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Jackson Hole Is Fat Biking Heaven

With tons of snow and miles and miles of groomed trails, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, has some of the best fat biking in the West

With tons of snow and miles and miles of groomed trails, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, has some of the best fat biking in the West

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.”

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Cache Creek

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

To find 40+ fat bike trails in and around Jackson Hole, go to JHNordic.com/Trails for GPS maps, trail elevation profiles, access and trail info (click the fat bike icon). Click here to learn more. 


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

Nicolas Henderson/Creative Commons )

San Marcos, Texas

Billed as the world’s toughest canoe race, the Texas Water Safari, held each June, is a four-day, 260-mile jaunt from the headwaters of the San Marcos River northeast of San Antonio to the small shrimping town of Seadrift on the Gulf Coast. There’s no prize money—just bragging rights for the winner. Any boat without a motor is allowed, and you’ll have to carry your own equipment and overnight gear. Food and water are provided at aid stations along the way. Entry fees start at $175 and increase as race day approaches.

The Ring

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(Courtesy Quatro Hubbard)

Strasburg, Virginia

The Ring is a 71-mile trail running race in early September along the entire length of Virginia’s rough and rocky Massanutten Trail loop. To qualify, you need to have run a 50- or 100-mile race before the event and win a spot through the lottery system. Entry is free. Complete the run and you’ll become part of the tight-knit Fellowship of the Ring and be eligible for the Reverse Ring, which entails running the trail backwards in the middle of winter.

Plaza2Peak

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(David Silver)

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Each spring, competitors gather in Santa Fe’s historic plaza with a simple goal: be the first to reach 12,308-foot Deception Peak, 17 miles and 5,000 feet of elevation gain away. Competitors run or bike the first 15 miles to the local ski area before transitioning to their waiting ski-touring setups for the final push to the top. Time stops only when they’ve skied back down to the tailgate in the resort’s parking lot, which is funded by the modest entry fee of around $25. To add to the sufferfest, some participants sign up for the Expedition category, in which they strap their skis, skins, boots, and poles to their bikes for the long ride up. Start dates vary depending on snow conditions, but look for the event page to be posted on Facebook in late March or early April.