February 16, 2022 Nature Update

Provided by Cathy Shill
Founder of The Hole Hiking Experience

“With luck, it might even snow for us.” Haruki Murakami

Doing the snow dance in Jackson Hole. Temperatures have been a bit warmer this past week and the inversion has started to break up with changes in the upper atmosphere. Looks like some snow on the way. Fingers crossed. A bonus of high pressure is the snow stabilizes. This extended period of sun, reduces avalanche risk so backcountry skiers can more safely access high peaks and steeper terrain.

I really enjoy the beauty and stillness of winter. As we ski in the woods, winter’s silence envelops us while the glistening snow and light pulls us further into the woods. Each day is different and it’s always fun to read nature’s story. 

“In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy.” William Blake

Animal tracks and sign leave a story for us to interpret. Bears sleep most of the winter but you can find sign from summer movements such as claw marks. Scratching a tree is how they leave a scent and mark their territory. Pine Martens are in the Weasel family and bound through the snow. You can see the toes and the softness of the snow. The distance between impressions help figure out the speed. Any guesses on the third photo? It’s older and been changed by temperature. Our guesses are grouse landing to burrow in the snow for warmth or a different bird snatching some prey.

Endless vistas, blue skies, fresh air, silence, beauty, solitude are only a few words to describe time on the trail. Each day is different and amazing. Being in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem opens us up to wild nature with the potential of wonderful sightings.

Lots of animals near the town of Jackson. Deer by the creeks, on the hillsides and under the spruce in my yard. Moose near homes and businesses. Wolves seen on the National Elk Refuge. Lots of happenings around town. Be extra careful driving and remember to not stress the wildlife. Please give them lots of space. It’s a hard time of year for them.

We offer tours daily so give a call to chat about options and allow us to make the most of your time on the trail!  www.holehike.com 307.690.4453

Trail Creek Classic XC ski trip report

With freshly groomed tracks over a dusting of fresh snow, Trail Creek nordic trail skied like velvet. Groomed trails are the wise choice these days with current temps below freezing. Many skier-track trails have frozen hard, and will need much more snow to “heal” then back to softer tracks.
And our tradition of visiting Sam the Truck!

Ask JHNordic: In Town Trails

I’m a pilot for Delta Air Lines and I’m scheduled for a layover in JH this coming weekend.  I’ll be staying at the Snow King Lodge and would like to know the closest and most convenient place to rent xc skis and get in a few miles the morning before I fly out.  Thanks for the assistance and looking forward to my stay.  Best, Dave G

Hi Dave,
For XC ski rentals, there are 2 stores on/near Town Square: Skinny Skis and JD High Country Outfitter. For info, see : JHNordic.com/resources/

The closest groomed Nordic trail to Snow King is Cache Creek. You can take a taxi there or perhaps the hotel can drop you there. It does climb a bit, so if you prefer a flatter trail, you can take the START Bus to Stilson and ski there (Stilson Loop, Wilson Centennial trail) or walk east a few hundred yards to the Snake River to Emily’s Pond trail, with beautiful views of the Tetons and Snake river. 
Teton Pines Nordic Center is also accessible via START bus, with nordic ski rentals and a 12 km groomed trail. You can find trail maps, elevation profiles, descriptions on:  JHNordic.com/trails/
Hope you have an enjoyable ski!!

Race in Alta Vista Freestyle Race this Weekend

We’re excited to host the Alta Vista Freestyle Race again this year. Whether you are in it for the hot chocolate or a PR, the Alta Vista Freestyle Race has something for everyone, on whichever type of skis suit you. This is a fun, family friendly event with stunning Teton views and a variety of distances. 10-20 (2 laps) km6 km2.5 kmKids 1/2 kmOnline registration available through Friday, February 18, 5 pm. Race fees are $15 for 19 and younger; $25 for adults 20-99. Day of race registration is available for $35 from 8:30-9:30 at the Alta Winter Trail. 

Profiles in Nordic: In Their Own Words – James Mathieu, 100 day Nordic skier

Local Jackson skier, James Mathieu, celebrated his 100th day skiing on Nordic skis in late April 2021, and is on his way to ski another 100 days this year!

JH Nordic: What first inspired you to try Nordic skiing?

James: I began as a backcountry skier in the old Norwegian Army/Bonna skis days (pine tar, leather boots, and kick waxes). In 1983 I skied to Old Faithful from Yellowstone’s South Entrance and then across the Pitchstone Plateau. 

When my daughter, Corinne, joined the high school cross country ski team in 1996, coached by Walt Berling, I got serious about skate skiing. After repeatedly following Corinne’s team to West Yellowstone in November for pre-season training, that annual ‘pilgrimage” became somewhat of a family tradition.

JH Nordic: When did you first come to Jackson Hole?

