Grand Targhee Loop | Mountain Bike the Tetons

Grand Targhee Loop

The Grand Targhee Loop is 25 miles on 100-percent singletrack IMBA Epic Ride. It features a mix of smooth, intermediate-friendly trail with plenty of technical sections to keep skilled riders alert and excited. The route winds through alpine meadows blanketed in wildflowers, forests of pine and aspen trees and jaw-dropping views of the Tetons. Multiple trail options allow for riders to tailor this experience to their liking.

Grand Targhee Resort is excited to announce that their Grand Targhee Loop, IMBA Epic Ride which includes a combination of many of the trails at the resort has been named as an Epic Ride by the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA).

Since 1989, IMBA has been bringing out the best in mountain biking by encouraging low-impact riding, volunteer trail work participation, cooperation among different trail user groups, grassroots advocacy, and innovative trail management solutions. Epic rides celebrate true backcountry riding experiences that are technically and physically challenging. Rides must be more than 80 percent singletrack and at least 20 miles in overall length.

Over the past few years, Grand Targhee Resort has added over 20 miles to their mountain bike trails. This summer the resort was able to put the last few trails in place that comprises the Grand Targhee Loop. With the addition of Perma-Grin, More Cowbell, Ain’t Life Grand, and 38 Special, the resort was able to increase mileage on their premier singletrack trail system. The resort’s new trails offer spectacular views of the surrounding area; More Cowbell gives riders expansive views of Leigh Canyon; while Ain’t Life Grand boasts views of Idaho, Wyoming and Montana, and 38 Special rounds out the Grand Targhee Loop and offers spectacular views of the Tetons. In addition to an extensive reroute of Quakie Ridge, the resort also added Pika Traverse, Shoshone, and the Blackfoot Cut-off to offer better access to their premier cross country trails.

The Grand Targhee Loop officially opened during the 2015 summer and is a well-crafted, 100% singletrack trail beginning and ending at Grand Targhee Resort’s base area. The ride is approximately a 27 mile loop that winds through alpine meadows covered in wildflowers, coniferous and aspen forests, and high alpine terrain. The ride features jaw-dropping views of the majestic Tetons, the greater Yellowstone region, and Teton Valley below.

Andy Williams, the Events and Trail Manager for the resort said, “The great thing about the Grand Targhee Loop is that you can ride it from both directions and it is just as much fun. It gives you a different perspective and feel to the ride based on direction, climbing routes, and downhill sections.” He goes on to say, “This is one ride that will challenge you, but keep you going because the scenery is just as epic as the trail”.


This ride is accessed via the base are at Grand Targhee Resort in Alta, WY


This loop can be ridden in either direction depending on whether you want to get the big climbs on Peaked Mountain out of the way first or warm up on the rolling terrain of Rick’s Basin (I prefer to get the climb up Peaked done while I’m still fresh). In the case you choose the former route, start at the base area of the resort and climb Action Jackson (note: map needs to be updated to include this new trail), ride Buffalo Soldier counter-clockwise, traverse Lightning Ridge along the last mile of Andy’s, descend Colter’s Escape, climb 38 Special to Peaked, add on the Ain’t Life Grand Loop and continue down Peaked back to Andy’s and down to the base are. You might want to grab a cold drink and or a snack at this point. After you’re ready, pedal up the Pika Traverse, at the junction with Rick’s Basin head right and climb up More Cowbell, descend Perma-Grin, turn right on Rick’s Basin, hang another right onto Quakie Ridge, add on the North Woods loop (better ridden clockwise from the second entrance) and continue counter-clockwise back onto Quakie Ridge by taking another right, reconnect with Rick’s Basin, tack on Snowdrift loop (ridden counter-clockwise) by hanging your next right, rejoin Rick’s Basin and keep going back to Blackfoot Cutoff. I really like to finish this ride off by climbing Shoshone and descending one of Grand Targhee’s flow trails in the bike park, such as Otter Slide, or my personal favorite, Chutes and Ladders. If you want to say you’ve ridden everything, start your ride with a warm up lap around Greenhorn and Jolly Green Giant. Alternatively, you could split this ride in half, tackling just the Peaked Mountain or just the Rick’s basin trails at once. Either way, finish your day with a cold one at the Trap Bar or Branding Iron Grill.

Grand Targhee Loop
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The Grand Targhee Loop is 25 miles on 100-percent singletrack IMBA Epic Ride. It features a…

Distance: 35.89 km (22.3 mi)

Difficulty: Very Difficult

Min Elevation: 2400 m (7873 ft)

Max Elevation: 2788 m (9148 ft)

Total Elevation +/-: 1187 m (3895 ft) / - 1178 m (3866 ft)

Min Grade: -18.2 %

Max Grade: 19.9 %

Recorded: 6/13/2015 2:05PM


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