March 30, 2022 Nature Update

Provided by Cathy Shill founder of The Hole Hiking Experience

Nature gives to every time and season unique beauty: from morning to night, as from the cradle to the grave, it’s just a succession of changes so soft and comfortable that we hardly notice the progress.”
-Charles Dickens

Recent changes and signs of spring amaze us. Snow is quickly melting with the unseasonable warm temperatures. Mountain temperatures have been above freezing most of the week. About 400 inches of snowfall is average at 9000 feet in the Tetons but, we have received only 320. It seems the current trend will continue. Here’s to a wet April and May.

Ravens, eagles and owls are early nesters and probably have young chicks at this time of the year. I have a pair of ravens in my backyard and they have been quite busy. Did you know owls don’t build their own nests? They steal an established nest from a different bird or use a natural feature such as a tree snag. Great Horned Owls often take a Red-tailed Hawk nest since they seek a similar habitat. March is the time of the year that you hear owl’s hoot to communicate with potential mates, current mates or to establish territories. One of the many bird calls that I have heard this month. I have been truly enjoying the sounds of spring after the quiet of the winter landscape. 

As ski season draws to a close, we store our skis and switch to spring activities until the snow flies again. About one more week for the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Snow King closed last weekend with the annual snowmobile hill climb, and the inner park road is plowed in Grand Teton Park. It’s a great time to bike, roller blade or walk beneath the majestic peaks until the road opens to traffic on May 1.

Our last day of winter touring is April 10, 2022.  We have tour options north in Grand Teton Park and also higher in elevation on Teton Pass. Still great tour locations to share and you can’t beat all the changes in spring.  ( 307.690.4453) In May, we will start to offer our day hikes and wildlife outings. Looks like a busy summer ahead. Hope you have enjoyed the weekly posts, it’s been fun to share some of nature’s highlights.  

Trip Report: Trail Creek Nordic

I just returned from skiing Trail Creek & can share that much of the groomed track was skiing the best of the year!  Smooth & fast. So for those that have the chance,  this morning will be beautiful skiing at Trail Creek, as it’s not warming too fast & tracks that remain are firm.  FYI, the only way from the big meadows to the woods, without taking skis off, is Grunt which should be fine after it softens a bit.  Rather exciting on ice.  Have fun & be careful out there, Larry.

Thank you Steve for all your efforts to bring us great skiing this year!!!!

Trip Report: Pinedale Nordic Adventure

On March 25-27, 2022, two of us spent two nights and two days exploring the Nordic trails in the White Pines/Elkhart area outside of Pinedale WY.  We had such a good time that we are already planning a return trip – next year at the height of the snow season!

We stayed at the lovely Lakeside Lodge for two nights.  We rented a studio cabin that included a small refrigerator and microwave, two double beds and a spectacular view of Fremont Lake.  The restaurant was open for dinner only so we brought out own breakfasts and lunches (which is our preference anyway).  We arrived on a Thursday afternoon and were thrilled to hear music playing. Turns out that Michael Batdorf and the Brother Wolf play every Thursday night in the summers and occasionally on winter evenings.  We lucked out and thoroughly enjoyed their folk/rock music.  The food was very good and the service was excellent.  We returned on Friday night and the place was full (so we were glad we had reservations) and again, the food was very good.  That evening, we met Lakeside Lodge owner, Audrey Odermann.  She and her husband completed all of the recent renovations and are excited to welcome Nordic skiers from Jackson Hole!  Rates were surprisingly reasonable and everyone we met was helpful, friendly and local.

As for skiing, we spent one day on the amazing road to Elkhart.  The road was groomed for the first time this year and hopefully this will be a tradition.  We skied 8 ½ miles out and back in 3 ½ hours and were stunned by the views.  You could see north and west portions of the Wind Rivers and could almost touch the nearby mountains.  The route parallels Fremont Lake which is the second largest natural lake in the lower 48.  We skied to the Ranger Cabin and enjoyed our lunch at the viewspot.  On our last day, we explored the White Pines Nordic Trails.  We thoroughly enjoyed the Upper Trail System which was almost four miles of curvy well-groomed trails.  The Lower System which is probably three times larger was not skiable due to lack of snow this late in the season.   We highly recommend JH Nordic skiers to plan a trip to this special place in 2023!  We are! Karen D. and Jared S.