I first came to Jackson Hole sitting in the back seat of my family’s station wagon when I was five-years-old.  When my Dad could join us in the summer, we stayed at the Triangle X, otherwise, my Mother, my sister, and I would camp at the Signal Mountain Campground.  When I was nine-years-old my family, and three other partners, purchased what is now Lake Creek Ranch, so I spent my summers in Jackson.  When I graduated from college in 1972, I worked on haying crews, as a lift operator, as a ski patrolman, and as a land surveyor, but (eventually) I came indoors and ran the first iteration of Wyoming Outfitters on the town square (circa 1974 to 1994).

Trail Creek

Grooming Daily
Last Update: 2/17

A Few More Great Images!

Many thanks to local professional photographer Sofia Jaramillo for taking some amazing photographs from last weekend’s junior national qualifier, she did a great job of capturing our skiers in action last weekend; look for a few more images to show up in the next monthly newsletter, enjoy!

Speaking of images, Coach Kathy and Lollipoppers had an amazing encounter yesterday, her report reads:

Interesting situation yesterday – 3 bulls by Sam [the truck], not a big deal, but air horns started going off by Moose Loop and Armin’s and suddenly those 3 became 8 then 12. As the woods came alive with moose! The air horns obviously had herded them toward us, but they all settled down in the woods again. There were just so many skiers out in that area yesterday, definitely wouldn’t have chosen to ski into a herd of moose, but it happens. Kids did great, played on Sam, the moose started bedding down again; we practiced getting behind trees ‘just in case’ then skied in a line silently down to Confusion Corner.

Sounds like Coach Kathy and crew did a fantastic job of handling a special encounter.

Finally if the special encounter you are seeking today might include a Nordic ski, you’ll find plenty of that at Trail Creek.  The Husky was hard at it again today, covering pretty much every trail   Today’s pass through the woods focused more on skate skiing with classic tracks being retouched in the narrower sections.  The fields received multiple passes with both skate and double classic track grooming. 

As of report time, the wind has picked up a bit and the field classic tracks appear to be drifting.  Temps are moderate and there’s plenty of sunshine so the woods should offer plenty of options for a great Nordic ski.

Groomer’s choice for today is Shades of Gray

Teton Co./Jackson Parks & Rec

Grooming Monday-Saturday
Last Update: 2/17

The school fields and the levee are groomed. The levee is too firm from foot traffic to lay new classic tracks. Stilson will be done around 10:30.

Friday Grooming Schedule: Cache Creek, Wayne May Park, Game Creek, South Park Pathway

Cache Creek Fat Bike Trails

Last Update: 1/31

I ran a drag over the trails in Cache tonight to smooth out the new snow into ruts and footprints.  Things are still nice and firm up there.

Grooming by Friends of Pathways.

Teton Pines Nordic

Grooming Daily
Last Update: 1/23

Our trails continue to be in incredible shape with this awesome weather we’ve recently had! The cold temps and clear skies are great for the track. We groom 13km+ daily for both skate and classic with our new snowcat. 

Our trails and shop are fully open to the public 9am-4pm daily. Day passes, 10 punch cards, and season passes are available at the shop. 

Please call us in advance to book lessons at: (307) 733-1733. You do not need a reservation for skiing and we do not take reservations for rentals. Please contact us in advance to check availability for off-site rentals.

We still have a great selection of skate skis, a few classic track and BC skis, boots, jackets, pants, gloves, and hats. We also have a good selection of used skate gear available. Call or come by to see if we have your sizes! We have a full tuning shop so drop off your skis for a wax done by our great wax techs!

Visit our website for pricing and other information: www.tetonpinesnordiccenter.com

Shooting Star

Grooming Daily
Last Update: 2/14

Happy Valentine’s Day! Trails remain in excellent shape, boasting firmer, fast conditions in the morning followed by a slight softening as inversions lift and temperatures reach into the 20s and 30s by afternoon. Snow returns to the forecast over the next few days and will hopefully bring a much needed refresh for the Nordic course, and the Tetons as whole. Storm skiing conditions could exist during the weather system, but we will continue to groom each morning and conditions should be quite enjoyable for Nordic skiing following the potential snow. 

Next update will be by Friday, 2/18.


  • SLED HILL GROOMED on 2/7 (Grooming will occur as needed)

Snake River Sporting Club

Daily Nordic grooming for both “Front Nine”  (south side) and “Back Nine” (North side) Nordic Trails

Public access to the groomed Nordic trails is $50 per person per day, with no season passes available. Ski rentals are available at the Sports Shop. Guests must check in at the Sports Shop to sign a waiver and make payment before heading out. The daily pass does not allow access to the Restaurant this season. The clinics that are being offered are for members and lodging guests only.

Please call the Sports Shop with any questions you may have at 307-200-3093

Grand Teton National Park

Last Update: 2/15

Today GTNP Taggert to Signal and all four lanes to the south. Cool and overcast with light snow.

