Jackson, Wyoming (on mountain bikes)

Molly and I visited Jackson for a little while and while there one of my main wishes was to go mountain biking… this is where I tasted real mountain biking for the first time a few years ago and I was hooked immediately. The trails are incredible, and many of them start straight from town. 

Ditch-Creek to Horsetail Creek trail

We rented some sweet 29ers from Fitzgerald’s who have now actually moved to Victor, ID — we’re loyal customers I guess. Our first ride started right from Keith and Meagan’s in Kelly and across some flatlands onto the Ditch Creek road on the east side of Shadow mountain. We thought the ride would be relatively easy, if fairly long, because of not much elevation gain… but once the singletrack started we were faced with meadow after meadow full of snowmelt mud and mosquitoes. The going was tough… the temps were pretty high but luckily Keith remembered to bring a water filter (and bug repellent!) so we could refill the bladders. The Ditch Creek trail transitions into Horsetail Creek trail where the fun starts — amazing downhill section of perfect, smooth singletrack with some steep bits to grab your attention. It weaves through beautiful forest and you quickly forget the mosquito-infested mud holes of just 1 hour or so before… jacked up on adrenaline, the beer, which magically appeared from underneath Keith’s truck, tasted better than ever. Here’s the track:

http://www.smartrunner.com/pages/DisplaySmartRunnerGadget.aspx?id=7ac53743-7364-418b-9e19-de56a6e013ea

riding out from Kelly with the Tetons in the background

Beautiful wilderness…

fun little trail to connect to Ditch Creek 

We were pretty sure that fun was just around the corner… oh how wrong we were

Pleasant little trail through the meadows

amazing view of the valley — we were pretty sure fun was just around the corner

finally, the downhill singletrack we were promised!

Sink-or-Swim to Hagen to Putt-putt trail

We had a 2-day rental so the next day I devised an “easy” loop for me and Molly, stringing together three different trails right out of the town of Jackson. We basically traversed the entire north side of Snowking, starting with the Sink-or-Swim trail, linking into the Hagen trail and ending up on the Cache Creek road to get to the start of Putt-putt trail to return to town. After the previous day’s 20-miles we wanted to do something easy so I put together a long-ish route that had multiple bail-out options if we got tired. These trails are amazing given how close to town they are and how much they get used — really fun singletrack essentially the entire way! The trails meander through sage brush, pine forest, and the putt-putt trail even goes through an occasional aspen grove or two. Halfway through I had the unfortunate experience of having my rear wheel pop off (!?) — I didn’t even think that was possible. Next time, I’ll definitely double-check the quick-release when using a rental bike… luckily nothing really happened (i.e. I didn’t break my face) except that I mangled the chain pretty badly so the gears kept skipping for the rest of the ride (Fitzgerald’s also didn’t charge me for anything… not that it was my fault, but still a lesser shop could have been stupid about it). Still, the flowy single-track on Putt-putt was as awesome as I remembered (it was one of the first mountain bike trails I had ridden) except this time I was going much faster (full-suspension) and didn’t fear for my life (I’ve gained some skill since the first time I guess).

http://www.smartrunner.com/pages/DisplaySmartRunnerGadget.aspx?id=a5e72174-19a2-4e35-ad70-f980a503379c

Molly on the way up to Sink-or-Swim

Molly cranking through the beautiful forest on the sink-or-swim trail

coming down Hagen

One of the taxing uphill sections on Putt-putt

great trail with great views

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