Southern Valley Recreation Project

The Southern Valley Recreation Project (SVUITP) is bringing new, multi-user, beginner and intermediate trails to the Mike Harris area of Caribou-Targhee National Forest. This long-awaited project will add nearly 20 miles of new multi-use trails to the Mike Harris area in Southern Teton Valley. 

8/31/17 Update

The trail crew began scouting the Pole Canyon connector earlier this Spring and the flagging was approved by Scott Bossell of the Teton Basin Ranger District the first week of August.
On August 6th, 40 volunteers organized by Teton Valley Trails and Pathways, a Forest Service crew, and MBT’s trail crew collaborated in memory of AJ Linnell to begin connecting Sherman Springs to Mike Harris. You amazing people created 1500′ of ridable singletrack in just one day. Thank you for all of your effort!

The Mountain Bike the Tetons Trail Crew proceeded to work tirelessly to progress the project over the next few weeks. A Montana Conservation Corps crew was dispatched to help them finish digging the hand dug part of the trail on August 21st and they managed to dig all the way to the BPA road near the Nemo/Grumpy intersection. The trail is ridable, but still requires a few days of machine work as well as hand digging. You can join us for our first Maintenance Monday of the fall season on September 11th. Event details can be found here.

Current Project Status: Fundraising and Building Trail

What is the Southern Valley Recreation Project?

The Southern Valley Recreation project is a community effort to bring beginner and intermediate level trails to Victor in the Mike Harris area. The project area is located in Teton Valley’s southern end and the Mike Harris campground is easily accessible from town by either Old Jackson Highway or Highway-33. The proposal as presented by the USFS includes adopting existing user created trails, improving existing trails like Pole Canyon and Mike Sell, building a new connector from Mike Harris to Pole Canyon, creating a new singletrack connector across the highway from Rush Hour to return to Mike Harris and also incorporates winter grooming for nordic skiing and fat biking.


The Project

The proposed action has 5 components that include construction of trail segments and recreational facilities. New trails and trail head amenity construction, a new bridge over trail creek, packed/groomed winter routes and campground expansion are proposed. We encourage you to read the entire scoping document. It’s well-written, clear and concise and makes a strong case for the project.

MBT and the entire community is grateful to TBRD Recreation Specialist Joe McFarlane, District Ranger Jay Pence and the entire Teton Basin Ranger District for the great deal of effort and time they have dedicated to the project. Please let them know you appreciate their efforts in your comments!

Project History

From the City of Victor: In January, 2014 City of Victor Mayor Zach Smith wrote a letter to Jay Pence, District Ranger for the Teton Basin Ranger District of the Caribou-Targhee National Forest, proposing the Southern Valley Urban Interface Trails Project. In March 2014 the City of Victor received a response letter from the Forest Service noting a number of questions related to the Mayor’s letter, and details on how the Southern Valley Urban Interface Trails Project proposal, if accepted, would have to go through the NEPA process.

In the spring and summer of 2014 the Mayor and Victor City Council directed staff to request qualifications from consultants to lead the Southern Valley Urban Interface Trails Project and coordinate with the Forest Service through the NEPA process; due to financial constraints a consultant was not hired. Victor City Council also voted to allocate funding to the project in the 2015 and several local non-profits have committed to donating funding to the project.

In late summer and fall of 2014, the City of Victor began working with a committee of user group representatives and the Teton Area Advisory Forum to come up with preliminary answers to the question’s in the Forest Service’s March 2014 letter, to talk about potential new trail routes and uses, and to plan for a public input meeting. Some members of the user group committee were active in the 2010-2011 Southern Valley Trails Project.

You may access complete documents, maps and proposed trail use matrix from the City of Victor here: Southern Valley Urban Interface Trails Project.