Grooming is sponsored by the GTNP Foundation and generous donations from our community.

Turpin Meadow Ranch

Grooming Daily
Last Update: 2/14

Warmer temperatures and a little bit of snow is expected. The trails have been skiing fast and a change in weather should make them even better. 

Please sign acknowledgment of risk forms and pay for trail passes online ahead of your visit. Call the front office (307) 543-2000 ahead of your visit for booking equipment rentals and Nordic adventures (lessons and tours).

https://www.turpinmeadowranch.com | 307.543.2000

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

Grand Targhee

Grooming Schedule: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday & Sunday
Last Updated: 2/17
Cross Country 15k: XC OPEN
Fat Bike Trails : Closed
Snowshoe Trails: Open

Targhee’s Nordic trails are groomed Tuesdays, Thursdays & Sat/Sundays. Fat bike/snowshoe trails are groomed regularly but not on a set schedule – the groomer usually waits until after a storm cycle to groom the single track. 
Trail day passes are $20 this winter. 

Remember, singletracks will be closed when there is more than 3 inches of snow in a 24 hour period.

Alta Track

Grooming Schedule: Tuesday, Thursday, & Sunday
Last Updated: 2/17
Skate: Set | Classic: Set

It doesn’t get any better, unless we groomed with a snowcat. Get out and enjoy the beautiful day!

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.


Grooming Schedule: Monday, Wednesday & Friday
Last Updated: 2/16
Skate: Set | Classic: Set

New clean snow!!! All tracks groomed at least twice with the roller but snow is a bit sticky so some places aren’t corduroy. It’s all in great shape though just in time for the sun to come out.

Sherman Park

Grooming Schedule: Monday, Wednesday & Friday
Last Updated: 2/

Skate: Set | Classic: Set

Nice to see some snow! Was able to reset the classic track which came out good but not great. The skating will not be as firm as fast as it has been but should ski nicely! Enjoy

Teton Canyon

Grooming Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday
Last Updated: 2/

Skate: Set | Classic: Set

Track remained quite soft after using the roller to pack down the 10 inches of new snow that had accumulated on Tuesday and Wednesday. This morning, plan to use the Ginzu to reset both skate and classic tracks. Finish by 9am.

Southern Valley Nordic

Grooming Schedule: Tuesday, Friday & Sunday
Last Updated: 2/14
Skate: Set | Classic: Set

Just a heads up to tomorrow’s skiers. We will be trimming branches and brush along the campground loop tomorrow. Expect to encounter workers, chainsaws, and snowmobiles on the trail. We will do our best to clean up behind us.

No dogs December 1 – April 15.

Teton Reserve Nordic

Grooming Schedule: Monday, Thursday & Saturday
Last Updated: 2/16
Skate: Set | Classic: Set

Completed grooming at 5 PM today. A couple roller passes to take the air out of the fresh snow; then set skate and classic tracks. should set up nicely overnight and be really good gliding tomorrow.

No dogs allowed.

Southern Valley Singletrack

Grooming Schedule: As needed
Last Updated: 2/14
Singletrack: Set

I was able to drag and fill in some ruts and post holes on upper and lower lady slipper. All the other trails are in fine shape. Enjoy the ride.

Hillbender to Nemo

Nemo to Lady Slipper

Happy Hour (aka Mike Harris to ID/WY state line)

No dogs December 1 – April 15.

Darby Canyon

Grooming Schedule: As needed
Last Updated: 2/10

Groomed to summer TH 2/4

Rammell Mountain Road

Grooming Schedule: As needed
Last Updated: 2/10

Groomed 1/14

South Leigh Road

Grooming Schedule: As needed
Last Updated: 2/10

Groomed 2/10 am

JH Nordic Masters Classic & Skate Ski Clinics

11am – 12:30pm

Hosted by Scott Horn and JH Ski Club Nordic Team Coaches

There will be 10 clinics running every Thursday in January and February from 11am-12:30pm. The Nordic Masters clinics will focus on skate ski and classic cross country skiing every other week.

Joining all 10 clinics is your best approach to developing your full Nordic skiing technique, balance, stride, stamina, and overall fitness while having fun in a small group. For those who only wish to focus on one technique, we are offering a Skate Ski Clinic series of 5 clinics or a Classic Cross country series of 5 clinics.

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



  • 13 April 24 – Daily Trail Report
    Connect to the grooming page for relevant updates before you head out! Today’s Avalanche Forecast Nordic and winter trail users are urged to use caution when recreating on trails and terrain below steep slopes. The BTAC reports and their website is a valuable local resource for planning your outing. Visit their forecast page for the most up-to-date information. A Heartfelt Thank You to Teton Area Groomers Throughout the 2023-2024 ski season in the Teton area, a dedicated group… Read More