The Jackson Hole Nordic Alliance personally answers your questions
“Ask JH Nordic” we love hearing from you and helping get answers to all things Jackson Hole Nordic skiing, Fat biking, and Snowshoeing. We will point you to the right trail, the right place for clinics, rental equipment, grooming, etc.
Simply email email@example.com and we will circle back as soon as we can.
See below with some of the questions we’ve fielded (organized by time of year, activities or place of interest).
What Time of Year
Madeline: I hope you are having a lovely Sunday. I was hoping to get the local scoop on Nordic ski trails throughout the area. I have explored your website and was slightly overwhelmed at all the locations. Therefore, I was wondering if you could give me a recommendation for a trail that is either groomed or single-track, has spectacular scenery, won’t be too icy, is anywhere from 3-6 miles in length, and isn’t too trafficked. I am planning to travel to the area on Monday (1/16) and would greatly appreciate your input.
JHNordic reply: Thanks for getting in touch. We are having beautiful weather, so I would recommend a trail with nice big Teton views.
If you have a car, one of our favorite groomed trails is in Grand Teton National Park, a 20 min drive north of Jackson. Drive to Moose, then to Taggart Trailhead. The road is closed for Nordic skiing at this point. Grooming on Tues, Fri, Sun, so not icy. Big Teton views. You can ski out as far as you wish then turn back. See the list of favorite ski trails in GTNP.
If you do not have a car, I recommend taking the local START bus to Stilson. Get off the bus, walk east back toward the Snake River, cross under the road via a bike path tunnel, walk or ski across the river to Emily’s Pond levee trail. It gets a lot if dog walkers, so will be hard packed- Groomed Tues , Thurs, Sat.
A third choice is to ski at Teton Pines Nordic center. Groomed daily. Ski pass: $20 you can take the bus to the Westbank Center/ Aspens stop and walk 100 yards to the Nordic center. 10 miles.
Hope this helps.. Each of these trails are on the JHNordic.com/trails/ page for more info.
Question regarding the places that list trail fees: Can you pay the fees the day of skiing, or do you recommend (do they offer) purchasing fees in advance?
Thank you, TH
Thanks for the nice feedback.. Glad this information is useful for you and your wife.
For trail fees, no need to purchase in advance. The trail are never crowded, so always plenty of Nordic ski passes.
Conditions are superb, so you will enjoy skiing here.
Dave M: We are considering a last minute trip to visit our daughter in Jackson the first week of April (or possibly the last week of March). I would most appreciate your advice on xc ski conditions to help us make a decision on when best to visit. Of course its weather dependent, but will most grooming come to an end before April 1 this year? For example, how late in the season is the NP Taggart/Jenny Lake trail groomed? When do the xc ski centers in the valley typically stop their grooming. Thanks for any details and thoughts you can provide. Hope to see you soon!
JH Nordic reply:
I would recommend coming in mid-late March, as we have had a lower snowpack this year than is typical. While it is impossible to forecast the weather for the next month, most of the grooming will end mid March (i.e. Grand Teton National Park, Parks & Rec public trails, Teton Pines).
Trail Creek and Shooting Star normally continue grooming until April 1st. And if our snowpack holds, we often get excellent skiing on top of the snow crust , known as “crust cruising” across the open meadows in GTNP, starting at the Taggart lake trailhead, north and east. See this article for more info: https://jhnordic.com/crust-cruising-grand-teton-national-park/
Grand Targhee and Teton Canyon in Teton Valley ID often continue grooming into April . And there are several non groomed cross country trails that have good spring snow, such as Rosie’s Ridge on Togwotee Pass.
Enjoy your visit.. and feel free to check our daily Trail Reports to track how the grooming and snow conditions are prior to coming. Posted every early morning on: JHNordic.com/trailreports/
From Eileen B., Vermont:
Hi, my husband and I are visiting from Vermont, staying in Jackson. We would like to go cross country skiing today (Monday) to a local favorite trail. We have a car. What would you recommend?
Hi Eileen, Since today is a sunny , blue sky day, and tomorrow we are expecting snow, we recommend you take advantage of one of Jackson Hole most beautiful Nordic ski trails, Taggart to Jenny Lake via the groomed trail in Grand Teton National Park. with wide open views of the Grand Teton and central core of the Teton Range, skiing from Taggart trailhead to Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park. The trail is relatively flat, wide open, groomed 3 days a week, directly below the Grand Teton (13, 770 ft). For trail map, directions, trail information, go to here. We recommend making a donation to the Grand Teton National Park Foundation, who organizes and financially supports winter trail grooming.
