Even as the first snow of the winter in Jackson starts to fall and social media comes alive with #winteriscoming, it still might not be time to store your bike for the season.
Even with some light snowfall, Jackson bike paths make it a cinch to keep rolling on your two-wheeled excursions well into winter: According to Friends of Pathways, Teton County has 42 miles of multi-use pathways to enjoy both in Teton County and in the town of Jackson. While biking and jogging are some of the most popular activities along these routes, some people opt for rollerblades, roller skis, or other non-motorized forms of transportation.
Enjoy these popular routes this fall, but do be aware of the coming pathway closure north of town. The pathway from Jackson to Gros Ventre Junction adjacent to the National Elk Refuge is closed each year from November 1 through April 30 to protect migrating elk.
Grand Teton National Park Road
Starting on November 1, the main road in Grand Teton National Park is closed to motorized vehicles starting at the Taggart Lake Trailhead. While this means you can't drive a car up into the depths of the park, it's great news for bikers since you can now explore the park road without fear of being clipped by a giant motorhome or a driver scanning for wildlife.
However, you'll still need to drive to get to the park since the pathway from town to Gros Ventre Junction (north of town) is closed from November 1 through April 30. This route is adjacent to the National Elk Refuge and the path is closed to pedestrians and bikes in order to let the animals migrate without additional stress. But you can just drive up to the park and park at the Taggart Lake Trailhead to begin your bike exploration of the park.
Jenny Lake Scenic Loop in Grand Teton National Park
Fall is prime time to drive up to Grand Teton, park at the Taggart Lake Trailhead, and hop on your bike for a ride deep into the park. Pedal your way from the Taggart Lake Trailhead to South Jenny Lake and continue on the Jenny Lake Scenic Loop (the loop is about seven miles). This route offers up-close views of the Teton Range and front row views of sparkling mountain snow.
Much of Moose-Wilson Road in Grand Teton Park is also closed to motorized vehicles from November 1 through April 30, opening it up to non-motorized users. When cars are on the road during the summer, this route is hazardous to bikers since it's rough, narrow, and winding, and many drivers on the road are distracted while looking for wildlife. But it's a much better ride after it closes to motorized vehicles. The unpaved section from Granite Canyon Trailhead to Death Canyon Trailhead is the section closed to cars, but this closure reduces auto traffic considerably on the entire route.
Pedal down the road and keep an eye out for wildlife like elk and bear, look out for the beaver pond, and see if you can spot the little mustelid that lives there. But also aware of the potholes and rough road surface on this unpaved route.
Elk Refuge Road
Revel in Teton views and maybe even sneak a peak of some wildlife along the Elk Refuge Road. To reach the road, head down to the end of Broadway (past St. John's Medical Center) and take a left onto the Elk Refuge Road. Several miles of this unpaved road is open to pedestrians, bikes, and cars year-round. Bike past the historic Miller House and keep your eyes out for wildlife, including elk and bighorn sheep (which often lick minerals from the road).
Teton Village Road
Head out to to Teton Village along the pathway beside Teton Village Road. Bike to the Village and shop for ski gear or enjoy one of the many off-season dining specials at restaurants along Teton Village Road and in Teton Village. Or consider continuing along the road past the Village and going up into Grand Teton National Park along Moose-Wilson Road.