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  1. #1
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    Targhee/Teton Pass advice wanted

    After saying for years that we needed to get up to the Tetons to ride bikes, Team DTM is finally making it happen this weekend. Searching showed that most Targhee/Teton Pass info threads are pretty old so I figured I'd see what the latest is. Specific Q's include:

    -We're heading up from SLC Friday morning and going to ride lifts at Targhee Saturday and do a Pass lap or three on Sunday. Any suggestions for a Friday afternoon ride or other activity?
    -Is dispersed camping allowed off Ski Hill Rd? Any other dispersed camping area suggestions that are reasonably close to TP and the 'Ghee? How's the bug situation currently?
    -Hitchhiking back up Teton Pass is still easy, I assume?
    -Would I be crazy to take the kiddo down Lithium? For reference, locally he rips stuff like Crest-Mill D, Sundance DH, and Timberline at Brianhead like it's no thing. He's got a dropper-equipped FS bike and is good for 1k of climbing or so.
    -Any other general suggestions or advice?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    He will be fine on Lithium, there are ride arounds on the big features.
    There is very limited dispersed camping on Ski Hill road, but if you can find a spot, it's legal.
    Not at the paved lookout though.
    Hitching up Teton Pass Is easy.
    How long of a ride are you looking for on Friday?
    Would a four mile out and back (8 miles total) with about 800 feet of climbing do the trick?
    (Aspen Trail in Driggs, really near Targhee...some camping at the bottom)
    StokePimpin' ain't easy

  3. #3
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    A few responses in your text. Rideit gave you good beta.

    -We're heading up from SLC Friday morning and going to ride lifts at Targhee Saturday and do a Pass lap or three on Sunday. Any suggestions for a Friday afternoon ride or other activity?

    EVERYTHING is riding well right now. Aspen Trail (that Rideit recommended) is not far from Targhee, but so is Mill Creek, which you can ride from a dispersed camp in Teton Canyon. Teton Canyon is a much better camping locale than Ski Hill Road, which is ALL private property. PM me for directions.

    -Is dispersed camping allowed off Ski Hill Rd? Any other dispersed camping area suggestions that are reasonably close to TP and the 'Ghee? How's the bug situation currently?

    Bugs and horseflies in particular are pretty bad. Come fully warned... You could also camp at the north entry to the Aspen Trail.

    -Hitchhiking back up Teton Pass is still easy, I assume?
    -Would I be crazy to take the kiddo down Lithium? For reference, locally he rips stuff like Crest-Mill D, Sundance DH, and Timberline at Brianhead like it's no thing. He's got a dropper-equipped FS bike and is good for 1k of climbing or so.

    -Any other general suggestions or advice? Fastest driving route, IMHO, is up I-15 to Idaho Falls, then Route 20 to 33E.

    Thanks![/QUOTE]

  4. #4
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    Or do Jackson lift served 5-7pm Friday night for cheap, do the pass on Saturday, Targhee on Sunday and for a slightly quicker drive home.

    I'd be curious if he can do Lithium, there are some tight and steep twistys in there, some off-camber DH shit too. Nothing long but he's 8.

  5. #5
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    There is really only one 'tricky' off camber turn (shortly after the second climb) that I would walk my 10 year old down.
    But yeah, 8yo changes the equation a bit. It is about a (350?) foot climb to the top of the trail though.
    It's NOT an easy trail.
    I would think he would have much more fun on fuzzy bunny/Jimmy's Mom/candy land/ parallel., now that I think about it.
    Last edited by rideit; 07-16-2018 at 02:09 PM.
    StokePimpin' ain't easy

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideit View Post
    He will be fine on Lithium, there are ride arounds on the big features.
    My main concern was the ~50% grade section that the elevation profile shows at around the 2-mile mark.

    Quote Originally Posted by rideit View Post
    How long of a ride are you looking for on Friday?
    Would a four mile out and back (8 miles total) with about 800 feet of climbing do the trick?
    (Aspen Trail in Driggs, really near Targhee...some camping at the bottom)
    Yeah, that would be a good option. Where is it? I'm not seeing it on Trailforks. I was also looking at Millcreek, or maybe the Horseshoe trails or N. Mohagany on the other side of the valley. Man, there is a shitload of trails in the Big Holes!

    Quote Originally Posted by homemadesalsa View Post
    Teton Canyon is a much better camping locale than Ski Hill Road, which is ALL private property. PM me for directions.
    Teton Canyon is the right turn off Ski Hill Rd that leads to the scout camp, right? Horseshoe Canyon also came up in some searching since I posted. Other side of the valley I know but still not that far away it seems.

    Quote Originally Posted by homemadesalsa View Post
    Bugs and horseflies in particular are pretty bad. Come fully warned...
    Ouch. We reserved a room in Driggs just in case that we have until Wednesday to cancel. I always prefer camping, but it sounds like the room may be worth it this time. Same deal on the Big Holes side?

