Vermont Transplant & MTBVT Corespondant, Sasha Yakovleff checks in from the Grand Targhee Bike Park
Vertical. That’s the first word that comes to mind when thinking about Grand Targhee Bike Park in Alta, WY. Instead of converting a lower-mountain lift into the bike park, Targhee sent it straight to the top. As we pulled into the parking lot after climbing the 11 or 12-mile access road up through endless pines and high alpine meadows, we started scanning for downhill bikes and riders loading one of the lower lifts to access the bike park. Instead, we saw bikes and riders aboard a lift going up and out of view. Interesting! This means a few things: Targhee actually cares about mountain biking enough to invest time and money into long manicured runs, and you better bring some sunscreen for the ride up.
We hopped onto the lift and started our ascent gawking at the Grand Tetons the whole ride up. Something else that caught our eye from the lift was Trail 6, a top-to-bottom excavated jump trail currently under construction. We spotted the machine building some massive berms and jumps about half way up in some pines, and naturally wanted to poach the trail immediately (we didn’t). It looks amazing and we can’t wait to go ride once it opens up.
All of the bike trails start on the Grand Traverse, which crosses in front of the Tetons several times and requires you to stop staring at the scenery long enough to rally a few corners and small jumps before opening up into the first big intersection. Next up we took Buffalo Drop that was made of singletrack berms and roots going into an excavated drop followed by a long and low jump which you can roll or send ~50’ if you want. It was a favorite that we lapped frequently. We then hopped onto Bullwinkle, which we nicknamed Nascar because of how wide and fast the trail is. Bullwinkle is all excavated jumps, berms, and rollers diverse in size and shape designed to be ridden with various speeds- we opted to try and not brake at all. Some of the berms are big enough to fit 4 riders at once, and definitely ride better when yelling amateur Nascar terminology and heckling each other while trying not to swallow dust.
Another favorite, Sidewinder, traverses the mountain under the lift navigating riders over undulating rollers and rocks and jumping in and out of a small ravine to access the lower bike park trails. You can then finish on Chutes and Ladders or Astro, both equally fun. Chutes and Ladders is composed of large berms and rollers leading into a wall ride and finishing with some more rollers into tight berms under the lift. Astro winds down through an Aspen grove and sports a few wooden wall rides and jumps to get loose on. These two lower sections feel much more like a traditional low-elevation bike park, and are the icing on the cake after a long run down from the top.
We finished our day by jumping in a river and enjoying a few cold beverages. We were based out of a campsite off the Teton pass, but Grand Targhee Resort has plenty of on-site lodging if you want to stay closer to the mountain.
The bike park has a slew of events and programs coming up, which include: bike camps, a stop on the Montana Enduro Series August 2, and the Wydaho Mountain Bike Festival in early September. Trail 6 is looking flawless, so make sure to check that out when it opens up for business. Thank you to Jennie and the entire bike park team for creating such a memorable and committed bike park, we can’t wait to come back.