Thanks for the suggestion to ski out to Jenny Lake today!! The most amazing day surrounded by incredible beauty. Conditions were great, and going down to see the lake was pretty straightforward. Really appreciate all your help!
I’m visiting Jackson from April 5th to the 7th with my son and brother, and would like to explore Grand Teton.
We are thinking of doing the Taggart to Jenny Lake trail, and would like some advice on conditions, etc. Is this feasible this late in the season? This would be our first time on x-country skis and we’re thinking that classic would be the best style for us.
We’d be open to other trail/itinerary suggestions and would also be open to snowshoes (which we’ve done before) if they’re better suited to the conditions at the time.
With our above-average snowpack this winter, there is still plenty of snow to cross country ski into early to mid April in most locations .
While Grand Teton National Park’s groomed trail is now finished grooming for the season, all the open meadows and many of the non-groomed trails have plenty of snow and excellent conditions .
1/ To find a range of Nordic (classic cross-country) trails in GTNP, go to : https://jhnordic.com/trails/ and type “Grand Teton” into the trail search bar. A list of trails and links will appear. You can filter then by “easy” or other criteria.
2/ Classic cross country will be your best option or even “BC Nordic skis and boots “ (slightly wider skis, more supportive boots ) will make it easier on skier tracked and untracked trails. You can rent gear from several retail specialty store in Jackson: Skinny Skis, JD High Country Outfitters, Teton Mountaineering are the best equipped. Call or email prior to ensure they still have gear available . See JHNordic.com/Resources/ for contact info.
3/ To find the best trails, optimal snow and trail conditions, wildlife viewing, with ski gear rentals, we highly recommend taking a ski tour into Grand Teton NP with one of our local expert tour guide companies: Hole Hiking Experience or JH Ecotour Adventures. See JHNordic.com/Resources/ or contact info. This would be the best, safest way to try out cross country skiing , and if you enjoy it, return for more.
4/ In the meantime, you can read the JH Nordic Trail Report to follow daily snow conditions, what’s groomed, latest xc ski photos, local information .
5/ There will still be a number of groomed trails during your visit , outside the National park. See our grooming page for current groomed trail openings and end of season closures : JHNordic.com/Grooming/
Activities of Interest & Place of Interest
We are traveling to Jackson Hole in a few weeks and would like to snowshoe, where do you recommend renting snowshoes. And what are the best trails, we are traveling with a group so there might be some cross-country skiers as well.
For the snowshoe rental options, go to: JHNordic.com/Resources/ and look at the Rental section. The main snowshoe rental shops include:
- Skinny Skis
- JD High Country Outfitter
- Turpin Meadow Ranch – an hour north of Jackson. They have nordic ski and snowshoe groomed and ungroomed trails, a historic lodge with nice lunch. Worth spending a day there, plus wild bison on the way up in Grand Teton National Park.
There are several tour companies providing snowshoe and cross country ski tours in GTNP, also listed on the Resources page.
To find your own trails, go to JHNordic.com/Trails/
Then click on the snowshoe icon to filter a list of approx 40 trails open for snowshoeing.
Bring your National Park entry pass, then trails are free (small donation always appreciated).
Enjoy your visit!!
From Andrew O:
Hello – I’m coming from out of town and curious about the Taggart to Signal trail. Wondering what time the groomers typically head out in the morning and from which direction? I have a flight to catch Friday afternoon and really hoping to squeeze in some skiing Friday morning before I leave. Thanks!!
This Friday is the last grooming day in Grand Teton NP – Taggart to Signal. The groomer normally heads out from Taggart at first light – around 7-7:30 am, reaching Signal around 10:30-10:50, depending on snow. then turns around and heads back south.
Hope you can enjoy it this week! After that, Crust cruising over the frozen snow crust in GTNP is your best bet ..
From CM: We are considering driving up to JH on the 3/7 to ski from Taggart to Signal mtn on the 8th. My question is how early is the track typically groomed? Thanks in advance for your response.
JHNordic reply: Groomer starts at first light from the Taggart end of the trail. Suggest 8 or 8:30 am , or even better 9am, to let snow firm up after the grooming machine . start at the trailhead.
