. (You can avoid the Staircase by crossing over to the Sidewalk Trail; you can then quickly switch back to Hagen.)
Other than the Staircase, there’s really nothing you need to watch out for on these trails, aside from other users. Both trails have traffic going in both directions and both are also much loved by hikers and runners. Also, it seems everyone in Jackson walks their dogs up Cache Creek.
Making a loop out of the two trails will give you a ride of about five miles.
Who is Going to Love It
It's a great place to run, bike, or walk your dog.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Both start at the main trailhead up the Cache Creek drainage. Take Cache Creek Drive from downtown Jackson. It soon becomes dirt. A couple of miles after that it’s no longer accessible by cars and there’s a ginormous parking lot. Both Putt Putt and Hagen start from this parking lot.