Island Park Region Nordic Centers

Greater Yellowstone Ski Touring (Nordic) Centers
Yellowstone National Park
  Yellowstone Park - trails • Yellowstone has miles of trails for the adventurous skier and snowshoer. Whether you are skiing a groomed trail in a developed area or venturing into the backcountry, remember that you are traveling in wilderness with all its dangers: unpredictable wildlife, changing weather conditions, hydrothermal areas, deep snow, open streams, and avalanches. You have chosen to explore and experience the land on its own terms, but your safety is not guaranteed. Be prepared for any situation and know the limits of your ability. Most of Yellowstone is backcountry and managed as wilderness; many miles of trails are available for skiing. Track is set only on a few trails. All unplowed roads and trails are open to cross country skiing and showshoeing. When skiing on unplowed roadways used by snowmobiles, keep to the right to avoid accidents.
Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton Park - trails • There is nothing more overwhelming than first seeing the landscape of Grand Teton National Park, where mountain ranges capture hearts, not just the old, but even the young. Adventures abound when the winter rolls in, making it one of the top places for winter vacations activities, cross country ski beneath the majesty of the heart of the Teton Range. Since John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway stays open long after most of Yellowstone is closed for winter, Grand Teton becomes king of the hill during the season of snow. The user-friendly flats to Jenny Lake or the hills around Bradley Taggert Lakes offer something for everyone. Ski Grand Teton Park for endless terrain for exercise and viewings of wildlife and beautiful scenery.

Montana Nordic Centers

Rendezvous Ski Trails • (West Yellowstone)The Rendezvous Ski Trails in West Yellowstone MT were intially developed in the late 70's by the Swanson Family of West Yellowstone as a training location for the US Ski Team and as a place for their own pursuit of cross country competition.

Lone Mountain Ranch • (Big Sky) A winter ski vacation offers over fifty miles of professionally groomed ski trails for all levels of ability, packed snowshoe trails and alpine skiing at Big Sky Ski Resort just ten minutes away! Lone Mountain Ranch has comfortable, cozy cabins, a beautiful log dining lodge, dependable snow, top quality ranch gourmet meals and that 'extra special' Montana hospitality which makes Lone Mountain Ranch the skiing vacation of a lifetime.

Beehive Basin Ski Trail • (Big Sky Montana) Beehive Basin Ski Trail is a moderate 5 km single-track loop near Big Sky. The trail begins with a few switchbacks, which are a bit steep. The route then flattens out for about 1 mile before turning steeply uphill. Near the end is a very steep hill. The view is spectacular. Near the end of the trail you will find a shallow lake surrounded by vertical cliffs. Avalanche hazard areas are common. Ski route goes into Lee Metcalf Wilderness. Please note bicycling is prohibited in Wilderness Areas. This trail is not groomed. Length: 5 km most difficult trail. Trail Begins: Two miles north of Big Sky Resort, Trail Ends: Beehive Basin

skate skier, wind river mountains, pinedale wyoming
A skate skier and his dog enjoy the trail system in the Wind River Mountains above Pinedale Wyoming

Red Lodge Nordic Center •  Red Lodge Nordic Center is nestled at the base of Beartooth Mountains only three miles from downtown Red Lodge. Ski 15 kilometers of machine groomed trails, from open meadow trails to rolling loops through the Aspen trees. Four kilometers of the trail are rated easiest, seven are rated more difficult, and four are rated most difficult. The nordic center is the perfect place for the entire family to have a great day of skiing, snowshoeing, picnicking and picture taking. Trails are groomed weekly and a fee is required to use the trails. Seniors are discounted. Red Lodge Nordic Center is a project of the Beartooth Recreational Trails Association. The Center is west of Red Lodge on Highway 78, left past the cemetery on Fox Road, one mile then right on Smith Road 1/4 mile. Check this blog for current trail and weather conditions.

B Bar Ranch • (Paradise Valley ) groom 20–30 kilometers of trails for cross-country ski and snowshoe enthusiasts. Both skate-ski lanes and classic tracks are maintained daily. Our conditions predictably offer blue wax conditions much of the winter. With advanced notice and an additional charge, we are happy to arrange guided ski and snowshoe tours, and provide ski lessons on the ranch.

