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Fat Tire Biking

About this activity

Looking for something new to try? Fat tire biking is one of the newest activities to gain traction in Jackson Hole. Fat bikes are off road bicycles outfitted with oversized tires designed for terrain like snow packed trails. Jackson is a mountain bikers paradise in the summer, and the winter variation is no different. Many of the area’s trail systems, like the popular Cache Creek drainage just on the outskirts of town, are home to some of the best fat biking around. “It’s a great way to get outside in the winter,” says Hal Wheeler, owner of the Hub Bicycles. Biking is prime on groomed, snow packed trails and as Wheeler says, best when the skiing is bad, making it the perfect rest day activity. “There are no lift lines at the trailhead,” he said.

Things might look a little different this year, so here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Plan ahead to ensure availability for your guided tour or rental.
  • Share the trail, many fat bike trails are open to other users including nordic skiers, snowmobilers, dog walkers and wildlife.
  • Having a car will help you get to different trailheads or sign up for a guided lesson that includes transportation.
  • Dress like you would for cross country skiing – wear warm clothes and make sure to dress in layers.

Where to start

With miles and miles of trails to ride, the best place to start is at a local bike shop, where most offer winter bike rentals. Call ahead to reserve your bike, as inventory can be limited. Ask for trail recommendations – staff will have firsthand knowledge of how the trails are riding and where will be suited best for the experience you want, whether you’re a casual cyclist or a experienced mountain biker. You can also check JHNordic.com for trail statuses, trip reports and grooming schedules.

If you’re looking for a little bit more guidance, Teton Mountain Bike offers guided fat bike tours through Grand Teton National Park and the National Elk Refuge. Within an hours drive you’ll find more trail networks and pockets of groomed trails. Turpin Meadows Ranch boasts 10 miles of groomed trails with Teton views and has guided tours and rentals on site. Across Teton Pass, at Grand Targhee Resort, fat biking has become part of the ski area’s culture. It’s home to one of the area’s best maintained trail networks with 13 miles of groomed single-track.

Clean, Careful and Connected

Fat biking is a safe outdoor activity during the pandemic, Wheeler says, as group sizes tend to be smaller and with so many trails there is room to spread out. But there are still precautions our local businesses are taking to keep our community, and you, safe as well as things you can do to recreate responsibly.

  • Remember to stay 6 feet away from other parties.
  • Wear a mask in case of any close encounters where you cannot maintain social distance. The CDC does not recommend neck gators or buffs for full protection against COVID-19. Dry, double layered face coverings are recommended. Bring an extra in case one gets wet.
  • Group sizes for lessons may be limited - look into private lessons for just your group.
  • Indoor services at bike and rental shops may be limited, so call ahead for information and prepare to spend more time outdoors.
  • While renting, ensure that the gear is being sanitized in accordance with CDC guidelines.
Fat Tire Biking Turpin  Large