Hole Hiking Experience: December Edition

“In every walk with nature one receives more than he seeks” – John Muir

Jackson Hole nestled in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is special. The Ecosystem is approximately 22 million acres of protected land encompassing state land, two national parks, forest land, wildlife refuges, tribal land and BLM land. They are managed differently but with collaboration and cohesion to protect all the species in the area including us.

With so many acres and trails to explore, options do remain endless. I still have places that I want to explore after 34 years in the valley. What is awesome is the ability to choose what is best based on how you feel, what the weather is doing, what you would like to see and how active you would like to be. Each day gives us the opportunity to get outdoors, breathe the fresh air, take in the endless vistas and open ourselves to what the day may share. Being in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem immerses us in the wildness of nature with all the diverse wildlife. You can even choose tour location based on habitat and what species you would like to see.

As the winter season begins, we get to work with patience as we allow Mother Nature to change the landscape to the season of winter. Currently, valley snow is still thin. Snow begins to accumulate more in the Tetons and North in the valley. At this time of year, it’s best to choose tour locations in these areas if you want to find more snow.

As you travel through the valley, you have the chance of seeing lots of wildlife. Animals are currently moving to winter territories with changing weather that spurs migration. The elk have recently come to the National Elk Refuge outside of Jackson. They cross busy roads to reach this feed ground so careful driving is a must in Jackson Hole.

Bears are still active and infamous Grizzly 399 has been near town and north in the park. It is important to continue to carry bear spray while bears are active. They will begin winter hibernation as foo sources become limited and snow deepens.

Best part of each day is you never know what you might see. Enjoy the drive to any trailhead as you take in the view and look for wildlife. Having a pair of binoculars brings them up close and personal Guidelines for safe wildlife viewing is 25 yards for all animals except bears and wolves where 100 yards distance is recommended. Remember to give them space. We are visiting their home so be respectful of the wildlife and the resource.

We started winter touring last week and have seen animals on most tours. Moose are actively feeding on antelope bitterbrush so may be seen out and about. Fox have been seen mousing on the Teton Village Road/ Highway 390. Mule Deer can be found on the buttes near town and elk may be spotted anywhere. A highlight is to join a knowledgeable naturalist to learn along the way and we have wonderful places to share.

My pick for tours this week would be to head north in the valley and explore the Hermitage Point area near Colter Bay or Two Ocean Lake/Emma Matilda. Check out the tour description at JHNordic.com and keep us in mind if you want to learn and explore along the way!

The Hole Hiking Experience, www.holehike.com 307.690.4453.

Trail Creek Nordic

Last Updated: 12/2

Frosty Morning!
It looks like we’re back to more sunny days and cool nights for some time to come.  Yesterday’s 1-2 inches made for some nice conditions which are still mostly hanging on today.  If you look at the long term forecasts, it looks like some weather will be moving in around the latter half of next week.  In the meantime, as long as the high temperatures remain where they have been, we should be able to continue skiing quite nicely.

The grooming department recently received communication from former coach Scott Lacy.  Scott is currently living in Aspen and still skiing like crazy.  If you would like to see what he’s been up to, you can check out his web page.

Looking ahead the Intermountain Nordic calendar website still shows the Sun Valley Super Tour happening this weekend, but a call to Idaho got a report that it is probably not in the cards at this time due to the pandemic situation although this has not been confirmed with the Nordic director.

Today’s grooming was a Pisten Bully best line skate pass on most every trail with additional passes as well as some touch up on the classic track in the fields.  Skiing should once again be pretty nice today.

Groomer’s choice for today is Moose Loop.

Teton Co./Jackson Parks & Rec

Last Updated: 12/1
Stilson and Game have been groomed with the snowmobile. Both still have very thin coverage with many uneven areas but are skiable just not great. Cache creek has been groomed by friends of pathways. All other trails still need substantial snow until we can groom.

Teton Pines Nordic

Last Updated: 11/26
We will have skiing available but be prepared for early season conditions. Snow coverage is thin in some areas. We hope to be able to remain open for skiing until we receive more snow, but the forecast is looking pretty sunny over the next 10 days. 