  7. #7
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    Upon further reflection, I wouldn't take him down Lithium.
    Big Hole's will by horse-fly heaven.
    Great riding in Horseshoe Canyon, if you go that way, do the 'loops' (Bovine, Shark's Belly, Cody's loop, sodbuster, southbound, channel Lock etc,) and NOT S. fork Horseshoe Canyon, word is it is a little blown out from Motos...but HMS might have more beta.
    StokePimpin' ain't easy

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by muted View Post
    Or do Jackson lift served 5-7pm Friday night for cheap
    That's an idea for sure. Hadn't heard much about the JHMR bike park in a while and wasn't sure if it was worth checking out. The last time a read a review was a few years ago and it didn't sound like all that at the time. What's the word on Snow King?

    Quote Originally Posted by rideit View Post
    There is really only one 'tricky' off camber turn (shortly after the second climb) that I would walk my 10 year old down.
    But yeah, 8yo changes the equation a bit. It is about a (350?) foot climb to the top of the trail though.
    It's NOT an easy trail.
    I would think he would have much more fun on fuzzy bunny/Jimmy's Mom/candy land/ parallel., now that I think about it.
    Well, he's not your average 8 y.o.:
    https://www.instagram.com/p/BjnKLz5h_HG
    https://www.instagram.com/p/BkMFtDtBP1A
    https://www.instagram.com/p/Bjll8jmBIOg
    https://www.instagram.com/p/Bi54khAhlgr
    https://www.instagram.com/p/BjEIIXpBrJj

    But, yeah, still 8 and on a 20" bike (albeit a badass one). 350 uphill vert would be no big deal. He's ridden some steep, tight and blown out stuff on the Sundance and Nordic Valley DH tracks like a champ, but that's a bit different than being kinda out in the middle of nowhere like Lithium is. Really rocky stuff is definitely a challenge since 20" wheels have terrible rollover.

  9. #9
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    It is, indeed, really rocky.
    No trails on Snow King, that project is stalled due to some local politics and terrain capability.
    StokePimpin' ain't easy

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dantheman View Post
    That's an idea for sure. Hadn't heard much about the JHMR bike park in a while and wasn't sure if it was worth checking out. The last time a read a review was a few years ago and it didn't sound like all that at the time. What's the word on Snow King?
    JH is hoot for a couple hours and definitely kid friendly.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideit View Post
    It is, indeed, really rocky.
    Would Black Canyon be a fun ride for the grom? Or Rush Hour or the one across the highway?
    Something about the wrinkle in your forehead tells me there's a fit about to get thrown
    And I never hear a single word you say when you tell me not to have my fun
    It's the same old shit that I ain't gonna take off anyone.
    and I never had a shortage of people tryin' to warn me about the dangers I pose to myself.

    Patterson Hood of the DBT's

  12. #12
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    Rush hour/Nemos is probably too tame for him.
    StokePimpin' ain't easy

  13. #13
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    The locals pronounce it "Tar-Jay" according to the a guy at a bar in CO the other day. I got nothing else for you. Have fun and post pics!

  14. #14
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    oh awesome- you guys are going to have a blast.

    Targhee trails are great and I think your family will enjoy them. Loooong DH's with fun rocky-tech. Funny thing is the trails all just barely opened up there. We were there a couple wks ago and there was still tons of snow & half the trails were still closed
    Targhee is also quite a bit cooler even when everywhere else is hot as hell so look forward to that.
    ahhh wait till you are riding in our wonderful 50* morning temps too. divine.

    Has anyone mentioned the Arrow/ Phillips trails across the highway from the Jimmy's mom trailhead? That is a more pedally but not more than 700-800' climbing if you shuttle it so the youngin' should be ok. Those trails are great- so so fun for an alternative to the pure DH laps. Love those trails. The trail ends on a lovely fancy rich person's road that you cruise for a couple miles back to Wilson. Then the fam hangs out at the Stagecoach while you hitch back up to get the vehicle = happiness
    https://www.trailforks.com/trails/arrow/ *the phillips part of the ride is listed as an up on trailforks, but most riders will be going down https://www.trailforks.com/trails/phillips-ridge/

    Jackson Hole bike park is also super fun as muted mentioned- way shorter laps but the jumps are great and it's a fun social scene at the base on Fri nights bc there's tons of kids there with parents that ride and/or drink margaritas from the food cart at the base.

    I think your kid will be fine on Lithium too fwiw- especially since you go into it with caution/ knowing that he may walk a couple sections. I mean, I think your kid just might be a better rider than I am lol. You'll just have to be careful around a couple steep/ one mildly exposed segment.
    Black's canyon is just a 2 minute ride past Lithium trail though, and that is a good alternative if you ride out but decide to not do lithium. Black's is one of my favorites and the wildflowers should be going off (andrew is doing a big ride out there today so I will get a trail/wildflower update and report back when he gets home)

    a question for all you Teton valley folks re: camping on the victor side- how about those Mike Harris and campgrounds off Teton pass? the proximity to riding makes me always wonder how those sites are
    skid luxury

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by shredgnar View Post
    The locals pronounce it "Tar-Jay" according to the a guy at a bar in CO the other day. I got nothing else for you. Have fun and post pics!
    he is slightly correct- it's more like "Tar-jhay" lol kind of like how some people fancy up Target stores
    skid luxury

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by b-bear View Post
    he is slightly correct- it's more like "Tar-jhay" lol kind of like how some people fancy up Target stores
    Gotcha, thanks for the loc knowledge yo. Tar-Ja-hey. I did have a buzz on and might have misunderstood his thick CO accent.

