When done by bicycle, these four adventures are favorites of locals.
// By Brigid Mander
Every spring, as soon as the weather allows, I enthusiastically ditch my car and use my bike to get around, whether running to the grocery store, shopping for clothes, riding to a trailhead, or meeting friends for dinner. Jackson Hole is an amazing and wonderfully easy place to get around by bike—minus the mountains surrounding us, it’s relatively flat, and there is an ever-increasing amount of amenities for cyclists. Thanks to pathways and bike lanes, you can ride around Jackson and from Jackson to Wilson, Teton Village, and even Grand Teton National Park separated from cars. Traffic jams and finding a parking spot aren’t issues on a bike.
We give you permission to gloat a little when you and your bike sail by traffic congestion on any of these itineraries.
JACKSON WEST—good eats with shopping and relaxing in a creekside park
From the Town Square, pedal east one block along Deloney Street to the Willow Street bike lane. Take a right and follow it to the Snow King bike lane. Hang left here and, in a little more than a mile, you’ll find yourself in front of Picnic cafe, where the pastries are as good as the cooked breakfast options are substantial. Fueled up, continue a block west on Maple Way to Target Plaza and Headwall Sports , an excellent gear consignment shop full of stuff you didn’t know you needed as well as outdoor adventure essentials. When you’re done at Headwall, retrace your ride back to Picnic and, just after the cafe, take a right onto Powderhorn Lane. Powderhorn dead ends into Crabtree Lane, but you can continue across a bike bridge to Russ Garaman Park . At the park, browse a Little Free Library or relax in the grass and enjoy Flat Creek burbling past. To get back to downtown, hop on the bike path and head upstream (it parallels Flat Creek for a while). When the pathway deposits you onto Elk Run Lane, you’re close to local’s favorite Pica’s Mexican Taqueria , where we recommend the margaritas and any dish that comes with the wet sauce.
JACKSON EAST—an art museum, lunch, and a hike
From the Town Square, pedal east on Deloney and hang a left on the Willow Street bike lane (to avoid traffic on the Square). Wrap around the front of the Teton County Rec Center and then you’ll find yourself at an intersection with Cache Street. Take a right and in about a half-mile, you’ll see a paved pathway start. Move from the bike lane to the pathway and enjoy the views of Sleeping Indian across the National Elk Refuge. About two miles up, a tunnel under the highway connects to the National Museum of Wildlife Art . This museum has a permanent collection of more than 5,000 artworks from artists including Carl Rungius, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Picasso. If you don’t want to pay the museum’s entrance fee ($18/adults; $16 for 65-plus; $8 for 5–18; 4 and under free), there’s a free 3/4-mile sculpture trail. Before leaving the museum, enjoy its restaurant, Palate, which has a bison gyro on the menu and an outdoor terrace overlooking the National Elk Refuge. Retrace your route to get back to downtown, but at the Broadway-Willow intersection, take a left instead of a right (a right brings you to the Town Square) and follow Broadway until almost its very end. A right onto Nelson Street and then, half a mile later, a left up to the hidden Nelson trailhead brings you to a spot where you’ll leave your bike for a short hike. A 1.8-mile lollipop loop starts (and ends) here; take a rest at its midpoint on a bench overlooking town.
WESTBANK—Teton views, a troll, and espresso
From Albertsons, cross Broadway Avenue and hop on the pathway that parallels Highway 22. Heading out of town, the ride is all Teton views. Four miles from Albie’s, a pedestrian/bike bridge over the Snake River has scenic pullouts. Once across the bridge, you’re in Rendezvous Park—R Park —where there are mellow walking trails, riparian areas, ponds, a picnic area, and Mama Mimi the giant wooden troll. Funded by JH Public Art, Mama Mimi is an interactive sculpture created out of repurposed materials by Danish artist Thomas Dambo. From R Park, ride a little more than one mile on the Wilson Centennial Pathway, which goes under the Village Road and through grassy meadows and Wilson neighborhoods before depositing you at a bike lane that you can take to “downtown” Wilson, where you can grab espresso and a bagel at Pearl Street Bagels . The bagelry has picnic tables out back on the banks of Fish Creek. Next door to the bagel shop is Wilson Backcountry Sports ,
a must-shop if you need anything bike related.
THE ASPENS EXPLORER—scenery, sweets, and shopping
This is the bike adventure for those staying in Teton Village . Leaving the Village, head south on the pathway, making sure to soak up views of the southern Tetons and the herds of cattle grazing in their shadow. After you roll over a bridge, look to the tops of the cottonwood trees for nests of ospreys and bald eagles. About four miles after leaving the Village, you’ll arrive at The Aspens , a commercial hub with an outpost of the popular bakery cafe Persephone; Nest, which sells women’s clothing and accessories; Wilson Book Gallery; Made, which carries a selection of small-batch homegoods, jewelry, and accessories curated to bring delight and smiles; Westside Wine and Spirits; and Aspens Market, which makes sandwiches that are perfect for a picnic on your return ride. JH