Wydaho Rendezvous – A Gem of the West

Originally posted at CrankJoy By Chad Davis

Much of the great riding we have across North America is due to the hard work of those who roll up their sleeves and get involved.  Issues like gaining trail access, funding, building and maintaining trail systems are not solved without plenty of hard work.   The area around the Teton Mountain Range in Idaho and Wyoming is one of those places that has an amazing community fighting hard for awesome trails. Mountain Bike the Tetons is a dedicated and professionally run non-profit headed by our friend Tony Ferlisi (Executive Director) in Driggs, Idaho.

MBT (Mountain Bike the Tetons) funds a seasonal paid trail crew, coordinates over 1000 volunteer work hours, secures grants, works with BLM and USFS to get approval for new trail systems in the Valley.  In addition to all that, they organize a program for youth to learn to mountain bike called Sprockids and even distribute FREE bells to foster relationships with other trail users.


mountain bike the tetons

Executive Director, Tony Ferlisi at a recent breakfast hosting local leaders and IMBA president Dave Weins. Connecting and fostering relationships like these allow MBT to build on their mission.

The Teton mountain range borders beautiful eastern Idaho and western Wyoming.  With Grand Teton towering at 13, 775 ft the area is full of amazing scenery and jaw-dropping views. Jackson, WY is on the east and the towns of Victor and Driggs, ID are on the west.  With Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks close by this is a bucket list trip for sure with plenty to do for non-riding family members.

When Tony invited us to come and check out the riding in the area we jumped at the opportunity!  The Teton’s beauty, expansive trail networks and smaller crowds make the area an attractive destination in the west. Even with the forest fires and smoke engulfing the area, the riding and community did not disappoint.

Mail Cabin Flowers

Mountain Bike the Tetons Executive Director Tony Ferlisi on the freshly updated (reroute) Mail Cabin trail.

There’s such a wide variety of fantastic trails in this region.  From the super techy and steep MOUNTAIN BIKE ONLY descents dropping off Teton Pass to the high alpine loops a few miles from Victor. Great lift-serviced downhill, as well as XC trails and bike park fun, are available at the Grand Targhee Resort near Driggs.  This region is bursting with great rides.  I guess that’s why the Tetons made Silver Level Ride Center status with IMBA, one of only a dozen regions in the US to do so.

Teton Valley mountain biking trails

Things to Do

Aside from the trails to ride, National Parks to visit; there is great fishing, rafting, canoeing, hiking and climbing in the region.

The Pierre’s Hole 50/100,  Wydaho Rendezvous, Teton Bike Festival, and Music on Main – Thursdays late June through early August, are just some of the events hosted in the Tetons that are worth planning on.

Local Organizations

The work to gain the trail access in the area has deep roots with a number of key players working to build the greatness that surrounds the Teton’s.  Grand Targhee Resort in Alta, Wyoming as well as Mountain Bike the Tetons are collaborating and sharing ideas. Teton Valley Trails and PathwaysTeton Freedom Riders and the Jackson Hole Friends of Pathways are all working hard with local officials and the community to enhance all two-wheeled human-powered locomotion in the region.

mountain bike the tetons

The fruits of the labor. The newly completed bike park for kids, in Jackson.

Planning your Trip

During our visit, we based ourselves in Victor and this is where I would do it again.  You’ll avoid most of the traffic congestion of Jackson and the riding essentially surrounds Victor.  Be sure you choose the later summer months of July or August to ensure higher riding is not under snow unless you want to ride fat bikes. There are plenty of pedal opportunities to ride groomed trail in winter too, so you can bring bikes on your ski trip.

Mountain Bike The Tetons website is a great help find bike shops, lodging, camping, great places to eat and drink and even get a shower; and you can participate in one of their Maintenance Mondays or DONATE to their TRAIL FUND.

Lithium Bike Only Trail

 What?!

Bike Only!

How many times have you seen this in National Forests? 

Some hard work is put into this trail for sure!  At 3 miles and 2,786 ft of descending 120mm travel, Ripley was little overwhelmed 🙂

Refueling

Grand Teton Brewing Company, Aztec Fusion and Chiang Mai Thai Kitchen and the Lucca woodfired pizza truck all get a stamp of approval from us.  The Big Hole BBQ was always packed and had a cool roof-top patio.

mountain bike the tetons

After a weekend in the Tetons, we realized the region is bursting with great spots to explore.  It is on our short-list to revisit soon.  More impressive than the trails was the strong community that continues to grow with organizations working together.   The future definitely looks super bright for people who love to ride mountain bikes in this region.