JACKSON HOLE, WYO – Satisfied the world is not coming to an end (at least not by the fissure discovered a month ago in Grand Teton NP), authorities have reopened the popular Hidden Falls Viewing Area and Lower Inspiration Point on the west shore of Jenny Lake.
The area was closed on July 10 out of an abundance of caution and concern that a rock buttress could come loose and fall onto the area. Park staff completed a risk assessment and determined that a smaller closure area is appropriate.
Visitors to the west shore of Jenny Lake are now able to enjoy the view of Hidden Falls. Those desiring may continue their hike 0.3 miles further uphill to a scenic viewpoint called Lower Inspiration Point. The traditional Inspiration Point is undergoing trail rehabilitation and is closed for the year.
Hikers looking top access Cascade Canyon trail may do so via the horse trail bypass. Hikers can also complete a loop around Jenny Lake.
Park staff and subject matter experts completed a risk assessment, based on field observations and modeling, regarding what would happen if the rock buttress were to come loose and fall. The modeling indicated that rockfall, if it does occur, is unlikely to reach the Hidden Falls Viewing Area due to distance and terrain.
A closure remains in effect for the climbing area known as the “Practice Rocks.” The results of the risk assessment indicate that if the rock buttress does fall, this area is more likely to be impacted. Going forward, park staff continue to monitor cracks in the rock buttress above the “Practice Rocks” to better understand the probability that the rock will come loose and fall. A decision regarding this closure will be based on monitoring and further assessment.
Park visitors are reminded that travel in the Teton Mountain Range has inherent risks, including potential rockfall. Rockfall is a part of the naturally dynamic environment of mountains. As a relatively young mountain range, the Tetons are still rising and actively eroding.