If you’re looking for a bike park that checks all the boxes as a destination, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is hard to beat. The mountain biking is great, with a mix of flow trail, jump lines, rough natural trails, and even some stellar XC riding. There’s something for everyone, and I do mean everyone, thanks to a massive effort to include adaptive athletes in their trail planning and other outdoor activities.
Then there’s the national parks, with Yellowstone and Grand Teton just a short drive away. And like any upscale ski resort, there’s all the manufactured fun available for kids and adults, plus legit activities like a Via Ferrata climbing that’s also accessible by adventurers with limited physical capability.
But the important thing, and perhaps most impressive, is that none of the accommodations made for accessibility come at the expense of radness. None of it waters down the experience, it just makes a killer experience more accessible for all.
About Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
JHMR has been here for 60 years, and the bike park trails started 10 years ago with the Teewinot chair lift, which serves the bunny slopes in the winter.
The original trail network was created by Gravity Logic out of Whistler, and it feels similar to that area. And is very reminiscent of Park City. Then, in Summer 2021, they expanded up the mountain with the Sweetwater gondola and added four more, longer trails.
The Lower flow trails’ open-air berms are scraped every year to smooth the slopes for beginner skiers, then rebuilt every summer. Meaning, they’ll be a bit different each year. The stuff in the woods stays intact year round, but gets buried with snow off season.
The Upper trails are a mix, some being built by Cam Zink’s Sensus RAD Trails group, including the super rocky, gnarly Dirty Harry trail. And that wood ramp you’ll see further down that drops into True Grit. Others are built by the park staff, with past input from Gravity Logic and others, and there’s more planned in the future.
There are a few techy-er trails, either with small drops or tough technical rocky sections, but the majority of it is wholly enjoyable by intermediate riders with plenty to entertain more advanced riders, too. That’s kinda the beauty of it, the trails are fun whether it’s your first time at a bike park or a season pass holder.
Take the Sweetwater gondola up higher and the trails get bigger, with larger jumps (mostly tabletops, and everything has a chicken line), taller berms, and more exposure. The highlight is the all-new Deeper Darker trail. More on that in a minute…
It’s Forest Service Land, which is important
The slopes are on Forest Service land, they’re a case study, and they have two uphill eMTB-specific trails that will get you to the top, then you can ride down the bike park trails.
This is actually a big deal, because the trails are on National Forest land, and JHMR has a long-term land lease, and technically you can come here, ride up the trails under your own power (assisted or otherwise), then come down the trails, and not buy a trail pass. Obviously, they’d prefer it if you did, but either way, you assume all risk of using the trails.
So, if you come here and ride your eMTB up and down for free, appreciate what this means for all types of riders. Enjoy the fact that you ride trails that cost a lot of money and time to build, without paying for it, even if you wreck. Especially if you wreck, or see someone riding something different than you. Don’t be a dick. Because there’s more to this story, and a lot more at stake…
Back to the Deeper Darker trail
Deeper Darker is no joke. Huge berms, big jumps, and incredibly steep sweepers that let you build up massive speed. Scary speed. And it was designed with input from riders like Joe Stone with Teton Adaptive, who broke his back and now rides an e-trike MTB.
Joe and JHMR built Deeper Darker to work for every type of rider. And to be equally fun and flowy, no matter what type of bike you’re on. Have a look:
JHMR and Teton Adaptive’s goal is to have an outdoor recreation area that facilitates “human powered adventures”, and the resort and surrounding areas have adaptive options for paddling, climbing, road cycling, mountain biking, and even paragliding.
And I promise, Deeper Darker is every bit as much fun on a regular bike as he makes it look on his Bowhead Reach adaptive bike.
Here’s a little taste of the other trails accessed from the Sweetwater:
A day pass at the Bike Park runs a reasonable $49, with bike rentals and gear available for an upcharge. A Season Pass is $225. As of this writing, they’re changing their fleet over to Scott Gamblers and Ransoms, but you may find other brands still available.
We had a great time riding the Ransom, but I highly recommend bringing your own bike so you’re comfortable on it from the first run. A proper 170mm enduro/all-mountain bike is plenty, but a DH/Park bike works great, too. Capable riders would have fun on a good 160/150 bike, too, but slacker angles help on some of the steeper bits for sure.
Get all the options, including guided rides, camps, lessons, and more, on their Bike Park web page. The Bike Park opens June through September, with ideal weather and trail conditions mid- to late-June and early July, depending on weather. If you can time it a day or two after some rain, you’ll likely have perfect dirt. And as with any bike park, the earlier in the season you get there, the fewer braking bumps you’ll encounter.
What about XC riding in Jackson Hole?
Nearby Munger Mountain has stellar cross country mountain biking, with thousands of feet of climbing rewarded with ripping fast ribbons of flowing singletrack. Wind past wildflower meadows, broad views of the Tetons, and a real workout considering the ~6,300 foot elevation starting point.
If you’re traveling through the area with an XC or trail bike, or park riding just isn’t your thing, Munger Mountain’s loops are easy to combine, ride in both directions, and explore. It’s easy to loop together 60-120 minutes of riding, or just keep lapping it if you want more. The Forest Service has info on the area, and you’ll find trail info on Trailforks, AllTrails and MTB Project.
And when you’re done riding, hit the Streetfood @ Stagecoach Bar for a perfectly giant and delicious plate of loaded fries. Trust me, worth it. Lots of other great food there, too, but Loaded Fries.
Jackson Hole Lodging, Food & Drink
For the budget-conscious, there’s The Hostel and you can bring a cooler. Otherwise, this is a resort in a resort town, and prices reflect that. We stayed at the Continuum, which was nice and comparatively reasonable. Expect most meals in and around the Teton Village area to be between $20-$35 during the day, and a bit more to a lot more in the evenings.
Hit the Mangy Moose for drinks, including a Sloshie, which was a fan favorite among our group. Food was also really good, but keep in mind that summer hours aren’t very late at many spots, so check hours to make sure a late ride in the long summer days doesn’t preclude a good meal.
Should you go to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort?
In terms of pure bike parks, this one ranks pretty good. There are enough trails to fill a single day, and enough variety to make it interesting. I’ve been to bike parks with higher quality trails and/or greater variety, but these aren’t far behind…maybe 7 out of 10. The Munger Mountain singletrack is closer to an 8.
What pushes JHMR to a solid recommendation is its proximity to the national parks and other amazing outdoor adventures. I want to go back with my family and try all the things. As an avid mountain biker, it’s nice to know that I could bust out for a big day of riding while they relax, and then we’re back onto other things with a conveniently located home base for all the activities.
Think of it as an adventure sports destination that also has some great riding.
Check out all the options, a Bike Park map, and more at JacksonHole.com.