Winter Trail Running in Teton Valley

I am a runner, but I haven’t always been and it surprises me even now to say that.  I always ran some, when the trails were too muddy for bikes, or there wasn’t enough snow to ski, but after my son was born time got more precious and running seemed like the easiest way to get quick exercise outside.  If you are a runner yourself then you already know that it can be fun and addictive.  It wasn’t long before I found myself running several days a week year round.  Lately I have been trying to take it to the trails even in the winter as I much prefer to trail run when possible.

It seems somewhat ridiculous to be trail running in the Tetons when I should be skiing, but I do that too and I don’t always have time to ski.  How does one go about trail running in the Tetons in winter?  Follow the snowmobiles!  The Tetons got very little snow the middle half of January this year so after some time the regular snowmobile routes into the hills become nicely packed down.  All you need is some layered clothing, shoes with good traction, and maybe a pair of Kahtoola Microspikes for even more traction.

Running on the packed snow left behind by snowmobiles is much easier than I first imagined especially after several days without new snow.  There are hundreds of miles of snowmobile tracks to follow and I even discovered some new trails I didn’t know about, they most likely don’t exist in the summer but the snowmobilers create them each winter.

Here’s a few photos and few videos from my run up Darby Canyon last weekend.

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Teton Valley Trail Running

The Trail Running in Teton Valley is fantastic. Stemming from a strong culture of outdoor activities, mainly mountain biking, the trail network in Teton Valley Idaho has become very impressive. Nearly every canyon in Teton Valley all the way around the valley features a trail head many connecting to adjacent trails and canyons.

Over the next couple of months I want to highlight some of my favorite trails around the valley. Stay tuned for photos and detailed trail reports for each trail.

Clear Skies and dry trails,

Chris

Pro Guide Direct

Pro Guide Direct

Teton Valley Trail Runs

Victor and Driggs Idaho are surrounded on three sides by some truly amazing mountains.  The Tetons and the Big Holes offer great recreational opportunities.  Hunting, Fishing, Horseback Riding, Mountain Biking, Hiking, Backpacking, Camping and Trail Running literally surround the valley.

In just minutes from anywhere in the valley you can find yourself in the Bridger-Teton National Forest, great trails leave from every major canyon all the way around the valley.  North Leigh, South Leigh, Teton, Darby, Fox Creek, Moose Creek, Pole, Horseshoe, and many more all offer excellent trail heads.  All these access points make Teton Valley a great place to recreate, and while I love to hike, fish, ski, bike, lately I have been doing a fair amount of trail running.  Whether you are in for an all day endurance effort in the Tetons or a quick after work run, Teton Valley has a trail for you.

A couple of weeks ago I did an 18 mile run from Darby Canyon to Teton Canyon, using the Teton Crest Trail to link up the two drainages.  It was a great run and amazing to get that far back in the Tetons.  This afternoon I did a quick after work run on the Aspen trail just East of Driggs, it’s nice to escape the computer and cell phone for at least an hour a day.

From Teton Valley to Gooseberry Mesa…Quick

If you live in Teton Valley Idaho or know somebody who does then you know what kind of winter we have been having.  It has snowed pretty much every 36 hours since October 26th, sun has peaked out occasionally but there has just been a lot of snow and clouds.   I like winter and have done a ton of skiing this year, averaging at least two days a week if you include morning laps up Glory on my way to work, but when April rolls around your mind starts to switch gears.

My brother planted the seed, sending me an email and asking about at desert trip.  Then the next question backpacking or moutain biking?  We decided on mountain biking and the destination, Gooseberry Mesa, located just South of Zion National Park in Southern Utah.  I have heard about “The Goose” for years from various friends and mountain bike enthusiasts and even tried to make down there a year ago but we were forced to stay off the mesa due to weather and chose to ride at lower elevations closer to St. George.

It’s a long haul from Driggs to Gooseberry Mesa….over 10 hours according to Google Maps, and that’s just about right, but with a forecast for 80 degrees and full sun it was just too tempting.

