53 miles, 3301 feet climbed
Until recently, this was about an 88-mile ride, actually beginning in Jackson. But the most recent Wyoming Department of Transportation permit for commercial tour operators prohibits cyclists from riding on Highway 191 through the National Elk Refuge on the east side of the Tetons. The what’s about this prohibition have been dribbling out over the past few days but the “why” (rationale) remains a mystery. There is a separate bike path along the highway for the first third or so leaving Jackson and individual cyclists can use the highway. Just not us. So we put our bikes on the roof racks of our vans and drove to our starting point a little east of the turnoff to the eastern entrance to Yellowstone National Park. It took two trips to get everyone up there.
The Tetons were pretty much obscured by clouds and taking photos from the opposite side of the van wasn’t giving me anything worth posting. I’m included a shot from 2004 instead.
When I last rode this route in 2004, the Continental Divide marker was immediately to the east of the marker for Togwotee Pass, and our SAG was stationed just a little further to the east. Below I have a photo from my collection illustrating this. Now it appears that a new turnout was constructed just below the summit on the western side of the divide. It is certainly a better location for our SAG. But they moved the Continental Divide sign over there so it is now below the true location at the absolute peak. They were honest enough to change the elevation, though.
It was cold and windy at the pass and most of us didn’t stay long at the SAG. The reward for the climb was a nearly continuous downhill into Dubois, helped further by the winds, which were generally at our backs, sometimes from the sides.