Exploring Yellowstone in the Winter

Broadening horizons and exploring in Yellowstone National Park!  
Yellowstone has miles of trails for the adventurous skier and snowshoer. Though track is set only on a few trails, all unplowed roads and trails are open to cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.  There is so much to see in the National Park including lots of thermal features and wildlife.  On this trip report bison, elk and coyotes were spotted.  What an incredible adventure. 
For more information about trails in Yellowstone and safety recommendations for cross country travel in the park click the link below. 


Jessie Diggins Wins the Tour de France of Skiing

Article from the New York Times
After Jessie Diggins crossed the finish line of the Tour de Ski cross-country race in Val di Fiemme, Italy, she collapsed onto her belly with arms and legs splayed on the snow, body heaving. A grueling eight-stage race held over 10 days, the Tour de Ski is the World Cup cross-country ski circuit’s marquee event and, by most accounts, its toughest.


Moose Antler Drop

By Jackson Hole Ecotour Adventure
With shallow snow in the Jackson Hole Valley, we’re still seeing plenty of moose out on wildlife tours of Grand Teton National Park as they gather in the sagebrush flats.  Though some still have antlers, more and more of them are falling off, an annual occurrence for all of our 4 deer species.  By the end of January, few moose will still carry antlers.  

Antlers are primarily reproductive organs, their size and shape can be attractive to potential mates.  In addition, during the fall, bull moose will urinate and scoop up the scent from the ground with their antlers, a moosey cologne that is believed to help trigger estrus in female moose. 

In early winter, cells called osteoclasts begin to break down the bone cells which attach antlers to the skull. As this connection weakens the weight of the antler, an impact from sparring or rubbing against a tree, or shake of the head will knock them to the ground.  Antlers can weigh upwards of 20 lbs, shedding this weight undoubtedly makes winter just a little easier for moose.  

The visible scar in the second picture will soon heal over and we won’t see much in terms of antler growth for several months.  As forage conditions improve in the spring osteoblast cells will facilitate rapid bone growth, which can reach up to an inch per day at the peak!  

As a reminder, harvesting antlers in National Parks is illegal and antler hunting in NW Wyoming in National Forests and other areas is closed until May 1st in order to protect wintering wildlife.

Thanks to ETA Naturalist @kels_wellington for the great shots!

January 13, 2021 Nature Update

Provided by Cathy Shill founder of The Hole Hiking Experience

Kindness is like snow.
It beautifies everything it covers.
-Kahlil Gibran

Frigid mornings and sunny afternoons dominate the week.  Most days begin with a fog layer due to the cold temperatures. By late morning, the heat of the sun burns away the fog as temperatures begin to rise.  Always fun to look at valley web cams to get updates: seejh.com/live & JHNordic.com (for GTNP -Taggart) . When the fog layer settles in Jackson Hole, you usually can go higher into the mountains where the sun shines. 

Wildlife continues to move to their winter territories. We have been seeing lots of wildlife near the Gros Ventre River as we drive north on Highway 89/191. Make sure to give them space and limit disturbance. Hard time of the year for them.

What do the animals do when the temperatures get so cold? Snow is a great insulator so they use the insulating properties of snow to help them stay warm. New snow and powdery snow contain a high percentage of trapped air among the snow crystals. The trapped air retains heat. It works a lot like our down coats trapping air between the feathers which helps us stay warm.  

Species have adapted to use the insulating properties of snow.  Larger animals create snow beds to stay warm. You can see these depressions as you tour throughout the valley. Places where they bed down to sleep. Grouse and small weasels’ tunnel into the snow to reach a depth of insulation where they don’t shiver. If you winter camp, a snow cave or igloo will keep you warmer than a tent. Always lots to be learned from the natural world. Observation is the key.

