Yesterday I took a ride down Phillip’s Canyon for the first time in a couple seasons. I took sort of a roundabout way getting there as the only other trail I hadn’t mapped on the pass was Snotel. Starting on Arrow, I turned onto and pedaled up Phillip’s Ridge, then took Snotel back down to Arrow and out towards the canyon. This was the first time I had ever ridden Snotel and was pleasantly surprised. At just over a mile there’s not a lot to it but several tight switchbacks, a couple of straight shoots you can open up on, and a pass through a wildflower filled meadow make it a really fun and scenic piece of trail.
I have to say that all of the trails that were added to the north side of Teton Pass over the last few years are awesome and a great addition to that area. But, after the completion of Arrow the original route to Phillip’s Canyon, which took the Ski Lake to Phillipp’s Pass trail, was closed to biking. That was a great climb with a couple of really fast downhill sections and the best view of the canyon. I ‘ll definitely miss this route for biking.
Phillip’s Canyon hasn’t changed much over the years. It’s still one of the more technical descents in the area with lots of rocks and roots. It does look as though a couple sections have been re-routed and a log bridge was installed over the creek crossing about halfway down. Otherwise, nothing new here.
The trail conditions are pretty optimal considering how dry it’s been, all of the trails I rode were still very firm. Phillip’s Ridge has had some improvements made to the uphill since the last time I rode it. It’s definitely nowhere near as technical as it was. Most of the jagged rocks have been removed and the larger rocks have all been ramped up to. It looks like someone even took buckets full of gravel up there and patched all of the potholes. I kind of liked it before but it’s definitely easier now.
I updated the trail map pages for both Snotel and Phillip’s Canyon as well as adding several photos of each to the gallery. I’ve also started to combine the trails I do have into a larger area map. Keep in mind that I have a lot of trails to map still so this will be very incomplete for quite a while.