Wyoming Nordic Centers
Sharon Hunter skies at Deadmans Bar in Grand Teton National Park

Grand Targhee Nordic Center •  (Jackson Hole WY) Wildlife, mountains, pure air, groomed tracks and fresh powder come together and make for a cross-country mecca. Our comprehensive Nordic program provides many opportunities to explore the Tetons including lessons for every level. Our 15 kilometers of professionally groomed trails wind through wooded glades and scenic meadows. All trails accommodate both skating and classic cross-country skiing. The unspoiled beauty of this region is not to be missed!(Jackson Hole WY)

Jackson Hole Pathways and Nordic Ski Trails • (Jackson Hole WY) Parks and Recreation, Teton County/Jackson. Pathways and Nordic Ski Trails Maps. Home. Parks/Facilities. Pathways Map of Jackson.

Jackson Hole Nordic Center • (Jackson Hole WY) The Nordic Center at the Saddlehorn Activity Center offers a variety of activities with of 17K of professionally groomed track. Top of the line cross-country, telemark and snowshoe rentals are available. Class and private lessons in cross-country, skate, and telemark skiing will be offered daily. Snowshoe, cross-country, and telemark backcountry tours for all abilities are available by reservation. Dogsledding trips round-out our menu, by offering fun and exciting travel in front of the Teton Range.

Teton Pines Nordic Center • (Jackson Hole WY) A nationally known golf resort in Jackson Hole with 14 km groomed trails for classic and skate skiing Nationally known golf resort with 14 km groomed trails for classic and skate skiing. Lessons and heli skiing available. Lessons and heli skiing available.

Park County Nordic Ski Association • (Cody Wyoming)The all volunteer non-profit Park County Nordic Ski Association (PCNSA) features
over 25 kilometers of groomed trails at Pahaska Tepee/Sleeping Giant, the Eastern gateway of Yellowstone National Park, west of Cody, Wyoming. These trails are leased through
a special use permit from the U.S.F.S. – Shoshone National Forest.

Lander Nordic Ski Association • (Lander WY)There are more than 10 kilometers of cross country skiing trails at Beaver Creek Nordic Ski Area, 22 miles south of Lander on South Pass Highway 28. Beaver Creek Nordic Ski Area is also home to the only biathlon range in the state. Trails are also groomed at the Lander golf course, when conditions allow.

Wood River Valley Cross Country Ski Touring Park • (Meeteetse)The Wood River Valley Cross Country ski touring park is 23 miles southwest of Meeteetse. It showcases the Shoshone National Forest and offers 25 kilometers of groomed trails. There's a warming hut, ski rentals and a rental cabin.

Dubois • Twenty miles west of Dubois, there are four networks of trails totalling 16 miles. All trails are marked but none are groomed. There are trails for beginning, intermediate and advanced skiers, one of which starts on Togwotee Pass. For more information, call the Wind River Ranger District of Shoshone National Forest at 307-455-2466.

Idaho Nordic Centers
This Teton Canyon trail is in Wyoming but you access it from Driggs Idaho and is

Grand Targhee Nordic Center • (Teton Valley Idaho) East of Alta Wyoming you can find wildlife, mountains, pure air, groomed tracks and fresh powder come together and make for a cross-country mecca. Our comprehensive Nordic program provides many opportunities to explore the Tetons including lessons for every level. Our 15 kilometers of professionally groomed trails wind through wooded glades and scenic meadows. All trails accommodate both skating and classic cross-country skiing. The unspoiled beauty of this region is not to be missed!

Teton Valley trails and pathways • There is quite a variety of Nordic skiing in the Teton Valley. We groom three venues -Teton Canyon, Alta, and Teton Springs-on a regular basis with environmentally friendly 4-stroke Yamaha snowmobiles. All TVTAP venues are free to the community. Maintenance and care are supported by donations and volunteers. Grand Targhee Resort has Nordic skiing in Rick's Basin and requires a ski pass.

Eastern Idaho Park N' Ski Locations • Brimstone/Buffalo River Park N’ Ski Location: From Ashton travel N. on Hwy 20 approximately 26 miles.
The Brimstone trail is located .25 miles north of the Island Park Ranger Station on Hwy 20 near Ponds Lodge Resort. Bear Gulch/Mesa Falls Park N’ Ski Location: From Ashton travel E. on Mesa Falls Forest Hwy 47 approximately 12 miles. Fall River Ridge Park N’ Ski Location: From Ashton travel E on Mesa Falls Forest Hwy 47 approximately 6 miles then right onto Cave Falls Rd approximately 6 miles.