Winter is a special time to visit Jackson Hole. Endless places to explore and fewer visitors during the winter months. As the snow world becomes established, you can put on your skis and go. Most of the valley vegetation will get covered by snow. If close to town, you can’t beat a tour up Cache Creek. It’s a great option if you only have a short amount of time. If in Grand Teton Park, endless options so check out JHNordic.com/trails/  (select GTNP region)

Lots of happy clients!
Thank you so much to the Hole Hiking Team!  We had a great snowshoe hike with Belinda last week.  She was punctual, knowledgeable and energetic!  Her passion for the nature and wildlife was second to none!  Would recommend this to anyone traveling to the Jackson area.  

 Join us to learn and discover about this amazing ecosystem! The Hole Hiking Experience (www.holehike.com) 307.690.4453


TVTAP Winter Trails Challenge Update

Thank you to everyone who has signed up for our TVTAPs Winter Trails Challenge! After the first 10 days, you’ve logged over 900 miles and raised more than $4000 so our volunteers can keep grooming. Obviously we’ll hit our mileage goal, so look for us to increase the challenge. Nothing like moving the goalpost!!!

You can register any time until February 14, but we don’t want you to miss out on any opportunities to win great prizes. Get your team together or register solo today! 

Trail Creek Nordic

Last Updated: 1/16

Glorious Day & Friendly Fox!

Temps heading into the 20’s, a dusting of fresh snow, loads of sunshine, and a relatively friendly fox cruising around the fields, this great beginning hints at the possibility of a glorious day!  While Mr. or Ms. Fox regularly leaves tracks all over the trails, this morning the prime example above of vulpes vulpes was in the middle of a tasty meal when disturbed by the Pisten Bully.  Looking closely you can see that the meal did not go to waste, but was toted off to a safer location. 

Today’s grooming after a minor delay because of the fox sighting proceeded to cover all trails with at least a single skate pass and with fresh classic tracks in the fields, Moose Poop, and Homeward and Outward Bound.  Last night’s snow was a bit disappointing being only a dusting; however it did freshen the surfaces somewhat.  You will see grouser tracks in some places and the woods trails are a bit dirty, but all in all the skiing is pretty good.  More snow is forecast for tomorrow. 

The teams are racing today in Soldier Hollow, results will be posted here.

Groomer’s choice for today is the glorious sunny fields.

Teton Co./Jackson Parks & Rec

Last Updated: 1/16
The school fields are groomed and I decent shape with shallow classic tracks. Grooming will resume Monday with Cache creek to noker mine draw.


Teton Pines Nordic

Last Updated: 1/14

Check out the new snow cat for grooming perfection, just arrived this morning! We tested the before and after. The new groomed corduroy was silky smooth, nice and wide…will be a great bonus!

Daily grooming, wide corduroy skate ski lanes with well defined classic tracks make for excellent ski conditions. Skate and classic cross country ski/ boots/ pole rentals. . If you want to explore Grand Teton NP and the Jackson Hole area on xc skis, we carry the must have xc ski trail guidebook for our region in the shop:
https://www.facebook.com/SkiYellowstone
Please call or email Cody for more details: (307) 733-1733
or tetonpinesxc@gmail.com

Shooting Star

Last Updated: 1/14
Wednesday’s weather event created a very stubborn ice layer on our trails. We’ll do our best to soften things up, but conditions will likely ski on the firm and icy side until the next forecasted snow system arrives this Sunday. Due to the icy profile, the classic tracks may be shallow and have inconsistent depths/widths. Overall, the weather looks very nice through Saturday and skiing should be fast & enjoyable. Next update will be Sunday 1/17. Enjoy!

Please See the following  Restrictions

  • Dog Loops & All Nordic Skiing Trails OPEN
  • Sled Hill OPEN
  • Classic Tracks SET Inconsistent Depths due to Ice
  • Snow Shoeing Loop OPEN
  • Casual Walking Not Permitted

Teton Village Pathway

Last Updated: 1/6
Groomed this morning, from Lake Creek Bridge to end of pathway near GTNP South Entrance. Nice corduroy, skate and classic skiers, fat bikers all out enjoying!


From the Shane Cabin in Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton National Park

Last Updated: 1/15
Cold and clear out this morning- expect good skiing conditions from Taggart lake trail head to signal mountain and back today.  


