As summer fades into fall, mountain bikers eagerly look forward to the change in riding conditions.
With quaking aspen leaves transforming the sky into a sea of golden yellow, cooler temperatures creating ideal recreating conditions, and the occasional overnight freeze dampening the ground and creating a tacky dirt surface that trail riders dream of, fall is the perfect time to hit the trails.
Numerous bike shops in Jackson, Wilson, and Teton Village rent mountain bikes. When mountain biking in Jackson, remember to always wear a helmet, share the trail (especially close to trailheads), be prepared for wildlife encounters by carrying bear spray and keeping your distance, and respect the hard work of trail crews by only riding dry trails.
Nothing screams fall more than flowing down a singletrack through the falling leaves with a straight-on view of the Tetons. Located along the Gros Ventre Road in Bridger-Teton National Forest, Shadow Mountain is a very popular dispersed camping zone with an equally popular bike trail.
Accessing Shadow Mountain requires a drive from town. Shuttle by car to the top of the mountain or pedal 3.5 miles up the gravel access road to start your descent from the summit on a beginner to intermediate singletrack trail.
Located south of Teton Pass down Fall Creek Road, Munger Mountain is an approachable cross-country trail network with a variety of options, guaranteed views of the mountains (and the entire Jackson Hole valley), and an iconic scenic bench (the only one on the trail, graciously located at the summit overlook) to stop for a snack and take a moment to absorb the changing colors of fall. Ride through dense pine and aspen trees in your choice of a series of loops on this off-the-beaten-path trail network.
Hagen to Putt Putt
Located in the Cache Creek trail network in East Jackson, Hagen to Putt Putt is a popular loop that takes you on a moderately rocky and rooted cross-country trail shaded in the dense forest. Bikeable from anywhere in downtown Jackson, including Hoback Sports, Fitzgerald’s Bicycles, and The Hub Bicycles, you can access the Hagen trail by singletrack or paved road.
Upon reaching the end of Hagen, cross the doubletrack wagon road to climb Putt Putt, a sunny switchbacking trail that flows through sagebrush, aspen groves, and forests. Be sure to ride back to town on Putt Putt to capture breathtaking views of both downtown Jackson Hole and the distant Tetons.
Regardless of which trail you choose, mountain biking in the Tetons is most rewarding in the fall, when the dry and dusty summer conditions are healed by autumn’s moisture. In addition to the approachable cross-country trails above, there are endless options for all styles of fall riding in the area. Capture the final days of downhill riding on Teton pass before the snow starts to fly at high elevations, take a drive to Grand Targhee Resort in Alta, Wyoming, and venture up the 38 Special for a rewarding climb and view of the back of the Tetons, or ride the lift at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort before the season closes in preparation for winter.
From awe-inspiring encounters with nature to wild and western activities every kind, Jackson Hole offers once-in-a-lifetime experiences, 365 days a year.
Eager to glimpse your first bear, moose, or wolf? Challenge yourself with a run down black diamonds or class III rapids? Hook an 18-inch cutthroat? Meet a real cowboy? Watch a Teton sunset? This place is full of experiences you won't find that at home, or anywhere else for that matter. In Jackson Hole, wild adventures aren't just possible—they're already here waiting for you.