Adventure Journal: Cross-Country Skiing Destinations
Thursday, December 14th, 2017
Tags: Adventure Journal
As we patiently wait for winter to arrive in Grand Teton National Park, we can't help but think about upcoming adventures during this magical season. The Foundation will be grooming the Teton Park Road two times per week this winter, weather permitting. As soon as there is enough snow in the valley, grooming will begin. Be sure to visit www.gtnpf.org for the most up-to-date information.
Once snow does fall, the 14-mile road between Bradley-Taggart and Signal Mountain is a destination in and of itself. Winter travelers can go by foot, snowshoe, or ski and enjoy the splendor of winter in the Tetons. The region also offers a variety of terrain choices and scenic destinations from half day trips to full day tours—there's a little something for everyone!
Park at Bradley-Taggart
Jenny Lake: 9 miles round trip, 200 feet of elevation gain
This full day tour will take you gliding by the Cathedral Group to one of Grand Teton’s most iconic destinations. Jenny Lake is the busiest place in the park in the summer, but if you make the effort to ski there in the winter, solitude and stunning scenery are guaranteed.
Lucas Fabian Cabins: Roughly 5 miles round trip, less than 100 feet of elevation gain
The Lucas Fabian Homestead is one of Grand Teton’s most cherished, and seldom seen, historic districts. The cabins were built by homesteader Geraldine Lucas who became the second woman to climb the Grand Teton (Learn more about the unique history of this area).
To reach the cabins, head north along the Teton Park Road. Once you reach the turn-off for the Climber’s Ranch (second road north of the trailhead), make your way down the road and cross Cottonwood Creek. After you cross the bridge, head north along the west bank of the creek. You will cross a tributary to the creek and then continue north until you reach an open meadow where you will find the cabins. The view from the cabins is incredible and provides an excellent lunch destination!
Park at Signal Mountain Lodge:
Signal Mountain: 10.4 miles round trip, 1,700 feet of elevation gain
Head south from the Signal Mountain Lodge parking lot along the Teton Park Road. After approximately one-half mile, the Signal Mountain road will be on your left. Take this snow-covered, unplowed road trail to the summit. If you find yourself tired en route, there are fabulous views of Jackson Lake along the way that make great resting spots or final destinations. The view from the top is spectacular, offering vistas of the Tetons, Gros Ventres, and Absarokas.
Once the surface of Jackson Lake has a thick layer of ice (typically late December/early January), the snow on top provides a magnificent place for winter adventure. You can ski or snowshoe as far as you want, and beautiful views of Mount Moran and other northern Teton peaks are sure to impress any park enthusiast.
The winter entrance fee into Grand Teton is $10 for a one day pass and $30 for a 7 day vehicle pass. Always remember to bring plenty of water, snacks, warm layers, eye protection, and sunscreen, and be sure to check the weather before you go. It is essential that you know how to use your gear and make wise terrain choices while recreating in the winter. See you in the park!
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