March 17, 2021 Nature Update

Provided by Cathy Shill
Founder of The Hole Hiking Experience

“The trail is beautiful…be still.” -Lakota

With daylight savings time and recent temperatures, the feel of spring has arrived in Jackson Hole. Longer days and more light spurs change in nature. Bears wake from winter hibernation and the first grizzly sightings have been reported in Yellowstone. (  Melting valley snow brings birds back to the valley. Red-winged blackbirds now flock along water ways and Robins have been seen in town. Spring is right around the corner and changes are apparent.

Temperatures and weather can vary greatly at this time of year. Compared to all the snow in February, March has been a bit dry.  Terms that you hear in the spring are “crust cruising” and “corn snow.” Both terms refer to snow and how temperatures change the consistency of the snow pack.

Crust cruising means you can ski and stay on top of the “crust.” At this time of the year, you can just take off and go with ideal conditions. Corn snow refers more to backcountry skiing and catching perfect conditions to have a great downhill ski run. Concept is the same as you time the melt-freeze cycle. With cold or freezing temperatures, a crust forms that supports your weight, but turns to deep slush during the heat of the day.  You can time your activity to catch the snow right when the top layer starts to melt and you still have a firm base. Both are great spring activities and ideal conditions now in Jackson Hole.

Spring means change as Old Man Winter releases his grip on the landscape.  All sorts of weather can be experienced. Looks warm and sunny these next couple of days with snow predicted this weekend. When it does turn cold again, the snow will be hard and frozen so not as good for play. That said, all we need is a few fresh inches of snow and conditions will change once again. Ah, spring!

Mornings are best when it is sunny so you can catch the melt-freeze cycle before the snow turns to slush.  Always fun to drive to the Taggart Lake trailhead in Grand Teton Park, put your skis on and go.  When it is firm, options are endless. Plowing scheduled to begin on the inner Park road next week but still lots of places to explore. March and April can be great months to crust cruise and we currently have lots of snow in Grand Teton and further north in the valley.

Enjoy the seasonal changes. Our naturalist guides have seen lots of new birds, moose near town, deer on the hillsides and much more. Belinda Gunn’s smile shares the joy we feel when we get to explore nature and inspire others. Join us to learn and discover.  

The Hole Hiking Experience | | 307.690.4453

Cross Country Ski Areas Association – Annual Cross Country Skier Survey

The cross country ski industry wants to hear from you.  It doesn’t matter if you are a seasoned skier or new this year, your input is important.  Please complete the short survey and help us learn a bit about you!

New on the Blog: Karen Daubert & Jared Smith: Nordic Enthusiasts

Karen Daubert and Jared Smith are not only avid skiers but also engaged Jackson residents involved in different organizations. Though Jared has more personal history in Jackson than Karen, since retiring 4 years ago, they have both been actively exploring all the winter trails of Jackson and actively involved in nonprofit work. 

Jared’s History in Jackson
Jared grew up enmeshed in the Nordic community of Jackson. His parents first came to Jackon in 1945 on their honeymoon, and they started building a cabin at the end of Fish Creek Road when Jared was born in 1956. He grew up spending summers at the cabin, and then 1973 was the first winter and full year Jared and his family spent in Jackson. 

GTNP Spring Plowing Operations Begin Next Week

Spring plowing will begin in Grand Teton National Park on Monday, March 22. The plowing operations mark the end of over-snow access on the 14-mile section of the Teton Park Road between Taggart Lake Trailhead and the Signal Mountain area.

For safety reasons, visitors may not access the Teton Park Road once plowing operations are underway. Rotary snow removal equipment and plows may be working at any time, and the roadway will be closed to all users at all times until further notice.

Skiers and those on snow shoes using areas adjacent to the roadway are cautioned to avoid the arc of snow blown from the rotary equipment because pieces of ice and gravel can be thrown great distances.

Trail Creek

Last Updated: 3/17

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!
No shamrocks growing at Trail Creek yet, but spring is definitely in the air.  40’s are on tap again for today with temps reaching towards 50 on Thursday and Friday.  Looking ahead we might actually get some snow over the weekend and perhaps end the March drought we’ve been experiencing. 

