When late October and early November roll into many parts of the northern half of the United States, it can sometimes be a gamble to go riding in terms of what the weather/Mother Nature might throw at you.
However, if you’re willing to be a little flexible, you can usually find a handful of days where the weather cooperates and you can enjoy some great rides—albeit sometimes chilly and/or frosty rides.
Had we stayed with our Plan A ride with Scenic Safaris (www.scenic-safaris.com), we would have experienced plenty of rain, cool temps and perhaps even a little snow. However, Jackson, WY-based Scenic Safaris’ Jason Smith (aka “Pup”) was flexible and we went to Plan B, which was to ride the next day (Wednesday of this week) and we enjoyed a great fall ride into the mountains above Jackson.
We left from Scenic Safaris’ winter headquarters on south U.S. Highway 191/89, drove through town and headed out into the National Elk Refuge toward Curtis Canyon. We gained elevation fairly quickly as we climbed from Jackson (elevation 6,237 feet) into the mountains. Our first stop was the Curtis Canyon overlook, which offers a panoramic view of the Teton Mountains (still shrouded in clouds from the previous storm) to the west and Curtis Canyon to the east.
We continued on, turning off on to Sheep Creek Road and climbing until we came to another overlook, which is very close to the end of Sheep Creek Road. By the time we made it to the overlook (8,660 feet) the clouds were starting to lift off the Tetons and the views were even more amazing.
After a few minutes at the overlook we headed back to town and when we dropped off the mountain and were near the Elk Refuge, we came upon a herd of antelope grazing near the road. By the time we made it halfway back to town, the sun was out, the temps were rising and we were afforded some even more impressive views of the entire area.
It was a great, short ride (about 30 miles roundtrip) and look forward to a return trip with Scenic Safaris, maybe next time venturing into the Gros Ventre area.