Winter fun at Jackson Hole: cross-country ski, dogsled.
Varied terrain, spectacular scenery, and the chance of glimpsing wildlife are drawing increasing numbers of cross-country skiers to Wyoming's famous Jackson Hole basin, adjacent to Grand Teton National Park. The basin now has four big centers for cross-country skiing. January and February, when the area gets its greatest snowfall and most consistent snow conditions, are good months to sample their facilities. All have extensive trail systems with set track; some have skating lanes as well. And you'll find rental equipment, lessons, warming huts, maps. Three centers offer guided trips into Grand Teton or Yellowstone park, and all can advise you on trails to ski on your own. Another nonmechanized way of sampling the Grand Teton backcountry is by dogsled. (This is a good option if weather is too snowy or cold for good skiing.) Choose from four nordic centers It gets bitterly cold here January days average 2* to 25o, so dress accordingly. Area code is 307. Jackson Hole Nordic Center, at Teton Village, 13 miles northwest of Jackson; 733-2292, ext. 129. From its new log building, the center offers 25 kilometers of set tracks, including skating lanes. North Loop Trail is good for beginners; it sets off through Moose Meadows (look for coyotes as well as moose), then heads up gentle Headache Hill. Intermediate South Trail and its spurs climb into steep terrain. Hours are 8:30 to 4:30. Trail fee is $8, or use the alpine-nordic transfer (after 12:30, any downhill ticket is good for free nordic skiing). Lessons cost $26 for a 2-hour introduction (inciudes-rental and trail fee), $20 for 2-hour skating or telemarking instruction. Reserve tours into national parks: $40 half-day, $40 to $65 all day, including transportation to trailhead. Spring Creek Resort, on Spring Gulch Road 3 miles north of State Highway 22 and 5 miles from Jackson; 733-1004. The 10-kilometer trail system was designed around a deer herd's migratory patterns (you may also spot elk and bald eagles). All trails are on gentle terrain (try the 3kilometer Willow Way Trail); skating track is also set. Call for details on guided tours into Grand Teton park. Or join the night races at 7 on February 14, 20, 27, and March 7 ($5 entry)-on a lantern-lighted course. Note: Spring Creek sits in a valley that's exposed to winds when storms sweep in from the west and southwest. Hours are 10 to 5; trail fee is $6, $3 seniors and ages 12 and under. Group lessons cost $15 an hour, private 20. Teton Pines Ski Center, 4 miles south of Teton Village on Moose-Wilson Road; 7331005. Its 13 kilometers of track undulate over a hilly golf course, so the whole area is geared to beginners and intermediates. The main trail heads over a tiny bridge and along a creek; look for deer, Canada geese, and trumpeter swans. Call about new guided tours into Grand Teton park. Hours are 9 to 5; trail fee is $5, $3 ages 12 and under, $15 per family. One-hour group lessons on touring or skating techniques cost $15, private $20. Togwotee Mountain Lodge Touring Center, on Togwotee Pass Road (31 miles north of Jackson on State 26 to Moran, then 17 miles east on U.S. 26/287); 543-2847. Its 15 kilometers of track skirt the Teton Wilderness. A 1.5-kilometer loop, Lodgepole Trail is an easy intermediate route that gives a panorama of the whole Teton Range. Weekends, lessons are available ($7.50). Rooms in the 34-room lodge cost $79 per person double occupancy including two daily meals, use of trails. Hours are 8:30 to 5; fee is $6, $4 half-day. Or let sled dogs do the walking Another quiet way to get into the backcountry is to take a dogsled trip with Freebird Alaskan Adventures in Jackson; 733-7388. Two people ride in each sled and can drive the team if they want (a guide goes along). Trips range from a half-day jaunt to Jenny Lake ($85, including picnic) to a full-day trek to Granite Hot Springs ($120, with meal and hot springs dip). Flying to Jackson Jackson's new airport terminal and expanded flight schedule (six airlines with 14 flights daily) make it easier to reach; nonstop flights leave from Salt Lake City and Denver. At the airport, you can pick up a car with snow tires from major rental agencies. For a free planning brochure, call Jackson Hole Visitors Council, (800) 782-0011.
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|Date:||Jan 1, 1991|
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