Popular Trail At Grand Teton To Temporarily Close (But For Good Reason)

in News/Recreation

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Grand Teton National Park will close a section of one of its most popular trails intermittently over the next couple of weeks for an improvement project.

There will be occasional 30-minute closures on a section of the Teton Crest Trail near the summit of Hurricane Pass between now through Aug. 24 and Sept. 3-8.

Backpackers planning on hiking the trail during these dates should expect delays in both directions.

Over time, heavy water flow from melting snow has caused severe erosion and has exposed bedrock along areas of the trail. The trail damage now poses safety hazards to hikers and has forced the creation of several social trails.  

The project will create a new trail bench in its historic location and help restore the integrity of the trail. 

While the Tetons are largely comprised of granite, the damaged area is mainly limestone, which is softer and erodes faster. By removing portions of the eroded trail, a new solid surface will be created from the existing bedrock.

During construction, loose materials such as rocks and gravel may be moved downhill and cause a safety hazard to hikers below. For safety purposes, the trail will have intermittent closures during construction activities. 

Closures will allow uninterrupted work to be performed and provide time to clear the trail of any newly created hazards.   

The trail is a 45-mile long trek through the high country of the Teton Range. Sections of the trail were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps dating back to 1934, and although it’s constantly used, much of the trail has remained largely untouched since then.

Hurricane Pass is one of the highest points along the Teton Crest Trail at 10,338 ft. in elevation.

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