Fat biking is booming in Jackson, and with good reason. What better way to give your ski legs a break and take in epic Teton views? That’s right, “groomed” fat biking is here, meaning whenever there’s high pressure in Jackson, there’s usually rideable packed trails to rip on. “Within an hour’s drive,” says Hal Wheeler, owner of The Hub Bicycles, “we easily have a hundred miles of groomed fat biking.”
Best For: First-Timers
Thanks to locals like Dave Hunger of Teton Mountain Bike Tours and the crew at Fitzgerald’s Bicycles, Cache Creek, the town’s most popular singletrack in the summer, is now the perfect place to try out fat biking in the snow, too. “If people rent a fat bike from me, that’s where I send them,” says Hunger. “Cache Creek is one of the most popular spots to ride. Combined with grooming, all that packing is what makes the snow so good to ride there.” It’s also the closest spot—the rolling 10 to 15 miles of groomed road and singletrack starts right outside of town.
Turpin Meadow Ranch
Best For: A Guided Tour
Former Olympic nordic skiers Hans and Nancy Johnstone were quick to welcome fat bikes on the ten miles of groomed trail at their guest ranch. The ranch also runs guided tours and rents bikes—last winter, 300 people showed up to its fat-bike demo day. Bonus: As long as you’re not leaving an indentation, you can ride select Nordic skate trails, and, says Jackson cyclist Brook Yeomans, “Turpin Meadow also grooms singletrack with a roller behind a snowmachine.” The area is rife with mountain bike trails in the summer, so it’s likely that grooming will expand during spells of protracted high pressure.
Gros Ventre Snowmobile Network
Best For: Teton Views
The state of Wyoming grooms the road for snowmobile traffic, so it’s best to call a local snowmobile shop to see if it’s buff before you make the 25-mile drive. And while the 15-mile road is popular with ’bilers, encounters usually consist of a fleeting and friendly wave. “Once they pass, you never see them again,” says Hunger. Once there, simply ride till you feel like turning around and bombing back out.
Granite Hot Springs
Best For: Big Reward
This ten-mile groomed road ends at Granite Hot Springs, a low-key hot springs maintained by the Forest Service. It’s a long, steady climb that requires a decent fitness level and firm snow—if the snow gets soft, the road gets unrideable pretty quick. “Hit it right and it’ll instantly be one of your best memories ever,” says George Flynn, of Fitzgerald’s Bikes. “It’s a long climb, but it’s not a super aggressive grade.” Check in with a local bike shop before you venture out—and don’t forget to bring $8 for the springs.
Grand Targhee Resort
Best For: Fast and Flowy
On the other side of Teton Pass, 45 miles northwest of town, Grand Targhee Resort is home to the area’s best-maintained network, featuring 13 miles of Nordic trails and groomed singletrack. And they’re only getting better: the bermed corners of all the new machine-built trails are designed so they can be groomed in winter, too. “The singletrack fat biking there is like nowhere else,” says Flynn. “They’re super passionate about making cycling a year-round sport. And it’s working. Summertime mountain bikers will love the Targhee trails.”
Additional Trail Information
Stay Wild Otso fat bikes, custom-designed for the local trails, are available to rent at The Hub Bicycles. And tons of other fat bike rentals are available at: Fitzgerald’s Bicycles, Hoback Sports, Teton Mountain Bike Tours, and the Turpin Meadow Guest Ranch Nordic shop. Call ahead for availability. To learn more and plan your next trip to Jackson Hole, please go to Visitjacksonhole.com. | Hero photo credit: Jay Nel-McIntosh