After a visit to Jackson, Wyoming last fall I’ve been dying to get back in winter. Skiing through Grand Teton National Park has been on my bucket list forever and considering I live a little less than five hours away it was darn time I ticked this one off the list.
My forays into Wyoming have always centered around Lander and the lesser traveled Wind River Range; I’ve barely scratched beneath the surface of Jackson Hole exploring, and damn did I forget how beautiful those Tetons are. Seeing them poke through the clouds all shrouded in white was like seeing them again for the first time.
Being on a limited budget (meaning there was no way I was shelling out 144 bucks for a day pass at Jackson Hole) and considering my boyfriend doesn’t exactly ski, we were left exploring Jackson by Nordic ski and boy was I blown away with all the options we had to choose from and all of them were FREE!
Cross-Country Skiing in Grand Teton National Park
Winter is an amazing time to visit Grand Teton National Park, the crowds are non-existent, the wildlife is more active, and the Tetons look so much more dramatic completely covered in snow. Many of the park roads are closed so cross-country skiing turns out to be the best way to get around the park.
The Teton Park Road is closed in winter from Taggart Lake to the Signal Mountain Lodge and the entire road is groomed for both classic and skate skiing and believe it or not dogs are allowed, but they must be kept on leash. From the road you can take off in several directions toward Taggart or Bradley Lakes or do a big loop and make it to Jenny Lake.
Dogs are also welcome on the Moose-Wilson Road, but none of the other ski trails in the park. You can also ski from Signal Mountain, Hermitage Point, and Flagg Ranch. I highly recommend skiing out to Mormon Row from Antelope Flats Road. The rest of the year Mormon Row is overflowing with tourists and we had the most photographed barns in the world all to ourselves.
You can ski all you want in the park with your entry into the park and considering I have an annual parks pass I’m calling this free skiing in Jackson.
Cross-Country Skiing in Jackson, Wyoming
The Jackson Hole Nordic Alliance is a great resource for Nordic ski trails in the Jackson area. Their site details all the Nordic trails in the area as well as providing trail updates and grooming reports.
On our second morning in Jackson, we headed on the Cache Creek trails. Just a few minutes from town, this little gem of a trail gradually gains elevation alongside a lovely creek. The trail is groomed several times a week for both skate and classic skiing and is shared by snowmobiles (the first mile), fat bikers, trail runners, and plenty of off leash dogs. It is definitely a popular spot, so get out early to ensure a parking spot and the trail head.
On the way back home, we hit up Moose Creek Canyon on the other side of Teton Pass. The Moose Creek Ski trail is a wonderful ski through wooded terrain with moose tracks everywhere, hence the name I guess. The trail is not groomed, but that is part of the fun!
Uphill Skiing at Snow King Resort
Snow King Resort is one of the only resorts in the country that allows uphill skinning at their resort. “Skinning the King” is a great way to experience skiing in Jackson and it is FREE. Uphill travelers are required to wear an uphill pass during normal operating hours and follow the specified uphill route. Seriously, free skiing at a Jackson resort, how awesome is that? Just make sure to follow all rules so it stays free for locals and visitors alike!