From Beth G-H:
Hello! Looking for intel on grooming / conditions from Taggart to Jenny. I’ll be in JH next week (coming from Utah) and saw that the trail is groomed on Tues / Fri. Does it tend to get messy by Wed? We have high volume on public groomed trails in Utah (and currently no fresh snow!) – sometimes the day after is not that great for skate skiing. Thanks in advance!
JHNordic reply: Hi -the further one skis from Taggart trailhead side, the better the groomed track stays after grooming. After the first mile (the trail is groomed for 14.4 miles up to Signal Mountain), there are very few tracks. You can also start this trail from the Signal Mountain side (north side). A longer drive to access, however very few skiers and tracks. We skied from Taggart to Jenny Lake yesterday, and due to colder morning temps, very few people on the trail, even at 11am. This is one of the most strikingly beautiful Nordic trails anywhere, so don’t miss it! Enjoy!
Beth G-H: This is awesome intel – thank you so much! I am meeting friends in Jackson and not sure I can swing Tuesday (grooming day!) but should be able to get there Wed afternoon. I live in Park City and the day after a groom is something not worth it with the XC traffic here. I’m excited to try this beautiful trail!
Dave G: I’m a pilot for Delta Air Lines and I’m scheduled for a layover in JH this coming weekend. I’ll be staying at the Snow King Lodge and would like to know the closest and most convenient place to rent xc skis and get in a few miles the morning before I fly out. Thanks for the assistance and looking forward to my stay.
JH Nordic reply:
For XC ski rentals, there are 2 stores on/ near Town Square: Skinny Skis and JD High Country Outfitter. For info, see : JHNordic.com/resources/
The closest groomed Nordic trail to Snow King is Cache Creek. You can take a taxi there or perhaps the hotel can drop you there. It does climb a bit, so if you prefer a flatter trail, you can take the START Bus to Stilson and ski there (Stilson Loop, Wilson Centennial trail) or walk east a few hundred yards to the Snake River to Emily’s Pond trail, with beautiful views of the Tetons and Snake river.
Teton Pines Nordic Center is also accessible via START bus, with nordic ski rentals and a 12 km groomed trail.
You can find trail maps, elevation profiles, descriptions on: JHNordic.com/trails/
Hope you have an enjoyable ski!!
This year I sought out some urban Nordic adventure with my ten yr old a few minutes after the dog sled race at Town Square. We did our own countdown with a couple straggling spectators at the town square start line, & raced one another down Broadway to the hospital & up Redmond, then over the SK hotel hump to the finish in Phil Baux Park. This could become a fine group activity with a tiny ask of permission. Even a display of Nordic sprint racing for the uninitiated general population.
Speaking of urban xc skiing… re: the above question from the Delta pilot – great recommendations to Skinny & Jack Dennis & Stilson. Also for convenience, Hoback Sports rents waxless ski setups. School tracks are easy to get to via START OnDemand & bus.
From Susan D: I am relatively new to cross country skiing, last winter was the first time I tried it and I absolutely loved it. I have heard there was an active Masters cross country community in Jackson and I would love to find out more about how to participate and also what resources are available to help me become a better xc skier, I am still pretty much a rookie. I saw there are some clinics but I am afraid it may be too late to sign up. What would you suggest I do to learn and become better at the sport?
I will be in Jackson this winter Jan 6 through the end of March. Hoping more snow comes soon!!
Delighted to hear you are interested in more XC skiing this winter here in JH. Taking classes to work on technique, balance, body position, stride, etc is a good way to progress, build stamina, strength, and have fun.
The JH Nordic Masters clinics hosted by the JH Ski & Snowboard Club started in mid Dec, and are fully subscribed.
Since you are here on Jan 6th, did you know that the Nordic Alliance is hosting our Annual Free Event @ Turpin Meadow Ranch on Sunday Jan 7th -with free demo skis, free classic and skate ski lessons, fat biking, etc. There’s even a free van shuttle from Jackson to Turpin, hosted by TSS.
Go here to see more info and register: JHNordic.com/AnnualEvent/
A couple of options for lessons starting in January:
- Teton Pines Nordic Center. They operate private lessons and may be running a few women’s group clinics.
- Teton Nordic Ski School -in Alta WY – run by 2 excellent women instructors. They are hosting group clinics and privates.
- Shooting Star – privates
- Turpin Meadow Ranch – group and private
- Recommend calling or e-mailing ahead to book, inquire.
For contact info, see: JHNordic.com/Resources/
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