Harriman State Park • (Island Park Idaho) Harriman State Park is located 20 miles north of Ashton on Highway 20. There is a total of 21 miles of trails, and 10 of those are groomed, providing opportunities for all levels of skiing. Harriman is a wintering ground for the majestic trumpeter swan and is home to many other animals. A warming shelter and restrooms are provided at the trailhead. The $3 entrance fee is waived if you have a Park N' Ski permit on your vehicle.

Kelly Canyon Nordic Area  •  The Area includes 24 miles of cross-country ski trails, about 5 miles of snowshoe trails and a variety of backcountry skiing experiences including a parked, north-facing powder ski slope where you can sample backcountry skiing with minimum effort and hazard. The KCNA starts around at about 5900ft. and reaches elevations as high as 6700ft. A pleasant warming hut can be found at the base of a north-facing backcountry ski slope for day or overnight use, while a second warming hut is located at Morgan Summit.


Regional Back Country Ski Tours

Rendezvous Ski and Snowboard Tours • Established in 1986, Rendezvous Ski and Snowboard Tours operates three backcountry ski yurts high on the western slope of the Tetons near Jackson Hole and Grand Targhee Ski Resort. Our huts provide access to the Jedediah Smith Wilderness Area and Grand Teton National Park, where over 500 inches of legendary light, dry powder snow falls each winter. A variety of terrain from high mountain ridges and broad, low-angled powder bowls, to the steep and deep combine to make some of the best backcountry ski terrain in the lower 48.

Exum Mountain Guides • Exum offers group and private avalanche training, alpine and nordic ski tours, and ski and snowboard descents of the remarkable mountains of the Teton area. You will gain basic avalanche awareness, improve your skiing and snowboarding technique, and practice the use of avalanche rescue transceivers. Technical skills, such as steep skiing, rock and ice climbing, and rappelling are practiced during ski and snowboard mountaineering trips.

Adventure Stories

Trans Teton Ski Tour
By Matt Hart • Today was the final day of my AMGA Ski Guiding course. The last two days we spent crossing the Teton mountain range. This trip was amazing. Sunday morning we started the tour at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. Our group of eight students and two instructors were on our way up the tram a half hour before it opens at 9am. It had snowed three inches the night before and it was extremely windy. I could feel the cumulative concern in the tram that morning. I think we all felt a bit worried as we heard the gusts at the top of the tram were reaching 50 mph and blowing the tram all over the place. It felt like an elevator to the arctic as we got off the tram at the top of Rendezvous... ding. We headed South West out of the ski area boundary above Cody bowl. After a short traverse we had to climb the top of Cody Mountain, it was a rocky and snowy face so we threw our skis on our packs and scrambled up.

From here Hans was our lead guide and he did a great job of getting us some pretty amazing knee deep powder turns in a lightly gladed area (here is a video of me skiing it). The weather was such that we were the only ones in the backcountry and on my own I would not have chosen a two day trans Teton trip in a snow storm and 50 mph winds. Our trip had started out pretty well. We all sort of helped navigate to our traverse. We traveled North West across the Middle and South Fork of Granite Creek and up a little ridge just before the climb to Housetop Mountain.

We had planned on camping around Housetop at 10,537 feet but that with the low visibility and high winds we decided to stop short. We camped below the ridge in a safe batch of trees. Here we ---------------------------->More

Winter in the Snow; Tenting and Telemarking in the Tetons
By David Noland • LEANING wearily on our ski poles, the three of us stood at the crest of Beard Mountain, a smooth, rolling, 10,500-foot summit in Wyoming's Jedediah Smith Wilderness. My friend Ted Buhl, an accomplished back-country skier, grinned like a madman in anticipation of a dream run: vast expanses of feathery, untracked, knee-deep powder and a brilliant blue sky with the jagged peaks of the Grand Teton Range as a backdrop. Best of all, there was not another human being within miles -- a just reward for the grueling four-hour climb on skis from our camp in the valley below.

I, on the other hand, could manage only a tentative smile. A novice back-country skier, I was a long way from the gentle, packed cross-country ski trails I'd happily shuffled along for years near my Hudson Valley home. I suspected that my usual technique to avoid oncoming trees -- fall down as quickly as possible -- might not suffice here. "Just stay crouched and bounce up and down a little to get a feel for the powder," said our guide, Glenn Vitucci. "You'll be fine."

