Jackson Hole is a skiers paradise, but that doesn’t mean that non-skiers will be left out in the cold. There are plenty of activities that Jackson offers off the slopes, Over the next couple weeks, we will be listing our favorites.
Snowshoeing and Cross Country Skiing
If you want to feel like a true mountain man or woman, strap of a pair of cross country skis or snowshoes and head into the woods and explore. Cross country skiing and snowshoeing is affordable, relatively easy, and can be done almost anywhere in the valley.
If you only have a couple of hours or don’t want to drive very far, you can check out one of the many trails near town. For a jaunt along the Snake River, head to the Wilson bridge on Hwy 22 and park in the Emily’s Pond parking lot on the North East side of the bridge. This trail is flat and a perfect place to learn how to cross country ski, follow the groomed trail to complete a 2.2 mile out and back with views of the Tetons, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, and the mighty snake river. If you are extra adventurous, bring along your fishing pole (and Wyoming License) and try your hand at catching a Snake River Cutthroat Trout. Check out these links for a grooming schedule around the valley and a list with descriptions of the local pathways.
For a 1/2 day to day long adventure head out to Grand Teton National Park (GTNP), where there are many groomed trails to follow, or you can make your own trail. A favorite of mine for snowshoeing is the Taggert Lake loop, starting at the Taggert Lake Trailhead parking lot just a few miles inside of GTNP from the moose entrance. Pick which way you would like to go on this loop, I always seem to head to the right, which offers a slightly steeper, but quicker trip to Taggert Lake. After 1.5 miles of rolling hills, you will reach the frozen Taggert Lake, a sunny day or partly cloudy day will reveal the Tetons rising up just beyond the edge of the ice covered lake. Bring a snack, relax, and enjoy the view while catching your breath. You can either head back the way you came, or complete the loop with an additional 2.4 mile trek. Also, view this link for a list of winter trails in GTNP.
Skis and snowshoes can be rented at many locations in the valley, but the experts on the “skinny skis” and snowshoes are at Skinny Skis just off of town square on Deloney St.
All over the valley, wildlife settles in for the winter, please be respectful and aware of where you are going and what is around you, it is easy to start skiing with your head down and get too close to wildlife. As with any winter activity, please dress warm and take extra gear, food, and water with you. Also, always tell someone where you are going and what time you will expect to be back.