Shooting Star

Last Updated: 12/2
Shooting Star opened its groomed Nordic ski trails Monday, to both Club members and the public, including a short dog and ski loop. The retail shop has Nordic rentals and Nordic ski clothing for women and men. The course offers wide open views of the Tetons. Classic tracks are not yet set. Good early season conditions.

Grand Targhee

Last Updated: 12/2
Cross Country/Fat Bike 15k: XC OPEN (Last groomed 12/1/2020), Fat Bike CLOSED.

Alta Track

Grooming Schedule: Tuesday, Thursday, & Sunday
Last Updated: 12/2
Skate: Set | Classic: Not Set
Wednesday afternoon: Made a few passes around the track with a drag to try and smooth and firm up. Snow cover is thin, but skiable, a little grass showing here and there, and a couple dirt spots. Main south loops and outer north track, probably about 4 miles set.


Grooming Schedule: Monday, Wednesday & Friday
Last Updated: 11/12
Skate: Not Set | Classic: Not Set
It is good to have snow in the Valley! We are monitoring the forecast and working hard to get the grooming equipment ready for action. We plan to begin the scheduled grooming season on December 1st. There is a chance we might be able to get things groomed ahead of schedule, so stay tuned.

Sherman Park

Grooming Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Friday
Last Updated: 11/12
Skate: Not Set | Classic: Not Set | Singletrack: Not Set
It is good to have snow in the Valley! We are monitoring the forecast and working hard to get the grooming equipment ready for action. We plan to begin the scheduled grooming season by December 1st. There is a chance we might be able to get things groomed ahead of schedule, so stay tuned.

Teton Canyon

Grooming Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday
Last Updated: 12/2
Skate: Set | Classic: Set
Wednesday: Plan to reset skate and north side classic tracks this morning. Finish by 10am. Use caution at cattle guards, as snow cover is thin.

Southern Valley Nordic

Grooming Schedule: Tuesday, Friday, Sunday
Last Updated: 11/29
Skate: Set | Classic: Not Set
Update Sunday 8:00pm. Both Yeti’s and Campground loop received 1 overlapped full width pass with the Nordic drag and 1 overlapped full width pass with the Nordic roller. No classic track was set. The tracks are becoming more leveled with every grooming session. There are a few sticks and limbs sticking up, be aware. Enjoy the whitetrack.

Teton Springs Nordic

Grooming Schedule: Tuesday, Thursday, & Saturday
Last Updated: 11/12
Skate: Set | Classic: Not Set
The Bronze Buffalo Sporting Club at Teton Springs will be open to the public for skiing this winter. We have made an agreement with the new owners to continue grooming the trail this winter, for the public to enjoy. The plan is to begin the scheduled grooming season on December 1st. There is a chance we might be able to get things groomed ahead of schedule, so stay tuned. Note: Dogs are not allowed on this trail.

5th Street Singletrack

Grooming Schedule: As needed
Last Updated: 11/12
Singletrack: Not Set
We plan to groom about a one-mile loop in the frisbee golf area behind the 5th Street Skate Park

Avalanche Awareness Night – Tonight!

Even if you don’t go deep or high into the winter backcountry on your Nordic skis, fat bike or snowshoes, it is important to understand risk, the evolving state of our snowpack, how to be ready in case of emergency. We highly encourage everyone to attend this informative program (online this year) and support Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center. They are one of our daily “go-to” information sites for winter weather and snow information, along with MountainWeather.com.
Register Here.

Help support the Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center. You can help us enhance the work of the BTAC; all it takes is a small donation. Donate Now.
Silent Auction Is Now Open! Bid on thousands of dollars worth of items from essential safety gear to guided trips. Get your holiday gifts and feel good about supporting the Avalanche Center. Thank you to the many wonderful companies who donated prizes. For Avalanche Awareness Night registration, auction, and raffle links click here. 

Save the Date: JH Nordic Alliance Annual Free Nordic Ski, Fat Bike, Snowshoe Event

Nordic Skiing, Fat Biking and Snowshoeing for all! Our Annual Event looks a bit different this year but still filled with winter trails activities, snacks, coffee, fun. We welcome community and visitors, families, kids of all ages and dog friendly (on leash) at Cache Creek, Stilson Park and Turpin Meadow Ranch.

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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