Perhaps he was right. An expert skier, naturalist and an 11-year veteran of the Teton back country, Glenn had inspired confidence from our first meeting three days earlier----------------------------------> more

A Sawtooth Scene
by Jonah Cantor • There was this one picture that kept appearing on the tabletop throughout the months that I lived at Johnny’s place. A mountain with two summits dominated the 8x10. An impressive hatchet-split feature tore the saw-toothed summit towers in two. To this, Johnny would point and proclaim with reverence, “The Heyburn Couloir.”

It was his dream hatched during an internship two years before hauling sleds, stocking huts and skiing on the clock for Sun Valley Trekking (SVT), a backcountry hut and yurt operation in the Sawtooths and neighboring ranges of Idaho’s Sun Valley. The previous season, while recovering from a serious climbing accident, skiing the Heyburn had become an obsession.------------------------> More

Cowboy Corn - old boys and outlaws take on the Tetons
By Adam Howard • Piloting the land ship at a comfortable 60 miles per hour up the Wilson, Wyoming side of Teton Pass, Peter belts out a few lines of the Ian Tyson country track playing in the tape deck, while his hired man Patrick Gilroy points out some of his winter's skiing exploits on folds of earth south of the road. It's the first week of June and ample late season snow still lays in the shadows and wherever cornices grew big in winter. Both men are just back from a three-week hold up in a tent by extreme cold on Alaska's Denali, and I sense they're ready to cut loose.

  "What's cool about skiing in June," Peter says as he reaches to turn down the volume, "is when you're not skiing you're hanging out in your shorts."   He mashes his sneakered foot on the accelerator to get around a slow moving camper with Missouri plates and with that we crest over the pass and are now plunging toward Idaho.   "Plus," he adds. "With a fast horse you're pretty close to the bar if you need to re-supply." -----------------------------------> More

Chronology of North American Ski Mountaineering and Backcountry Skiing
By Louis Dawson • This chronology is always being improved and updated. Note that the focus here is ski mountaineering and backcountry skiing that involves climbing mountains and skiing down them. While less emphasis is placed on ski traverses, these are considered as well, provided such traverses cover mountain terrain and involve climbs and descents as an integral part of the route (other than ski traverses included for context). One of the most important milestones in this list of events is the first time a particular mountain is skied down from the exact summit or near. While many mountains in North America were explored by people on skis in the early 1900s, the actual event of a person climbing to the top and skiing back down may have occurred at a date later than the first ski exploration. I've attempted to note both events when possible. My picks for the most important ski mountaineering events in North America are marked with a yellow background. -------------------> More

Avalanche - Highland Bowl, Colorado
By Louis Dawson • Aspen, Colorado. For myself and John "Izo" Isaacs, the morning of February 19, 1982 dawned clear, calm and filled with excitement. At 3:30 AM we strapped climbing skins to our skis, and began the long climb via the Highlands Ski Area to the summit of Highlands Peak. We intended to ski Highland Bowl, the stupendous amphitheater formed by the north and south ridges of the peak. Hundreds of avalanches fall here each winter. Most of these grind to a halt on the low angled "flats" midway between the summit and valley. But during heavy winters, monster slides roar almost a vertical mile to the valley floor.
Back in 1982, Highlands Bowl was closed by law to most skiers (it is now part of the ski area's "extreme" terrain). The ski-patrol would take the occasional guided tour, but neither Izo nor I cared to deal with red tape, nor have someone tell us where to ski. ------------------------------------> More

Safety on steep snow - Ice ax, crampons, and self arrest technique
By Lou Dawson • Climbers and skiers die every year from sliding falls on snow. Thus, no discussion of safe snow climbing and steep skiing would be complete without a review of the self arrest -- the time honored method for stopping such falls.
For snow climbers and mountain skiers the self arrest has four forms. These depend on gear. While climbing, you'll need to know how to self arrest with your ice ax. While skiing, you can use specialized self arrest grips on your ski poles. These are less effective than an ice axe, yet skiing while holding an ice ax is dangerous and awkward, so arrest grips can be useful. If you have ski poles, but no arrest grips or ice ax, you can perform a self arrest with your pole tips. This is awkward and ineffective. Lastly, if you have nothing, you can try to arrest with your hands and boot toes. This is bogus -- but good to practice so you know why you need a tool for an effective arrest.------------------------------> More


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