Got back on the road again today and climbed out of Jackson’s Hole to Idaho, about 60 miles to the USFS Mike Harris Campground east of Victor.
I had a wonderful three day weekend in a Grand Teton and Yellowstone. We tried to tour Yellowstone on Saturday, and made it past the South Gate, but a snowstorm and multiple accidents lead them to close the park road and we had to turn around and go back to Jackson Lake lodge. So we got up very early on Sunday and did the whole Yellowstone tourist thing – geysers ✔️, bison ✔️, elk ✔️, watefalls ✔️, and the colorful Grand Canyon on Yellowstone. We made it back to Jackson Lake in time for our evening dinner cruise and catered picnic on Elk Island, and on the road back to the lodge a pair of young grizzly bears stopped traffic and capped our day.
This morning’s ride was just a pleasure cruise through Grand Teton, which has established bike lanes and bike paths for most of the route from Jenny Lake to Moose. The ride was studded with grand views of the Tetons, of course. From Moose to Teton Village, I rode the narrow Moose-Wilson road, partly upaved. In Teton Village, I met Robin for a tram ride to the top of Rendezvous Mountain ((the Jackson Hole ski mountain) and we lunched on waffles and beer at the summit snack shop.
The afternoon ride was more of an exertion – the 2400’ climb up and over Teton Pass. Fortunately, at least you don’t have to ride up on busy Route 22 – the old Teton Pass road has been converted into a biking and hiking path, so at least it was a peaceful two hours of exertion. And what a climb it was! This is the steepest grade I have seen since Pennsylvania, and it was relentless, with no breaks or drops. At least about a third of the way up there were sitting benches by a lovely emerald green pond and cascade in the wilderness. After that the old road began a relentless series of switchbacks, in view of the backside of some ski area still covered with snow. I was pressure breathing and taking it slow, stopping for pictures every half mile or so. A few mountain bikers passed me going up – they were riding up the paved path and riding down the steep single track mountain bike trails carved into the pass.
Eventually, the old road made one final switchback before rising to the grade of the busy highway right at the summit of the Pass, at 8500′.
The ride down the Idaho side was fast, but I had to ride the brakes to keep from passing the car traffic slowing for the curves. Eventually the road flattened out into Idaho, and, a mile later, the Mike Harris Campground nestled in the woods, where there were still plenty of sites left and Robin arrived soon with beer and food for dinner.