  17. #17
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    The mike Harris sites are good, you can usually hear the highway if that is a turn off though. There are pay for and free sites.
    StokePimpin' ain't easy

  18. #18
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    Was down for a wedding this past weekend and could only sneak a quick shuttle in, so I hit lithium for my first time. Your kid is definitely more rad than me but like the others said there's prob 2 spots on the ridge I might be a little concerned but he'd prob hit the jumps I pussed out on. I didn't think the bugs were horrible although the horse flies were out in force. I also think I found out half the dirty laundry of Jackson sitting at the coach drinking some whiskey fri afternoon.

  19. #19
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    I hope you guys are kidding about the Tar-Jhay thing...
    StokePimpin' ain't easy

  20. #20
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    Outsiders perspective:

    Bugs: were getting pretty awful around the 4th when I was there. Not much you can do but deal.

    Phils Ridge/Canyon: XCish rides. Ridge is a good trail for practicing maintaining speed on low angle chunk and switchbacks. Canyon is a sneaky smashy trail - not as steep as other ones in the valley but tricky/impossible to pick clean lines through the chunk -some trees down.

    Pass laps: Black Canyon is sweet. Super fast section at the bottom. FB is the trail I get hurt on most often - your kid is good at jumps so likely NBD. He'll love the Parallels/JM sections. I always forget how steep and sneaky techy the top section of FB is - there are a few steep/loose bits where being on your brakes will cause problems. Lithium is rocky and sorta exposed in one section. Steep in the middle (need to know how use brakes in steep). Steeper than anything I rode in PC/SLC earlier this year (including Mill D etc.)

    Outside of the pass I think Ferrin's near snow king is great, and Shadow Mtn is worthy, although maybe only if you're headed to the park or over Togwatee.

  21. #21
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    Funny this popped up, GF and I are heading up Thursday PM as well, she and her mom are doing the womens clinic at Targhee Sat/Sun, so her dad and I will be riding both days, then fishing.

    I'll be fairly limited on the rad-factor. I want to be doing pass laps, but GF's dad is 60, from the Yoop, and fairly timid, Hymasa was a touch too tech on the climb for him. Would love to find something great with some views for him, but has a touch of faster, rowdy stuff for me. We'll be camping in Teton Canyon Thurs PM then at Targhee the remainder. RideIt, is the Horseshoe area you recommended have a preferred route? I.E. Up channel Lock down bovine or vice versa? Any other suggestions? Whats the best way to get from Targhee base area to Mill Creek? Black Forest on the pass is an option.

    DTM,
    https://www.grandtarghee.com/event/f...mtb-fridays-2/ Friday PM $10 lift tickets for Targhee, 4-6 pm.
    Also, Wildilfe brewing and pizza is solid, as is Seoul Korean in Driggs.
    "If we can't bring the mountain to the party, let's bring the PARTY to the MOUNTAIN!"

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by b-bear View Post
    *the phillips part of the ride is listed as an up on trailforks, but most riders will be going down https://www.trailforks.com/trails/phillips-ridge/
    I was curious about that, seemed like an odd trail to be listed as uphill-preferred.

    Quote Originally Posted by b-bear View Post
    Jackson Hole bike park is also super fun as muted mentioned- way shorter laps but the jumps are great and it's a fun social scene at the base on Fri nights bc there's tons of kids there with parents that ride and/or drink margaritas from the food cart at the base.
    $10 lift tickets and a food cart serving margaritas? Yeah, we'll be there.

    Quote Originally Posted by North View Post
    Steeper than anything I rode in PC/SLC earlier this year (including Mill D etc.)
    Yeah, Mill D ain't steep by any stretch. What else did you ride here?

    I'll keep mulling over Lithium. I'd hate to skip it completely when he'd only need to walk a few spots, but on-trail meltdowns are never fun either. BC would still be a hoot, and would probably be more fun for mom. I think we'll start with a Jimmys/Parallel lap and go from there based on how he's feeling.

    I think we'll stick with the room we reserved in Driggs and skip camping this time. I'm definitely a nancy boy when it comes to bugs and not too proud to admit that they ruin camping for me.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phall View Post
    Would love to find something great with some views for him, but has a touch of faster, rowdy stuff for me.
    You could do the Black Canyon climb together, then split off at Lithium and meet up back at the bottom.

  24. #24
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    Does JHMR have an online liability waiver? I can't seem to find one on their site.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phall View Post

    Would love to find something great with some views for him, but has a touch of faster, rowdy stuff for me.
    I think Shadow Mtn is about the best you can do for views. Hot road climb to the top can sometimes be dusty (shuttle traffic), but the down can be ridden as fast as you like. Don't be intimidated by people riding downhill bikes out there. Totally unnecessary. My buddy lost his helmet halfway through our trip (lots of shuffling between cars) and rode shadow at a chill pace with his dog and a cowboy hat.

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