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
  Download This Trail

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


Find More  

An E-Bike Secretarial Order

On August 29th, US Dept. of Interior Secretary David Bernhardt issued a game-changing order that gave BLM and National Park Service managers 30 days to craft new trail rules that no longer classify e-bikes as motorized and eliminate rules that ban them from nonmotorized trails.  That Order can be viewed HERE. The Order effectively permits e-bikes on any existing non-motorized …

Continue reading  

Southern Valley Hazardous Fuels Reduction Project

The Caribou-Targhee National Forest, Teton Basin Ranger District is currently in the planning process for a potential future hazardous fuels reduction project to take place in the next 2-5 years. The project aims to reduce wildland fire risk and severity by preventative measures such as prescribed fire and mechanical treatments. Falling within the NEPA process, the USFS is in the …

Continue reading  

Kicking Off the 2019 MBT Trail Fund!

Even though the snow continues to fall this April, we’ve laid out an ambitious summer trail work schedule here in the Tetons. We’ve put volunteer days on the calendar, have purchased new tools and tuned up our existing ones, written grants, secured permits and drawn up plans. It’s gonna be a great 2019 for trails! As one of the only …

Continue reading  

A Report from the 2019 Sustainable Trails Conference

MBT Trail Coordinator Chris Brule – It’s midnight, I pull up to the motel I booked for the next three nights. After witnessing uncomfortable interactions in front of my door, I proceed into my non-smoking room, repulsed by smells of cigarettes, dirty laundry and mildew. Skeptical, to say the least, I quickly found another hotel. Lesson one learned on my …

Continue reading  

Five Bills For Better Mountain Biking Need Your Help!

Congress is working on a package of outdoor recreation bills, many of which the national mountain bike community (People for Bikes, IMBA, etc.) has helped craft and has advocated for throughout this legislative session. It’s time to get these bills across the finish line. Please contact your representatives and tell them time is running out—you demand action for outdoor recreation! …

Continue reading  

MBT 2018 Year-End Report & Goals

Thanks to you all and sincerest thanks for the trust and partnership of the Caribou-Targhee National Forest, the Bridger-Teton National Forest, the City of Driggs, the City of Victor and the Town of Jackson. The trails we ride, build and maintain are administered by these folks and we’re only able to exist and thrive with their cooperation. We’re trying to raise …

Continue reading  

Horseshoe Canyon Trails Seasonal Closure and Survey Results

Horseshoe Canyon Winter Closure From Friday, November 30, 2018 – April 15, 2019, the Horseshoe Canyon Area will be CLOSED to all non-motorized and motorized recreation (this includes horses, bikes, hiking, dirt bikes, skis, etc. while snowmobiles are allowed only on designated routes including the Old Horseshoe Road & Packsaddle Road). For details, check out the USFS official Winter Travel …

Continue reading  

Win 2 VIP Experience Passes to Red Bull Rampage!

We’ve had a tremendous summer here in the Tetons, filled with events, rides, repaired trails and fresh new trails.  Our Annual Trail Maintenance program is winding down for the season and the Blair Drive Bike Park project has just about wrapped up. BUT… We still need your help in making sure these projects get fully funded. We have been presented a super fun …

Continue reading  

Weekly Trail Crew Work Report: October 1, 2018

Thank You! GIANT thanks to our 2018 Local Business Trail Fund Supporters! Thanks for the generous support of all the Individual Trail Fund Supporters who have helped get these guys off and running this season! As always, the outstanding work that these guys are able to do is only possible through your support. Take 2 minutes HERE and please pledge …

Continue reading  

Weekly Trail Crew Work Report: September 17, 2018

Thank You! GIANT thanks to our 2018 Local Business Trail Fund Supporters! Thanks for the generous support of all the Individual Trail Fund Supporters who have helped get these guys off and running this season! As always, the outstanding work that these guys are able to do is only possible through your support. Take 2 minutes HERE and please pledge …

Continue reading