Teton Pass south to Mt Elly
Take WY Hwy 22 west from Wilson to the top of Teton Pass. Parking is limited; please park close together to maximize space or carpool from Stilson (or Mike Harris or Coal Creek if coming from Victor).
Teton Pass-south to Mt Elly ski trail offers spectacular views of the surrounding mountains, including Mt Glory to the north and central Jackson Hole to the east. The trail, primarily used by skiers and snowboarders for accessing backcountry powder turns, starts at 8500 ft and often receives and holds early snow, making it an excellent option after the first few snowfalls. The trail is skied as an "out-and-back" on skinny skis. Depending on avalanche conditions and your awareness, you may choose to stay along the ridge to avoid crossing avalanche slopes.
Parking: Parking is limited at the summit pullout. Be courteous and park close together to maximize space. Carpooling is encouraged, especially from Stilson, Mike Harris, or Coal Creek if coming from Victor.
Skiing Experience: Intermediate trail with 4 or 5 switchbacks. Kick turns are recommended to navigate slightly steeper uphill and downhill sections. Suitable for wider backcountry skis on the west side of the ridge.
Beginnings: Park at Teton Pass and access the trail on the summer communication tower access road, on the southwest side, near the Bridger-Teton National Forest sign. Follow the snow-covered forest service road south for approximately ¾ mile. Continue south, following the summer hiking trail, leading to the gentle summit of Mt Elly, at the top of Black Canyon.
Uphill Stretch: The trail involves uphill sections, including 4 or 5 switchbacks. Kickturns are recommended for navigating slightly steeper sections midway out. Skins will help.
Views: 360-degree views from the rounded ridge summit of Mt Elly look south across the Snake River Range, southeast over Black Canyon, and north toward Mt Glory and the southern Tetons. The ridge west drops and rises across to the top of Edelweiss and Christmas Day Bowl.
Trail Options: For a longer adventure, continue to the trail to Mt. Elly. This narrow skiing track is often set by backcountry skiers and takes about 1.5 to 2 hours round trip. For a shorter trek, turn around once you reach the communication tower, you’ll still have plenty of views and an enjoyable ski.
Return: Return via the same trail.
Winter Grooming: Ungroomed Nordic skiing on early-season snow. Be mindful of trail conditions, rocks, roots, or grass on the trail in the early season. Use skins on Nordic skis if heading to Mt. Elly.
Dog Owners: Keep your dog on a leash, and be respectful of WYDOT plowing and road management.
Nordic Skiers: This trail captures early-season snow first, providing a natural option for ungroomed Nordic skiing.