Trail Closure Updates

A couple of updates received from groomers:
Trail Creek – last groom will be Thursday night for Friday
Darby canyon, South Leigh -grooming finished

See updated grooming schedules at:

Crust cruising is still good in many areas. The key is location, timing, and temps!
Things to consider before heading out:
Elevation – higher elevation will have more snow, melt later, thus start later in the morning.
Overnight and day temperatures – make sure that there are a few hours overnight below freezing to ensure firm snow to start.
Aspect – noting that the east facing trails will warm first, then following the sun, south then west. North facing trails stay cool longer, but when ambient temps rise to into the 40s or 50s, even the north and shady trails will soften.
Sun – direct or shade
Morning firm crust will convert quickly to midday slush with current warm temps – so limit your time and plan to get back to the trailhead before the snow over-softens.

Trail Creek

Grooming is finished for the season.
Last Update: 3/30

The Final Edition:  It’s a lovely day . . . unless you’re a Snowflake!
A fox cruises the melting fields, the robins are flying, the grass emerging from beneath the snow is turning green, just another day at the place we call Trail Creek.  While there is still a bit of snow remaining, even the calendar says that it’s about time to move on to other pursuits, the end of the Nordic season is at hand; and what a season it has been.

The pandemic which gave Nordic skiing a boost, while not over, seems to be moving to the manageable.  That same Nordic boost has continued to surge with record participation in our JHSC programs from Lollipopper to Master.  The pursuit for perfection by our community and JHSC staff brought our new Prinoth Husky groomer to Trail Creek which has allowed for quality skiing throughout the season, climaxing in a qualifier beyond any hosted before.  Skiers from the local community and across the country and world were able to experience the grand vistas and dark woods, populated with our “beloved” moose and other creatures, all while having a great Nordic ski. Thanks again to all the youth, parents, skiers, JHSC coaches and staff, property owners, and supporters that come together to pull off yet another year of the amazing phenomenon that is Nordic Skiing at Trail Creek Nordic Center!

P3270023 (1280x1000).jpg

Today’s final grooming happened last night with the Husky making its final expedition of the year throughout the trail network.  While there is plenty of skiing out there to make a final venture or two worthwhile, the warm and sunny weather has made the end very near.  While over 90% of the recently groomed trails were groomed last night, the upper East Fields had melted too far.  There are also several gaps in the lower woods sections around Confusion Corner.  The exciting thing that happened last night was that the snow bridge on the yet to be officially named new section Armin’s collapsed as the Husky passed over.  While a quick thrill was had, the Husky managed to pull through without incident, just be careful if you are skiing that way.

Close Field, Lower East Field and most of the upper woods will ski nicely for some time to come.  Remember except for the Forest Service trails, our trails do revert to normal private property status as of April 1st.

On November 15, 2022 may a huge dump descend upon the valley, initiating the beginning of another record Nordic year.  May the snow continue to fall and be handily groomed by our trusty Husky, may new Lollipoppers discover the joy of sliding on snow, older skiers the ability to ski faster than ever before, Nordic skiers from beginners to old timers new techniques and paths to contentment, joy, and better health.  May we all gather again and support this venture of Nordic skiing and Trail Creek Nordic Center.

Groomer’s Choice for today is Trail Creek.

Teton Co./Jackson Parks & Rec

Grooming is finished for the season.
Last Update: 3/26

March 26 was our last day of parks and rec grooming for the season. Thanks for another great year and see you out on the trails next season!

Cache Creek Fat Bike Trails

Last Update: 3/13

I did a pass on all the Cache Creek trails this evening.  Things are holding up well but as the temps get above freezing try to avoid using the trails in the late afternoon.

Grooming by Friends of Pathways.

Teton Pines Nordic

Grooming is finished for the season.
Last Update: 3/20

Sunday March 20 was our closing day. Thanks for a great season!!

Shooting Star

Grooming is finished for the season.
Last Update: 3/27

Sunday (3/27) was the final grooming of the season.  Be advised that no classic tracks were set due to the icy & shallow profile. Record warmth combined with one of the least snowy winters on record have caused our snowpack to call it a year. Thanks to all the skiers and staff for another great Nordic season at Shooting Star. Fingers crossed that we’ll have a big winter next season!

