Earlier this week Jake and I spent the afternoon riding the trails at Grand Targhee. The trail crew up there has been extremely busy this season. First we took a couple laps on their new beginner trail called Greenhorn. Only being a few weeks old, it obviously still needs work but is well on it’s way. At this point most of the path has been cut in by a mini excavator and not much else. From my understanding there is still a section missing which will tie the current end of the trail back into the beginning. As is, it puts you out near the cat shop and horse stables so you either have to pedal back up through the lower lot or turn around and ride it in reverse. This one is pretty short, it only takes around 10 minutes to ride it from end to end, but once it’s been buffed out it should be a pretty fun trail for novices or a great warm up ride before heading over to the Rick’s Basin trails.
Afterwards we pedaled up the Lightning Ridge trail. This was put in sometime last summer and serves as a single track alternate route to Mill Creek instead of the Peaked snowcat road. This trail is in great shape with only one small patch of snow remaining and the rest ranging from tacky to dry but firm. Once at the top of Lightning Ridge we decided to explore the new Lightning Loop trail being worked on. This trail basically circles Lightning Peak while throwing in quite a few twists and turns along the way. Before I continue I must say that this trail is nowhere near being finished at the moment. Several sections are nothing more than pin flags and faint scratches while other sections have just barely had the excavator run over them. I’m not sure when this is slated to be finished but hopefully that will be really soon. This is going to be a must ride addition to Mill Creek no matter if you’re riding up from the bottom or coming over from the resort. Aside from the amazing view of the valley you’ll see the 4 peaks and Treasure Mountain at least half a dozen times during this ride. We rode this back to the Lightning Ridge trail and returned to the base of the resort. This was the first time I’ve ridden Lightning Ridge in the direction as I’m usually just taking it to get to Mill but I have to say it was really fun. After having done so I realized that it’s a great little out and back on it’s own and will be an awesome ride once the loop is finished.
From the base we took a ride up the lift and finished the day with a lap on the Targhee Super D race course. This will be the first year of the race, being sponsored by Grand Targhee, TVTAP, a slew of other local businesses, and a couple of big names like SRAM and FOX, as the main event for the final day of the 3rd annual Wydaho Mountain Bike Festival (July 27 – 29). The course starts at the top of the Dreamcatcher lift. From there it heads down the Grand Traverse to Buffalo Drop and Sidewinder to the base of the resort. After that you’ll pedal up Lightning Ridge to the new Colter’s Escape trail and continue down Mill Creek to the finish in Teton Canyon. From Start to finish this ride will be nearly 12.5 miles and descend around 4,000 feet.
A little more info on the Colter’s Escape trail. This is awesome. Another new trail built by the Targhee crew in the last month or so, this eliminates the sketchy descent down the gravel road from Lightning Ridge to Mill Creek and probably double to triples the length. Of course it still needs a little bit of work but not that much really. A few of the burms could probably to be carried a little further but otherwise all it needs are some riders. It’s actually pretty well packed down considering how new it is. I imagine they’re trying to have this one ready to go for the race at the end of the month. It seems that TVTAP has the same plans for Mill Creek which they’ll be re-routing later this week (July 7).
Also, I updated the following trail map pages and added photos of each to the gallery:
On Mill Creek I updated the start to the junction of Colter’s Escape. I guess I’ll be recording that one again soon though. I do still have a few trails to record at Grand Targhee but should have those done this next week.