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The Ashton-Tetonia Trail officially opened in 2010 and extends nearly 30 miles between the towns of Ashton and Tetonia, Idaho. The trail occupies a former rail spur once operated by Union Pacific (the Oregon Short Line). The trail includes five bridges and restored rail trestles. The trail—a mix of gravel and dirt surfaces—is managed by State of Idaho Parks and Recreation and is open to snowmobiles in winter when there is enough snow to groom the trail.
Mountain bikers and hikers might want to go from Ashton to Tetonia so that you can enjoy views of the Teton Mountains; however, this is slightly uphill (800 feet elevation gain over the course of the trail).
There's a 1.4-mile detour off the main rail line in the France-Drummond area in Fremont County to skirt private property. Take County Road 4400 E. (gravel road at Rt. 32) north to County 700 N. (two-track dirt road) then head west to pick up the trail again. Note the snowmobile route takes a different detour in the France-Drummond area than non-motorized users.
The Ashton-Tetonia Trail is part of a larger trail network called the Greater Yellowstone Trail, which is being spearheaded by Wyoming Pathways. The developing 180-mile trail system will connect Jackson Hole, Wyoming, with West Yellowstone, Montana, via rail-trails traversing Victor, Driggs, Tetonia, Ashton, and Island Park.
Parking is available at the southern trailhead off Egbert Avenue in Tetonia.
My dad and I rode this trail starting at Ashton. He rides a comfort bike and I'm on a hybrid. I loved the views, but I pretty much hated the trail surface. I'm not a fan of mountain biking and that was part of my problem! It was widely variable with lots of softs spots, rocks, ruts, and other things I wasn't a fan of riding over! Also, there is no shade!
Went with my wife and 14yr son from Tetonia to Ashton. Took about 5 hours. Started about 130p and finished before 7p. It was fun and will do it again. We choose the Tetonia to Ashton direction because it's had a net downhill grade. Glad we did because this is the first bike ride for my wife and 30 miles is a long way to go for a beginner. She was a real trooper and finished in first place.
Overall it was a great ride. Beautiful scenery, easy ride and no one else on the trail.
I rode this trail from Ashton towards Tetonia on a HOT July day. Although I started before 9am the temperature was near triple digits by noon. Despite the heat, which necessitated turning around about halfway, this was a lovely ride. You can't beat the views as you bike up to Tetonia. The rivers and streams, the various crops in full bloom, the trestles and not one other person on the trail! I'm not antisocial but I do like having a trail to myself! ¿¿ A couple things to take into consideration if riding this trail: there's no water so pack plenty; use the potties when you see them as they ate few and far between; take a mountain bike as parts of the trail are rough; start in Ashton if you're planning an out and back as then on your way back when you're tired it's a downhill coast.
we rode from Tetonia to Ashton and back on a hot afternoon. The trail is wonderful and the bridges spectacular. The views of the Tetons on the way back are indeed well worth it. We did not find too many soft spots (except in the detour) and rode on our cross bikes, which worked fine for us.
This ride is definitely worth doing from Ashton to Tetonia so the Tetons are always in your view. Trestle bridges are cool too.
Over the length of the 30 miles, there's variation in the trail bed with some places being smoother/rougher than others. Our family of 5 (youngest was 8 years old) rode it in 6 hours with long lunch break on a hot day (85 degrees+). We didn't have any flat tires. We felt the "detour" section was the most difficult simply because of the hilly roads you had to travel.
I had heard rumors that the AT trail was OK for cross bikes, so I tried my Trek Crossrip Elite with 700x32 tires out this morning. The verdict: Take your mountain bike, preferably with decent suspension. Most betweener-type-bike riders would find the AT a disappointingly slow, bone-jarring slog. And at the 20-mile mark (from Ashton), you cross a tricky rocky causeway with a long drop off on both sides.
The trail was fine, well-marked and in generally good condition, and there's great scenery (only the iconic Teton Mountains in the distance!). Surfaces are wildly variable, ranging from packed dirt to loose rock to gravel to gritty sand to bumpy tufts or widely spread grass. Passing over the bridges is a blast, but make sure you slow for the cattle-gate-type funnel at one end of each. You pass through mostly open country with only occasional stands of trees. Grades are gentle and you won't often find yourself needing to shift. One exception is the diversion south of Drummond, where you (if you start from Ashton) are first sent on a county two-track road between farm fields. There are a few steep pitches, and if the farmers are irrigating, the track can be pretty muddy. Careful there.
Most riders will find a 30-mile, one-way trek (I suggest starting from Tetonia most days) plenty of work. (I took the AT trail from Ashton to Tetonia and then Highway 32 back to Ashton. Just couldn't run my ill-suited bike back again.) There are nice opportunities for out-and-back trips covering part of the trail from both trail heads, but Ashton gets you to the longer bridges sooner, and the Tetons are in front of you.
Nice trail, the trestles were impressive. Just past Drumond some serious erosion is taking place that needs attending and the detour sucks. Otherwise, it was fun.
We did the full ride from Ashton-Tetonia. Totally worth the saddle sores. Mountain poo included.
Took the family out for a fun ride from Drummond to Ashtonm (got ice-cream). The grade is overall downhill heading North from Drummond to Ashton. I felt the burn more on the return ride--I'm not in shape!
Late afternoon-early evening is a fabulous time for great light and photos.
July 11, 2013, I rode 12.4 miles from the Ashton trailhead to the granary just beyond the detour. It's a great trail.
I have more details on the Ashton-Tetonia Trail and also the Yellowstone Branch Line Trail on my blog at:
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