The historic Turpin Meadow Ranch sits at the end of the Buffalo Valley Road, just east of the Continental Divide and Togwotee Pass, and in proximity to both Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. The Ranch owners, Hans and Nancy Johnstone, both Olympic Nordic skiers, have renovated the historic log lodge and cabins, and commenced grooming this winter some 15 km of groomed Nordic ski trails.
Trails begin from the main lodge at the ranch, where the road ends and the Continental Divide Trail begins. Views of the Teton range down the valley to the west can be seen from the ranch and Meadows
The Lower Pasture to Mule Pasture loop trail is set in the forested hills above the ranch, and can be skied in either direction – these direction are in clockwise order.
Start at the southeast corner of the main ranch area, just north (left) of the snowmobile groomed road that continues east and up to the Continental Divide. The trail begins with a short climb over 100 yards, then gradually heads left (southeast) across an opening in the forest, following the wood fence. The trail is well marked by pink ribbons, as well as by grooming of the track maintained by the Ranch. The trail turns east then continues out into the Lower Pasture for 1/3 mile. The trail makes a loop then returns back to the earlier trail in the opposite direction (now heading west).
The trail crosses the snowmobile groomed road, into the Mule Pasture section, continues west for 1/3 mile, turns south for 200 yrds, then resumes west. At approximately the 2 mile mark, the trail heads north, following the edge of a steep gully on your left (west side) Over this final mile, the trail works its way north for ½ mile, then back east where the trail descends down to the valley floor following the pasture fences and willows into the Ranch barn area.
Other trails at the Ranch run through the willows and open meadows of Turpin Meadow beside the Buffalo Fork.
Turpin Meadow Ranch makes an excellent day trip from Jackson, or an overnight stay in the cozy log cabins by the river. With home-cooked food, beverages, and warm hospitality for both day and overnight visitors, it makes for a terrific base in northern Jackson Hole skiing.