Grooming continues in the evening when the soft snow is very malleable.  Last night the Pisten Bully made at least one pass on pretty much every trail with multiple passes and fresh classic tracks on the area’s most in need; the National Forest trails mostly received two passes as well as Moose Loop and the close field. 

Today is the last practice day for the Lollipoppers, Teewinots, and Devos, with Friday being the end for Prep, Comp, and Junior skiers.  There is one last event that about half of the team is going to this upcoming weekend in Sun Valley, Idaho, the Western Region FIS Cross Country Spring Series.  Next week with practices finished for the season, look for every other day grooming.

Once again skiing will start out hard and fast and transition to soft and slushy by late afternoon.  Pick the time for just your right ski.  Thankfully our bases are quite deep and are giving every indication they will last to the end of the month.

Groomer’s choice for today is a ski on the National Forest trails dressed in green.

Teton Co./Jackson Parks & Rec

Last Updated: 3/17
Cache creek and May park are groomed and in decent shape. Game creek will be done around 11:00.

Spring Update: 3/8
The Teton County/Jackson Parks and Recreation Department (TCJPR) grooming activities will continue past March 15, 2021.  Grooming efforts through the Parks Division is supported in part by grant funding through Wyoming State Parks, Historic Site, & Trail through the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) Grant.  The funding for that ends on March 15th each year.  

The plan as of today is continue grooming all locations.  Valley locations will be evaluated weekly starting on March 15th , with an update every Friday on status.  Backcountry locations, Cache and Game Creek, will be groomed through April 1st at which point we will evaluate those locations.  

Thanks to TCJPR for extending their grooming season and community winter trail recreation!!

Cache Creek

Last Updated: 2/20
We rolled Cache Hagen Sidewalk and Hagen Highway this evening and will snowshoe the trails near the trailhead this weekend.

Grooming provided by Friends of Pathways.

Teton Pines Nordic

Last Updated: 3/11
The sun is out and the snow is still good! 9am-12pm should provide the best conditions for classic and skate conditions are good all day. As the temps warm over the next few days expect soft conditions in the afternoon. Closing is next Saturday—March 20. 

We still have a good selection of spring gloves, spring hats, touring boots, small classic touring skis, and large (190cm) BC touring skis.  All pants and jackets are 20% off and we have a small selection in most sizes still available. 

Trip Report: Thursday March 11th update:
Teton Pines Nordic is skiing beautifully! We skated skied on nicely groomed corduroy around 11:30-1:00, and tested the crust. Just firm enough, and will get better with sunny days, cold nights.
Classic tracks are well set, nice and smooth for the perfect glide. Snow has good purchase thanks to daily grooming. Highly recommended .
Oh, and be alert for a moose or 2. We saw one well off the trail, but they love the willows, need lots of space!

Call us for specific retail questions (307) 699-3394 or Our hours are 9am-4pm daily.

Shooting Star

Last Updated: 3/15
Spring conditions will continue to be the theme all week. Warm temperatures and sunny skis are forecasted through Friday, followed by a potential rain/snow mix over the weekend. Overall, conditions should ski great! Reminder that trails will be icy in the morning, softer around lunchtime, and potentially slushy in the afternoon. Also, the depth & quality of the classic tracks will be inconsistent due to the icier profile. Enjoy!
Next Update 3/22

Please See the following Restrictions:

  • Dog Loops & All Nordic Skiing Trails OPEN
  • Sled Hill OPEN
  • Classic Tracks SET
  • Snow Shoeing Loop OPEN
  • Casual Walking & Trail Running Not Permitted

Grand Teton National Park

Last Updated: 3/16
Spring skiing conditions today in GTNP – Taggart Lake Trailhead to South Jenny. 

Turpin Meadow Ranch

Last Updated: 3/8
While Turpin Meadow Ranch is officially closed, we would like to recognize some highlights from our perspective this winter:

  • all of the folks who came to Turpin to try Nordic skiing for their first time ever
  • all of the joy that was shared which inspired a new term for skis: “giggle sticks”
  • a strong interest and participation in our lessons and tours from the community
  • guests posting their adventures at Turpin on their social media
  • people flagging down the groomer to share their gratitude
  • and the biggest compliment of all is when folks tell their friends to go to Turpin “because it’s my favorite place to cross country ski!”

