Jackson Hole is quickly solidifying its spot in the fat biking world. Singletracks recently named its top 10 trails for 2015, with two of Jackson's, Cache Creek and Grand Targhee, making the list. The sport as a whole is growing rapidly, with fat bike sales increasing 44 percent from 2013 to 2014, according to industry officials.
This winter, hundreds of fat bike enthusiasts and land management officials congregated in the Hole for the 2015 Global Fat Bike Summit and Festival. This three-day event featured demos, presentations, and awards. The Bridger-Teton National Forest took home the Land Manager Award, complete with the gift of a Surly Pugsley to help with winter trail patrols.
Even if you missed the summit, there's still plenty of time this winter to take advantage of the growing fat biking scene on the superb local trail network. Here, a few of our favorites for fat tire biking in Jackson Hole.
1) Cache Creek
Just on the edge of town, the Cache Creek trail network is a favorite for everyone from dog walkers, to cross-country skiers, to fat bikers. While you will most likely have to share these trails with other users, this a great easy escape, and the trails are regularly maintained and typically in good condition. Teton County / Jackson Parks and Recreation grooms the trails three times a week, following this schedule .
To access the trailhead, head down Cache Creek Drive (off of Redmond Street) and head down the narrow, snow-packed road to the Cache Creek Trailhead. Once at the trailhead, head 2.5 miles up the groomed trail, with approximately 850 feet of elevation gain and loss. Enjoy this hilly route and, if you're in the mood for a longer ride, consider linking up with other trails in the network (such as Hagen to Ferrins, below).
2) Hagen to Ferrins Loop
Also from the Cache Creek Trailhead, Hagen to Ferrins offers another popular fat biking route . Hop on the Hagen trail from the parking lot and head west to connect with Ferrins Trail and cruise along a scenic 1.8-mile route with 800 feet of elevation gain. At the top, enjoy Teton and Gros Ventre mountain views.
3) Grand Targhee
Grand Targhee was one of first major ski resorts to embrace fat biking and, in the 2014-2015 winter season, it became the first area resort to groom singletrack specifically for fat bikers. Grand Targhee offers the opportunity to explore their nine miles of nordic trails and the two miles of singletrack set aside for fat bikers. Trail access is just $10.
Targhee's snow report includes information on whether or not conditions allow for fat biking that day, as biking in poor conditions can trash the trails. Trail rules are in place to keep all users sharing the trails harmoniously. Fat bikers are encouraged to purchase a snow bike license to help support local trail grooming efforts in Teton Valley.
4) Ditch Creek, Kelly
Teton Science School isn't just a place where students can fall in love with the natural world. It's also a great departure point for fat bikers who want to head out and put some miles under their pedals. This 9.5-mile out-and-back route gains approximately 900 feet over its duration and offers amazing views.
To head out on the Ditch Creek route, start from Teton Science School near the town of Kelly. But don't confuse it for the TSS Jackson campus off of Highway 22—be sure to head to the Kelly campus. Park at the Teton Science School and head up Ditch Creek Road to begin your adventure.
5) Teton Canyon
Teton Canyon, located in Teton Valley, Idaho, is a prime spot for fat bikers and is appealing to novices and experts alike. The route is fairly flat, but it boasts spectacular views of the Tetons.
As you head in, you'll find some wide open spaces, but as you continue, the route will narrow with trees on either side. Keep an eye out for moose as you bike along this path. The early part of the trail can see a fair amount of use, but continue on for more serenity. This trail is groomed by by Teton Valley Trails and Pathways and their grooming schedule is available online.