Thursday, March 05, 2020

Winter Fat Biking at Cache Creek

The next part of my fat biking adventure in Jackson was to ride the trails at Cache Creek. I toyed with the idea of riding out to Teton Village but that wouldn't have been half as fun as riding here. The shop that I rented the bike from also highly recommended that I ride there.

I rented a Salsa Mukluk. Really light frame sporting two 4.8 wide tires that had a bouncy feel to it. It was shifting a little wonky and wouldn't hold certain gears but I wasn't going to take it back to the shop and then come back again. 

While riding through town it was still cold enough to warrant a jacket. I brought thermal tights and a long sleeved jersey, as well as wearing a thermal shirt and a wicking T-Shirt underneath. I also wore my ski helmet. The temperature, however, was expected to be in the upper 30s and with the road mostly in the sun I started taking things off.

The shop told me to look for the trails on the south side of the road but after the parking lot I still hadn't seen anything. On the climb up Cache Creek Road I stopped and chatted with a woman riding the other direction who suggested that I first climb to the end of the road and then turn around then pick up the single track that is south of the road.  I continued climbing and saw the entry points she was talking about.

Cache Creek Road, which I first started out on also had a groomed cross country ski track. I think the main road was groomed every three days a week, however, the road turned into Upper Cache Creek and a sign said that it was only groomed on Tuesdays. The road was a lot narrower and the climbing got a little harder.

It's 4.6 miles to the end of the groomed trail

One thing that I hadn't realized until I found out first hand was that the snow pack was 3 to 4 feet deep. If you were standing on something that had been groomed, you wouldn't have realized it, however, if you stepped off, as I did, I sank in snow past my knees!

Of course that's when I realized that the trail signs that I kept seeing were actually much higher.

The trail from here looked like it was snow shoe only.

It was hard to see anything in the canyon but you could just make out Cache Peak from one part of the road.

After a quick snack and a big draw of water I turned around to ride some single track!

The first trail I road was unnamed it really just paralleled Cache Creek. It was really flowy and had a lot of fun turns it.

Then I found the Hagen Trail.

The Hagen Trail is very flowy and swoopy with some short ups and a few sections where you can get some nice air. According to my new Garmin (Edge 530) I have had 0.4 seconds of hang time, woo hoo! The Hagen Trail went through some dense pine forests and the shade really cooled things off but in the cleared out areas it got hot, especially if you were climbing.

I had so much fun on the upper section of Hagen that I climbed back up and hit again.  I never did see the continuation of the trail and found myself back on Cache Creek Road once again. I did notice a woman jogging down the road and just as I was passing her she headed off onto another trail that I had not seen so I turned around and took the same trail. It was a little narrower than the other trails and it was in full sun.

I passed the woman on the trail and then a little further down while taking a sharp turn I wiped out. It was a full yard sale. Recovering, and riding back to Cache Creek Road I picked up the Hagen Trail again.

While on the trail my watch alerted me to a meeting at work that started in 15 minutes - don't think I was going to make it. From the Hagen Trail I turned onto the Ferrins Trail and it started climbing, and climbing. It also got narrower, too. I didn't see any shoe tracks in the snow like I did on Hagen.  I kept looking at the Trail Forks map to figure out when I could get off this trail and head back.

They say in Jackson that you can never get enough of seeing the The Grand, which is what the they call the highest peak in the Grand Teton Range. While riding Ferrins I was able to see the The Grand in varying views that made riding this section all the worth while even through it was feeling like Napoleon's Death March.

There was even this cut through the trees that lead straight down into Jackson that had a unique view of The Grand as well.

Finally I came to an intersection with the Hagen Highway and headed back towards the trail head. The Hagen Highway was a lot of fun, too. I went back for another helping but missed a turn and wound were I started again. It was just as well because there were a lot more people walking here making it difficult to have fun.

On the way out I noticed this sign saying that eBikes weren't allowed.

I rode around the north part of Jackson looking for a store to buy a beer and then eat my sandwich but didn't find anything. I did, however, find this park with a groomed Cross Country Ski track in it. Eventually, I found a park bench that was dry and I could sit and eat my lunch.

Only the snow was at the same level as the seat.

It was still very relaxing after riding 17 miles.

What a great day!

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