Moose-Wilson Road/Granite Canyon trailhead to LSR Preserve
Grand Teton National Park
Fee: $0.00 - donations appreciated
Drive north from Teton Village to Grand Teton National Park south entrance, then north 1 mile to Granite Canyon Trailhead parking area. The Moose-wilson Road is closed beyond the trailhead parking area in winter.
This trail has a number of variations that loop off the skier-tracked Moose-Wilson Road trail (see Phelps Lake, Valley Trail), and skiing out to LSR Preserve is a local's favorite for an easily accessible, flat trail for classic skis.
The trail may be skied as an "out-and-back" along the snow-covered Park road, and off east on a side access road to the LSR preserve via open forest and meadows. The return trip from LSR may also be via an easy trail in the forest which then opens up to a wide and long meadow, paralleling the Moose-Wilson Road to the east.
The trail begins at the north end of the Granite Canyon parking area, and heads north through an open grove of aspen trees. The trail continues north through a mixed conifer forest for 1 mile, when one reaches a point where 1 trail heads left (west) up a gentle drainage to Phelps Lake, 1 trail heads right (east) around a gate to LSR Preserve. The Moose-Wilson road itself continues straight with an immediate, uphill curve to the right. (Summer visitors will recognize this as the beginning of the paved road after 1.5 miles of gravel).
To go to LSR Preserve, take the right trail, follow this east approx 400 yards, until a small cement bridge that crosses Lake Creek. Bear left (north-east) and continue across an open meadow. The skier-track trail gradually bends slightly left and again to the north. A tall posted tree stump serves as a landmark. Continue straight north past the tree stump, and the LSR Preserve LEED building can be seen 300 yards further north.
NOTE: Even though the LSR Preserve building is closed in winter (as are the restrooms) , this is a beautiful destination for a picnic and scenic tour.
The view of the southern-central Tetons are spectacular from these meadows surrounding the LSR Preserve, with the wide vista from Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and Granite Canyon in the south-west, up through Death Canyon, Prospector Mtn, Albright and Static peaks, and north to the Grand Teton.
To return, retrace your tracks heading south from LSR, back to the crossing of Lake Creek. Take a skier track left (south) through the woods (or simply follow your original tracks back to the Moose-Wilson Road). The beautiful wooded single track trail leads through the forest for approx 300 yards, then opens up in a wide and mile long open meadow.
Wildlife note: This is winter moose habitat, and we have often spotted 1 or 2 moose (often a mother moose and 1st year young). It's exciting to see wildlife, but be sure to give them a wide berth, as winter is a challenging time for their energy reserves, food and travel in deep snow. Keep your eyes open for all sorts of animal tracks - ermine, pine marten, fox, rabbits, moose, mule deer, owls, and more!
Ski south (straight ahead) in the meadow up to the remnant of an old fence gate. Just before and at several places after, you will see 2-3 skier tracks spaced 100 yards apart that head right (west) up a small incline back toward the Moose-Wilson Road (which you have been paralleling). The 2 tracks after the gate are the easiest to make the short ascent back to the road level and regain the road. Head left (south) on the road and the parking area should be close by).