Every year we fly out west somewhere to go snowboarding. The last two winters the annual trips didn’t happen because we were rebuilding the Toaster. But this year we made it happen. It’s Andrew second winter in Jackson and we decided to meet there. We left the Toaster in St. George, Utah and drove up to Andrew’s. Jerud and I got to hang out in Jackson during the summer and now it was time to see it in the winter. After being in the desert for three months I was excited for snow.
My aunt and uncle (Lina and William) met us for the first part of the trip. Kevin came out for the second half of the trip.
Grand Teton National Park
We were just going to do some sightseeing in Grand Teton National Park. Then we realized that we left our snowshoes in the back of the truck so we got out at Taggart Lake trailhead.
We brought Lina and William through the park and stopped at Jenny Lake - which was totally frozen.
It may be cloudy in town, but that just means there's a chance that it's sunny up at Teton Pass. Thanks to the magic of weather inversions create views like this.
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
The views at Jackson Hole are pretty spectacular and there's so much to ride and explore. It was great to go with someone who knew the mountain extremely well (Andrew works for the resort) - we got to ride the good trails and see some cool stuff.
It snowed all day on one of the days we were there. Yay for powder! But it also means no visibility. It was riding blind and keeping the knees super soft at the top of Rendezvous Bowl because all we could see was this -
We hiked up Headwall because that whole bowl looked untouched except for one or two tracks.
National Elk Refuge
We drove out to the National Elk Refuge in hopes of seeing some wildlife. Unfortunately the weather had other plans.
On our way to the airport to drop Lina and William off we did get to see this - a herd of elk coming down the mountain for breakfast. It was really neat to see hundreds of elk in this long single file. It was a super overcast day so this was the best shot I could get. Interesting piece of information: the forest service feeds the elk in order for the elk to stay within the refuge boundary.
Cache Creek Trails
The Cache Creek trail system is located in Bridger-Teton National Forest and a short drive from downtown Jackson. It has a bunch of hiking/mountain biking trails, some of which we rode last summer when we visited.
Walking through the snowy trails we got to see this moose!
When Kevin got into town we headed over to stay in Victor, ID. It's a small town right on the other side of Teton Pass. We stayed in this wonderful cabin that we rented from a friend of Andrew's. If you're in the area and looking for a place to stay, I highly recommend staying at Knox's cabin (you can rent it on Airbnb). The whole time there I kept thinking how I'd love to live in the cabin. Victor is a tiny town (but has two breweries! - Grand Teton Brewery and Wildlife Brewing) with great views and is peaceful. It's also less than 30 minutes from Grand Targhee Resort which I actually like better than Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, and it's close to mountain biking and hiking trails.
Grand Targhee Resort
This is the ski resort to be at! It's not crowded, low-key, has great terrain, amazing views and is a lot cheaper than Jackson Hole. We had a blast here.
If you ski out on Teton View Traverse you can get a view of the backside of the Grand Tetons!
Tybee loves the snow! Mainly she loves to eat it. She'll eat it until she gets an ice cream headache and her teeth chatter non-stop.
Tyki hasn't had as much experience with snow as Tybee. But every time he's in snow he rubs himself all over the ground. I know he looks rigor mortis here, but trust me, this is him enjoying himself - a lot!
Tybs is thinking to herself, "What the hell is he wearing?" I learned that dogs can use a pair of goggles just like we can when playing in the snow. Doggles anyone?
Yeah I know, the title for this section really should be "Dogs" instead of "Teton Canyon" but these pictures were all taken at Teton Canyon. It was a great place to bring the dogs (mainly Tybee because the main trail out is flat) to run around. We wish we could have hiked further in, but we enjoyed what we saw.
The backside of the Grand Tetons can be seen on the way between Grand Targhee Resort and Teton Pass. This is the less popular side of the mountain but I find it to be more dramatic.
Grand Targhee Resort also has winter trails behind the parking lot. These trails are open to biking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. We rented fat bikes from the shop at the resort ($25 for 2 hours) and hit the trails. Habitat, an outdoor shop in Driggs, ID also rents fat bikes for $25 for 24 hours - but they didn't have enough bikes for us.
I learned that you can't actually fat bike on powder snow; you need groomed/packed trails to be able to pedal and stay upright. Even then, sometimes it's easy to fall over.
We could see the ski resort as we weaved in and out of the trees on the trail.
Bidding us adieu were mountain goats as we headed out of Jackson.
And as we got near St. George, UT we saw this -
We made it back to the storage lot where we left the Toaster a minute before the gates were closed for the night. Since we had a lot to unload before we could hitch up the RV, we decided to spend the night in it just where it was. Vacation was over.