We camped and rode up on the mesa for the weekend and the weather, camping and trails met all expectations.  The riding was spectacular with lots of fun little challenges and long winding single track.  We rode all the trails on Gooseberry and several of the choice trails two times.  Needless to say “The Goose” rocks!

It only took 45 minutes North of Gooseberry before we encountered snow and now a week later I have seen snow falling everyday since.  Makes me miss the desert even more….maybe another trip down is due again this Spring.

Sage Realty Group

Unless you have been living underground the last couple of years you already know  how tough the real estate market is both nationally and locally.  Working as a Realtor the past several years means you are working twice as hard for half the pay, but the hardest workers have managed to stay on top.

Last month I joined Sage Realty Group in Driggs.  My previous office was located in Rexburg and I was their only agent in Teton Valley.  It has been great to be working in an office right in Driggs.  I have been “The Lone Wolf” up here but now I feel I am part of a great team.

Sage Realty Group has maintained a strong presence in our market during the recession by providing both buyer and sellers with knowledgeable, friendly, and fair services.  I look forward to upholding the high standards they have set.

I have included the link to one of the best things Sage puts out every month and easy to understand and use market report.

http://www.sagerg.com/market_report_display.php

You can also search all the properties currently for sale here.

http://www.sagerg.com/mls.php?mls_sort=officesearch

If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact the Sage Realty Group office at:

info@sagerg.com

cjensen@sagerg.com

http://www.sagerg.com

189 North Main, Suite 100
Driggs, Idaho, 83422
208.354.9955 | 888.750.9955 | 208.354.9956 fax

Teton Pass: “Get Over It!”

I have been a Teton Pass commuter off and on since I moved to Teton Valley.  Years ago I had a few bumper stickers made that read “Teton Pass Get Over it”  it was a little play on words, I was tired of people asking me how “the pass” was everyday when I got to work, usually by somebody who was fortunate enough to be able to afford to live and work in the same valley.

Teton Pass is pretty much the same everyday during the winter, its snow covered and/or icy, a majority of the drivers are not prepared and are not good at driving in the conditions.

Here is what I have learned so far in driving over “the pass”.

-All wheel drive or four wheel drive will make your commute a piece of cake.  Sure you can make it over the pass with a two wheel drive vehicle especially with newer models featuring traction control, but when things get really nasty, cars off the road, large drifts, snowplow plows you in while you are out skiing, you will be glad you have the extra traction.

-Snow tires!  If you are only going to do one thing to prepare for winter driving on Teton Pass then buy a pair of snow tires.  A good set of dedicated snow tires will do amazing things to the traction and handling of your vehicle.  Every aspect of how your vehicle handles will be improved, acceleration, braking, and cornering.  With a set of snow tires I feel comfortable driving the speed limit no matter the road conditions.  If it were up to me everyone driving Teton pass would be required to have snow tires on their vehicle.

-Emergency kit.  At the very least carry some extra water, clothing, and a shovel in your vehicle.  If the weather forecast and driving conditions warrant throw in a sleeping bag, flashlight, extra food etc.  All of the above have come in handy for me at some point.  One night coming home late an avalanche blocked the road just minutes before I got there and I ended up having to sleep in a parking lot, but I had my sleeping bag in the back otherwise that would have been a long night.

-Turbo.  Ok this one is just personal preference.  I am on my third Subaru that I have used to drive over (95 Legacy, 2000 Outback, 2005 Outback XT)  The latest Subaru is a used 2005 XT Limited Turbo Outback it is by far the best car I have owned for driving over Teton Pass.  As all Outbacks it features all wheel drive, but the standout feature for me is the turbo charged engine.  My other Subaru’s were “adequate” for getting up the hill but the XT is amazing, it is so much better than my previous cars that it doesn’t even feel like it is made by the same company.   Other nice options for winter driving that the XT has are heated wiper blades, no more flicking your wipers against your windshield while driving and rear locking differentials.  I have some experience with rear lockers on my truck and think that now truck or SUV should be without them but was surprised to see them on a Subaru, but man are they great. No matter how deep or slippery it gets your rear wheels just keep on turning.

Thats my two cents about winter commuting on the pass.  See you up there.


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