Annual cattle drive will close highway near Moran Grand Teton National Park Horse Buckrail - Jackson Hole, news
Cattle drive (Jackie Skaggs)

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – The annual Pinto Ranch cattle drive will take place this Saturday morning, requiring the closure of Highway 26/89/191 briefly for a two-mile stretch just south of Moran Junction.

Motorists should expect travel delays between approximately 7-8am as cattle are herded from their pastures on the Pinto Ranch east of Moran to summer pasture lands at Elk Ranch Flats. Park rangers will provide traffic control on the highway during this operation.

Pinto Ranch wranglers will drive a herd of approximately 290 cattle westward from the ranch using a right-of-way along US Highway 26/287. When the cattle reach Moran Junction, the animals must cross the Buffalo Fork Bridge on the highway.

Efforts will be made to minimize any inconvenience to travelers driving along the highway near Moran Junction early Saturday morning. To avoid the travel minor delay, motorists may choose to use an alternate route and drive the Teton Park Road between Jackson Lake Junction and Moose Junction.

Several years ago, Grand Teton officials requested that the Pinto Ranch shift their cattle from an historic, free-range Pacific Creek grazing allotment north of Moran to the fenced Elk Ranch Flats pastures to minimize potential conflicts with predators in the Pacific Creek drainage. Pinto Ranch are grazing heifers only, rather than running a cow/calf operation allowing for reduced potential predator conflicts.

In accordance with the 1950 Grand Teton National Park enabling legislation, certain historic grazing privileges were retained. Since that time, the fenced and irrigated Elk Ranch Flats pastures have been used for grazing each summer season.