Summer Mountain Safety
Grand Targhee Resort Downhill Biking Safety
Downhill Mountain Biking at Grand Targhee Resort is a significantly different experience from cross country riding. The trails require constant physical and mental effort in order for all riders to maintain control.
All bikes riding the lift served downhill trails at Grand Targhee Resort must have one functioning brake per wheel, no coaster brakes.
Helmets and proper footwear are required, a properly fitted full-faced helmet is recommended. Protective clothing and equipment is also recommended. The best protection from abrasion requires gloves, long pants, long sleeves, leg armor, arm armor and solid biking, running or hiking shoes, no sandals or flip flops. Body armor like a Pressure Suit or neck brace can provide even further protection. Protective equipment can be rented at the Habitat bike shop.
Our downhill bike trails are specifically designed for full suspension mountain bikes. The trails are rocky, bumpy and become much more difficult without high quality suspension. Without full suspension, fatigue becomes a factor much sooner. The steep grades necessitate disc brakes for adequate stopping power. Rim brakes will increase the fatigue factor as more effort will be required to maintain control. All DH Biking participants should ride a properly sized bike and should be able to stand over the seat with their feet flat on the ground. A bike that is too large or one with a high seat post may increase the risk of injury. Please consider visiting Habitat with any questions about sizing and for protective equipment rental.
The level of risk increases with the level of difficulty. Black trails often have significant drops and jumps that require skill and experience to navigate. Every rider should be prepared to dismount their bike and carefully walk portions of the trail that they’re uncomfortable riding down. Young riders become a hazard to other riders if they are unable to ride a trail or move out of the way. Children should be accompanied by an adult at all times and should be monitored for fatigue regularly.
Many of our downhill biking trails include man-made features. Each of these features includes a “gateway”, which is intended to allow users to ride around the feature. Please be sure to inspect each feature prior to use, and if you’re unsure how to properly use it, ask a qualified Grand Targhee Resort employee.
Bikes are permitted on the Dreamcatcher and Shoshone Chair Lifts only. The Dreamcatcher Chair is NOT recommended for young children and beginner bike riders as the level of difficulty and length of the trails is considerably more challenging than the trails served by the Shoshone Lift and cross-country trails. Riders can self-load bikes onto bike carriers of each lift or lift attendants will load bikes on a hook attached to the side of the chair as a rider option on the Dreamcatcher Lift. If you have any questions or concerns about using the chair lifts, please consult the on-duty lift attendant. The chairlift may be subject to closure at any time due to mechanical or natural factors. Wind or lightning hold of the lift will dictate a minimum 30 minute closure.
There are risks and hazards associated with the mountain environment and riding the chairlift with children 2 years and younger. It is highly recommended that parents bring a child carrier for hiking to assist with navigating the mountain terrain and securing infants while riding the lift.
Our Mountain Patrol offers rescue service to any of our downhill trails during normal operating hours. Please alert the on-duty lift attendant in the case of an emergency. Emergency call boxes are located on or near many of our trails. Become familiar with their location, and remember to hold the button down until finished relating your location and the nature of your emergency.
The Mountain Patrol does not offer on-hill repair service. Please be sure to ride equipped to manage any repairs yourself. Repairs and equipment are available at Habitat, located in the base area.
If you have any questions, please let us know and we will put you in contact with knowledgeable personnel.
Mountain Biker’s Responsibility Code.
Mountain biking involves risk of serious injury or death. Your knowledge, decisions and actions contribute to your safety and that of others.
- Stay In Control. You’re responsible for avoiding objects and people.
- Know Your Limits. Ride within your ability. Start small and work your way up.
- Protect Yourself. Use and appropriate bike, helmet and protective equipment.
- Inspect and Maintain Your Equipment. Know your components and their operation prior to riding.
- Be Lift Smart. Know how to load, ride and unload lifts safely. Ask is you need help.
- Inspect The Trails and Features. Conditions change constantly; plan and adjust your riding accordingly.
- Obey Signs And Warnings. Stay on marked trails only. Keep off closed trails and features. Ride in the direction indicated.
- Be Visible. Do not stop where you obstruct a trail, feature, landing or are not visable.
- Look And Yield To Others. Look both ways and yield when entering or crossing a road or trail. When overtaking, use caution and yield to those ahead.
- Cooperate. If involved in or witness to an incident, identify yourself to staff
Know The Code, It’s Your Responsibility.
Slow Down Before You Speed Up
Crashes can happen on your first lap. Ride the trail multiple times to get familiar with the features and equipment you’re on so you can confidently push your limits without pushing your threshold. Jumping skills are required for freeride trails.
Warm up the brain and body and inspect the trail at low speed.
Lap the trail a few times an get to know the flow of the features.
Start small and work your way up to faster speeds and larger features.
Freeride trails are machine-cut and contain man-made features. Routes are enhanced with dirt jumps, ride-on features, gaps, narrow surfaces, wall-rides, berms, and other natural or constructed features. All freeride trails are identified with an orange oval.
Technical trails are designed to embrace the rugged shape and terrain of the mountain, utilizing a majority of natural terrain. Routes are typically hand-built and feature organic obstacles and stunts such as rocks, roots, logs, drops, jumps, and other natural or constructed features that require technical riding skills. Technical trails are identified by just their difficulty symbol. Jumping skills may be required.
Hiker’s Responsibility Code
- Obey all trail signs and markings and hike only on designated trails.
- Don’t stop where you obstruct a trail or are not visible to others.
- Dogs must be on a leash and under an owner’s control at all times while on Grand Targhee Resort property.
- Know how to use the lifts properly. When in doubt, ask a lift operator.
- Respect the environment and wildlife.
- If you are involved in or witness a collision, you must identify yourself to Grand Targhee Resort Mountain Bike Patrol or lift operator.
- Be prepared for constantly changing weather conditions.
- No smoking due to extreme fire danger.
- Some trails may be closed due to construction. Consult lift operators for information.
- Please check in at the Activity Center prior to accessing the trail system.
- Please hike on designated hiking trails and roads only.
- Hiking/outdoor footwear is recommended.