Turpin Meadow Ranch

Last Updated: 1/16
We got just the perfect amount of fresh snow last night (a little over an inch) to make the trails groom great. They will be a little on the softer side today, but should set up nicely overnight. To help with social distancing and to get you on the trails faster please purchase your trail passes and sign your waivers online in advance (see link below). As always, remember to recreate responsibly. Bring a mask as it is required to enter the lodge. Lunch and dinner are both by reservation only. 

https://www.turpinmeadowranch.com/adventures/winter-adventures/
https://www.turpinmeadowranch.com/the-ranch/live-conditions/
https://www.turpinmeadowranch.com | 307.543.2000, office


Grand Targhee

Last Updated: 1/16
Cross Country/Fat Bike 15k: XC OPEN (Last groomed
1/16/2021, Fat Bike OPEN.

Trail Etiquette: Please keep your dogs leashed in the parking lot and be sure to clean up after them!


Alta Track

Grooming Schedule: Tuesday, Thursday, & Sunday
Last Updated: 1/16
Skate: Set | Classic: Set

Skate track was set this AM and is in great shape. Classic track was not reset because it is still in pretty good shape except for high on north loops where it has blown in some.

Please do not park in the library parking lot. Please be sure to keep your dogs on a leash and to clean up after them.


Driggs

Grooming Schedule: Monday, Wednesday & Friday
Last Updated: 1/16
Skate: Set | Classic: Not Set
Driggs track was groomed today and is nice and flat. Should be good for skate and classic


Sherman Park

Grooming Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Friday
Last Updated: 1/15
Skate: Set | Classic: Set
Skate track has been reset. The classic track is currently not set. I smoothed out a lot of the bumps and ruts getting it ready for the next storm. Skating should be good. The single track has been reset and cleared up. Enjoy the ride and glide!


Teton Canyon

Grooming Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday
Last Updated: 1/16
Skate: Set | Classic: Set
Saturday: Plan to reset skate track this morning. Classic was still in good shape Friday. Track is very firm after Wednesdays warm temperatures.


Southern Valley Nordic

Grooming Schedule: Tuesday, Friday, Sunday
Last Updated: 1/16
Skate: Set | Classic: Set
I reset the skate and classic tracks on Campground and Yetis loops. Enjoy the glide.

No dogs December 1 – April 15.


Teton Springs Nordic

Grooming Schedule: Tuesday, Thursday, & Saturday
Last Updated: 1/15
Skate: Set | Classic: Set | Singletrack: Set
The classic track was set by the demo cat at the springs. I reset the skate track and singletrack trail. Everything should be great in the am. Enjoy.

No dogs allowed.


5th Street Singletrack

Grooming Schedule: As needed
Last Updated: 1/14
Singletrack: Set
Thurs PM – 5th St. singletrack surprisingly excellent! Aside from a few frozen footprints possibly the fastest it’s ever been! Firm and fast. Clockwise is easier. Multi-lap for a great workout! Enjoy!


Southern Valley Singletrack

Grooming Schedule: As needed
Last Updated: 1/14
Singletrack: Set
Trails are solid and firm with the warmup and cool down yesterday. High winds has shedded some snow from trees and there are limbs and branches across trail. Use caution.

No dogs December 1 – April 15.

JH Nordic Recreational Masters – Skate Ski Clinic

TETON PINES
JANUARY 21st

All welcome (no beginners)
Drop-in $35 (includes clinic & Teton Pines Nordic all day ski pass)
or $30 (if you already have a Teton Pines Nordic pass or membership).


CANCELLED
JH Nordic Alliance Annual Free Nordic Ski, Fat Bike, Snowshoe Event

Based on our goal to Recreate Responsibly, the JH Nordic Alliance has decided to cancel this season’s Annual Free Winter Trails Nordic, Fat Bike and Snowshoe Event. Stay tuned for January 2022! In the meantime, we encourage you to get out safely, responsibly, wear a mask, keep your groups small, and space out!



We’d love to hear about your outdoor adventures, what your doing to stay healthy, safe, respectful of community health guidelines – send pictures or post on FB and Insta – #JHNordic

Explore JH Nordic

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