GCM will begin snow removal on the cart paths beginning Tuesday (3/27) focusing on holes 15,5,16, & 17 which will assist us getting access for several upcoming spring projects. In addition to snow removal via snowblower, we will also be applying black sand to certain areas on the trails to promote melt until we can mechanically remove snow.  Skiers are welcome to venture onto the trails Monday and throughout this week but will likely encounter us working and rough conditions from the sand, spring melt & no more grooming. Again, thanks to everyone for all your help with this past Nordic season!

Snake River Sporting Club

Grooming is finished for the season.

Grand Teton National Park

Grooming is finished for the season, the park road is now open for non-motorized recreation.

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

Turpin Meadow Ranch

Grooming is finished for the season.

The lodge is closed for the season and grooming has come to an end. Thanks to all who came out and visited the ranch this winter! The lodge and restaurant will be open for summer activities mid-June. | 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: 3/30
Cross Country 15k: XC OPEN
Fat Bike Trails : Open
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: 3/30
Skate: Not Set | Classic: Not Set

We are pulling the stakes this AM, grooming at Alta is probably done for the year. Great winter season! Thanks to Mark, David, Drew, and Nick for all the great grooming, and thanks for all the great community support at this venue. See you on the trails!

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 Done for the Season
Last Updated: 3/28
Skate: Not Set | Classic: Not Set

We’re done grooming this venue for the season. Thanks for the support, see you next year.

Sherman Park

Grooming Done for the Season
Last Updated:

Skate: Not Set | Classic: Not Set

Going to let it ride from my midday groom yesterday. More people/dogs are walking on the track than We are finished grooming this venue for the season. Thanks for your support. See you next winter.

Teton Canyon

Grooming Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday
Last Updated: 3/

Skate: Set | Classic: Set

Attempted reset of classic track Tuesday evening, but snow was too soft and did more damage than good. Plan to try and smooth out skate track Wednesday morning, but after a hard freeze may be a bit rough.

Southern Valley Nordic

Grooming Schedule: Tuesday, Friday & Sunday
Last Updated: 3/28
Skate: Not Set | Classic: Not Set

Another 60 degree day, we haven’t groomed past week. Track still covered and skiable at right time of the day. Once colder weather returns, may groom again but probably done for the season. Thanks for your support. See you next winter.

No dogs December 1 – April 15.

Teton Reserve Nordic

Grooming Done for the Season
Last Updated: 3/21
Skate: Not Set | Classic: Not Set

We are done grooming at Teton Reserve for the season. We pulled a bunch of trail stakes last week and it snowed yesterday more than anticipated. We don’t want to groom blind and risk damaging the golf course. Thanks to everyone involved with making this track a reality this winter. We hope you enjoyed the new venue.

No dogs allowed.

Southern Valley Singletrack

Grooming Schedule: As needed
Last Updated: 3/18
Singletrack: Set

Friday evening I was able to groom and set the singletrack on powerline to the top, Nemo, upper and lower Hillbenders. Please ride these trails in the early a.m. and later p.m. when the temperatures are coldest. The forecast has an outlook for incredibly warm temperatures that will not be conducive to riding singletrack mid-day. If you’re leaving a rut turn around. Thank you for your support.

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: 3/16

Groomed to Pinnacle TH only.

Rammell Mountain Road

Grooming Done for the Season
Last Updated: 3/16

Grooming is done for the 21/22 season.

South Leigh Road

Grooming Schedule: As needed
Last Updated: 3/17

Groomed 3/17.

Take Photos of Your Spring Adventures before the Snow Melts!

Submit your best photos of your winter season and your photo could be on the 2022-23 JH Nordic buff. This unique buff is manufactured by a local company, Avalon 7.

The first-place winner will receive 10 of the new buff (value $200) and prizes from JH Nordic Alliance members like Stio, Kate’s Real Food, Friends of Pathways, JD High Country Outfitters, The Hole Hiking Experience, Trilipiderm, Skinny Skis, and more!

Contest deadline: May 1, 2022.

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

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