The Bar BC historic ranch trail is a relatively flat, easy ski from the Taggart trail head to the remnants of the former dude ranch, just west of the Snake River, affording stunning views of the middle of the Jackson Hole Valley and the Tetons, The Gros Ventres Range to the east, the Snake River, and huge central views of the Tetons on the return. This is a skier-tracked trail - no grooming - so you may be able to follow a skier-track or break trail for yourself.
The Bar BC Historic Ranch sits within the winter wildlife protection area, so we ask that skiers and snowshoers only travel to and from the ranch location, and not down to the Snake river nor along the RKO summer road. In the spring when the hard crust forms on top of the snowpack ( or in winter if you wish to break trail) , you may ski on the upper sagebrush meadow - at the same elevation as the Teton Park Road. Please do not venture down the benches except on the Bar BC Ranch trail, to leave wildlife undisturbed.
Starting from the Taggart Lake parking lot, head north down the groomed Teton Park Road for ½ mile. On the right, just before the “45 MPH” sign is a low gate, indicating the beginning of a summer gravel park service road, known as the RKO road, or River Road on newer maps. Take this road east across the snow covered sage brush. The trail should be visible as the track without sagebrush. In years of deep snow, the sage brush may be fully covered up, making navigation slightly more challenging.
Ski east for 1 ½ miles until the slope changes from flat to 15% grade downhill, off the glacial bench. The terrain flattens out after 150 yards onto the middle bench (there is another bench edge further east toward the Snake River, that takes one down to the level of the river itself.
Views of Blacktail butte (South-east), Sheep Mountain (aka Sleeping Indian), the rock landslide above Slide Lake, and Shadow Mountain (east) are wide open. The Snake River is not visible nor even apparent until one reaches the edge of the glacial bench, where the river valley appears to the east.
At 2.2 miles, on the right, is the old wooden gate and fence for the historic Bar BC Ranch. Continue east past the entrance and take the first right down a trail to the historic log cabins, barns and halls where “dudes” would come in the 1920s to vacation in the rugged west. The cabins are in a state of ruin today, however, the remains give an idea of a once popular and successful ranch.
The Snake River lies just east of the ranch, however, this terrain is closed in the winter to protect wildlife. Please respect wildlife closure areas on both sides of the Snake River, between Moose and Moran.
Return via the same route, up the bench and back across the flats, to rejoin the groomed road trail. Views of the Tetons are dramatic and in close proximity. In the spring (March & April), when the snow crust freezes, excellent crust-cruise skiing opens up the wide open sagebrush meadows to endless Nordic skiing.
Turn left toward the Taggart trail head parking lot.