Welcome to your Half Day Side by Side Adventure out of our Jackson Hole Location. Our half day times run from 8:30-12:30 or 1-5 and explore our local National Elk Refuge with access into the Bridger Teton National Forest. This adventure is designed as a very scenic quick access into our local backcountry. This is not a skill rated trail system it includes federal speed limits and is accessed via open access forest service roads (think bumpy country dirt roads). You must stay on the forest service access roads at all times. Please do not venture into the National Elk Refuge as this is a highly regulated federally patrolled area and they can ticket you! Think of this adventure as a leisurely way to access areas of Jackson that are rarely seen. All of our Side by Sides are street legal and leave directly from our parking lot. You must be 21+ in order to drive the machine out of the lot and through the town of Jackson to the National Elk Refuge starting point. Once you enter into the National Elk Refuge you may switch drivers to anyone with a valid drivers license 16+. Please be advised that there is vehicle traffic, horse traffic, wildlife, and side by side traffic on all trail systems.
Leaving our parking lot in Jackson you will make a right turn onto our main road (US/89 -Broadway Ave) and proceed 2 miles towards the town square. When approaching the town square you want to be in the right hand lane, as that is the straight lane through our town square intersection. From town square the National Elk Refuge will be 1 mile up on the left. (See Image 3 for the dead end left hand turn). Welcome to the National Elk Refuge! In .7 miles you will pass the historic Miller House on your left hand side. Please watch out for runners and walkers and share the road! On your left hand side past the Miller House you will pass Millers Butte. Look out for some big horn sheep they like to hang out on the Buttes hillside. 2.7 miles past the Miller House you will approach a 90 degree left hand turn. Take your time around this turn! .5 miles ahead you will find the turn to Curtis Canyon on your right hand side. At this point if there is a vehicle in front of you and they turn to go up Curtis Canyon I would suggest going straight and doing the Flat Creek Trail system first and return to do the Curtis Canyon system second. Vice versa if the traffic continues straight to Flat Creek do Curtis Canyon first! I try to go wherever the traffic in front of me is not going. For this example we will pretend no one is in front of us and will explore the Flat Creek Trail system first and return to Curtis Canyon.
Flat Creek: Is a beautiful slow winding trail with stunning views of the Sleeping Indian Rock formation and the Flat Creek Drainage. It is a narrow forest service road with blind turns and drop offs. Speed is limited to 10mph. We love this access road and highly suggest it but please take it slow and easy! This open access road typically takes around 1:00-1:45 minutes to complete depending on how many times you stop. This open access road does contain vehicle traffic. From the end of Flat Creek you are roughly 15 miles away from our shop.
From the Curtis Canyon intersection you will proceed 300FT to a long bending right straight away. Pronghorn antelope like these long flat fields so keep an eye out! 2 miles down the long straight away you will cross a small bridge. After the bridge there are some speed bumps. Please slow down a sharp left hand turn is coming up. Continue straight. 2 miles later you will come to the National Elk Refuge / National Forest Service access point. You will know when you reach this area as the terrain becomes rougher. This is where the side by sides really shine! For the next 4 miles you will pass the beautiful Flat creek on your right hand side and have stunning views of the Sleeping Indian Rock formation directly ahead of you after 1.5 miles on the trail. It is very important to follow the 10mph speed limit on this trail system. There are high consequences if you make a mistake due to drop offs, blind turns, and narrow roads. This is one of our favorite trails but must be done slowly to avoid danger and damage. The side by side trail ends with a Black Sign that says please turn around here. Please do not continue up the private road. This road goes to a private ranch (Flat Creek Ranch). They are kind enough to let us use the access so please respect their privacy! If you do encounter either other side by side traffic or vehicle traffic on Flat Creek realize you are in a side by side! Point the machine uphill and do your best to let the traffic pass if safe. Work together to share the access please! You are going to exit Flat Creek the same way you came in. Head back towards the intersection for Curtis Canyon (Roughly 8.5 miles) where you will make a left hand turn.
Curtis Canyon: Is a hill climb with a beautiful overlook of the Tetons as well as a number of winding open access forest service roads. This open access roads do contain vehicle traffic. Please take your time and follow all speed restrictions. This open access road system depending on how many times you stop should take you around 1:00-1:45 minutes to complete. From the top of Curtis Canyon you are roughly 15 miles away from our shop.
After turning onto Curtis Canyon road you will proceed 1.3 miles until you reach the National Elk Refuge / National Forest Service boundary. The road begins to deteriorate at the beginning of the hill climb. This is where your side by side really shines! 1 mile later you will reach the Teton Overlook just across from the Curtis Canyon Campground. This is a great place for a snack or some pictures! Continue uphill through switchbacks for another mile before you reach a split in the trail system. You will see a road head down and to your left (Sheep Creek-FS 30445) and the road that you have been on continue straight. You are more than welcome to explore the road straight ahead (FS-30440) and some of the spur trails (around 1-2 miles of trail) but our suggestion would be to take the road to your left (Sheep Creek- FS 30445) as it continues upward to a beautiful open meadow 5 miles up. Once you reach the open meadow turn around and head back down the same way you came in.
When heading back to the shop don’t forget to fill up with fuel before you return!
Return times: Morning 1/2 day – 12:30 (The machine goes back out at 1pm) Afternoon 1/2 day – 5:00pm
Remember to stay safe and be backcountry aware!
Control your speed and enjoy the views!