From all the Nordic team at Turpin, the managers, groomers, instructors and guides, we’d like to say thank you to the Nordic community who made this winter season so memorable. We are already looking forward to next winter and the opportunity to facilitate the ski adventure of your dreams. | 307.543.2000, office

Grand Targhee

Last Updated: 3/17
Cross Country/Fat Bike 15k: XC OPEN (Last groomed 3/16/2021) Fat Bike CLOSED.

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: 3/15
Skate: Set | Classic: Set
Was able to reset about half the classic track this evening before the snow set up too much. The rest of the classic track is still set but looking pretty ugly. The skate lanes groomed out nicely though. Skating should be really good Tuesday morning.

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: 3/17
Skate: Set | Classic: Not Set
Was able to buff out a fair amount of the ruts this morning. Spring conditions exist.

Sherman Park

Grooming Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Friday
Last Updated: 3/15
Skate: Set | Classic: Not Set
I attempted to evening groom but the snow is far too soft. I left the track alone. We’ll try again in cooler temperatures.

Teton Canyon

Grooming Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday
Last Updated: 3/16
Skate: Set | Classic: Set
Tuesday afternoon: Made a couple passes over skate track, snow was soft, so turned out well. Hopefully not too much use this evening, only a few cars when I finished. Classic held up well since Monday afternoon reset, so left alone.

Southern Valley Nordic

Grooming Schedule: Tuesday, Friday, Sunday
Last Updated: 3/14
Skate: Set | Classic: Set
TVTAP has some equipment maintenance that needs to be addressed before we can groom again. Standby for updates. Current report: Campground loop skate track and classic track were groomed Sat evening. Yeti’s was not groomed due to frozen conditions.

No dogs December 1 – April 15.

Teton Springs Nordic

Grooming Schedule: Tuesday, Thursday, & Saturday
Last Updated: 3/12
Skate: Set | Classic: Not Set | Singletrack: Not Set
Let me apologize for the poor quality trail this past week. We have had equipment problems and have not been able to groom since Monday. On Monday the Bronze Buffalo Club used a demo snowcat to groom the Nordic trail. Unfortunately, the snow turned isothermic (rotten) that day. As a result, the snowcat struggled and left some rather undesirable grooming. Now, everything is frozen and very difficult to improve with our snowmobile equipment. I suggest skiing at a different venue, or skiing with extreme caution. We will put effort into grooming when conditions are favorable. Stay tuned…

No dogs allowed.

Southern Valley Singletrack

Grooming Schedule: As needed
Last Updated: 3/13
Singletrack: Set
All of the single track trails are rider packed. All the trails are in relatively good condition with the exception of animal tracks. It is getting a little icy out there after the freeze-thaw cycle and soft in the middle of the day. Your best times are early and late. I was able to use the single track drag on Nemo, Powerline and upper Lady slipper to try to fill in the ruts and animal tracks. I was only moderately successful at doing so. Enjoy the ride.

No dogs December 1 – April 15.

Darby Canyon

Grooming Schedule: As needed
Last Updated: 3/11
Darby groomed to end of road. 

South Leigh Road

Grooming Schedule: As needed
Last Updated: 3/3
Grooming 3/3/2021

Pinnacle Trail

Grooming Schedule: As needed
Last Updated: 2/26
Groomed to upper meadows – 2/25

Wydaho Ride Groomed Winter Challenge with Kait Boyle

SATURDAY, MARCH 27, 2021 10:59 PM

Ride our favorite fat biking trails to help fundraise for grooming machines for TVTAP and Friends of Pathways: March 6th to March 27th
Nordic skiers can participate and contribute too! Who doesn’t like a perfectly groomed winter trail?!

To participate, you must also donate to one of the following organizations and attach a photo for proof of donation to your RideWithGPS activity:

Teton Valley Trails and Pathways
Friends of Pathways
Skyliners Motor Club (mail check to PO Box 552 Driggs 83422)

Karen Oatey Pole-Pedal-Paddle (PPP)
Hosted by JH Ski & Snowboard Club


Bring your own Team or compete as an individual. Join this fun-filled muli-sport community favorite event, or cheer on friends and family! Competitive or just for fun, family event. Prizes.

Event honors Karen Oatey and the Karen Oatey Endowment, and benefits JH Ski & Snowboard Club youth ski programs and scholarships.

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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