Grand Targhee is the coolest mountain bike playground that you’ve never heard of. It’s located on the west side of the Teton mountains and the riding reminded us of some of our favorite high-mountain destinations such as Park City and Crested Butte. Wildflowers linger throughout the summer months and the distinctive bent peak of Grand Teton provides a stunning backdrop.
We recently had the chance to spend the weekend riding the trail network at the Grand Targhee Resort and the nearby Teton Valley. Wide alpine meadows, stands of aspen trees, and a beautifully built trail system, all added up to an unbelievable weekend of riding.
Here’s why you should check out Grand Targhee …
You Can Rent a Bike That’s Better Than Your Own
Grand Targhee hosts a bike shop, The Habitat, and they offer daily mountain bike rentals. You can grab a trail bike with all the fixings from Yeti, Rocky Mountain, Santa Cruz, and Juliana. They also offer DH bikes, such as the Santa Cruz V10, if you’re looking for something with more travel. We spent two glorious days romping on the Yeti 5.5 … and we really didn’t want to give it back.
Explore 60 Miles of Trails
Trail builder Andy Williams has made magic at Grand Targhee and the resort offers a 60-mile trail network. The system abounds with carveable corners and loam-filled berms. We awakened to rain on our first day which made the local dirt fabulously tacky and fast. We started our morning with a few laps on the lower mountain serviced by the Shoshone lift. The loamy berms made us giggle and the relatively short lift ride meant we hit multiple laps in rapid succession.
The Trap Bar and Grill Might Have the World’s Biggest Nacho Plate
In between bike park laps, we grabbed lunch at the Trap Bar and Grill. The Trap Bar offers burgers, quesadillas, and yes, a towering plate of nachos. The outdoor deck is the perfect place to finish the day with one of the bar’s refreshing Sloshies, a kind of adult Slurpee. The Resort also includes the Snorkels Cafe, which is equipped with an espresso machine for your morning wake-up and the Branding Iron Bar and Grill, which serves up a full dinner menu.
The Views of the Teton Range Are Incredible
After lunch, we rode the Dreamcatcher lift to the summit – which tops out around 9800 feet. The resort’s highest peak offers commanding views of the Teton Range to the east and peaking over the ridgeline we gawked at the massive mountains. Throughout the weekend, we were frequently surprised by views of the Grand Teton, perfectly framed by the surrounding mountains and towering pines.
Grand Targhee Has Trails for Just About Every Ability Level
The lift-served trails at Grand Targhee range from playful downhill runs that’ll suit most ability levels to a high-flying jump line for riders looking to get rad. We especially appreciated the park’s well-built corners that begged us to go faster and lean into it harder. The most technical of the three routes from the summit is the shale-strewn Sticks and Stones, which forms a stage of the Grand Targhee enduro race. Thanks to the Yeti’s five inches of travel, we danced through the rock gardens.
The Cross-Country Riding is Challenging and Scenic
For our second day of riding, we decided to expand our range beyond the lift-serviced trails. A range of cross-country trails wind through Grand Targhee and connect throughout the Teton Valley. We chose a trail called “Action Jackson” which climbed steadily through the pines and criss-crossed through stands of aspens and wide high-altitude meadows.
A rollicking descent down the “Rocky Mountain Way” trail switch-backed through the wildflowers and deposited us under the pine’s cool canopy. The trail snaked through the trees with tight rooty corners and playful jump lines added to the joy of it. When we reached the boundary of the Grand Targhee resort, we connected to Mill Creek Trail, a local favorite. The creek’s cool waters provided the perfect ending to our ride.
Driggs Has the Best Restaurant in Idaho
The town of Driggs sits just down the hill from Grand Targhee and features the award-winning Forage Restaurant. Forage serves up locally sourced produce and beautifully constructed entrées. We thoroughly enjoyed our tasty lunch at Forage. We also found legit espresso at Daydreams in Driggs and their house-baked blueberry muffin was still warm from the oven.
In nearby Victor, we savored a Grapefruit Gose at Grand Teton Brewery, which might have been the closest thing to heaven after a hot summer ride. Parked at the brewery, the Taste Buds food truck put a smile on our face with their selection of tacos and ridiculously good sweet potato puffs. We relaxed into the mellow vibe of the brewery with its outdoor space and enjoyed the day’s end with wide-open views of the valley.
Lodging and lift tickets: Grand Targhee offers summer lodging packages starting at $137.50. Adult lift tickets for the bike park run $39 per day. Rentals for a trail bike such as the Yeti 5.5 we rode are $89 per day. If you’re looking for more travel, a DH bike such as a Santa Cruz V10 is $99 per day.
Driving there: The Grand Targhee resort is just over 12 miles from Driggs, Idaho and about an hour from Jackson Hole, Wyoming (45 miles). Driving time from Salt Lake City is approximately five hours (287 miles), Boise is approximately 5 hours, 30 minutes (353 miles) and from Denver, Colorado, it’s approximately nine hours (540 miles).
Flying there: The nearest airports to Grand Targhee are Jackson Hole and Idaho Falls. Direct flights to Jackson Hole are available from Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Denver. Idaho Falls is serviced by Delta and United with daily flights routing through Denver or Salt Lake City. Grand Targhee is roughly 90 minutes (75 miles) by car from Idaho Falls.
Shuttles: The resort offers a shuttle service for a fee to nearby airports and to Victor and Driggs.
All Photos by Jen See.
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