Park Foundation plans Teton Crest Trail improvements

GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK — Backpacker Magazine has called the Teton Crest Trail “one of the best hikes ever.”

Indeed, the iconic 45-mile hiking/backpacking trail is one of Grand Teton National Park’s prized jewels. But as it ages, trail conditions deteriorate. The trail is due for a bit of a makeover.

Grand Teton National Park Foundation is working to fund improvements on the trail in two major spots: Hurricane Pass and Paintbrush Divide. Both of those sections were originally built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in around 1934, but they’ve hardly been touched since. Decades of use plus natural erosion at high elevation along the trail had led to deterioration that can no longer be ignored.

Hurricane Pass, sitting at 10,400 feet elevation, was hit by a landslide in the spring of 2016. The Foundation is working with Grand Teton National Park to develop a concentrated rehabilitation effort to address safety concerns. The project on this section will be the most involved. It will require a technically-skilled crew to reestablish a safe trail corridor across the 2016 washout area and along other difficult-to-access areas of the trail.

Paintbrush Divide also needs some serious work, but it won’t start until after the Hurricane Pass project is complete.

“Walking along the Teton Crest Trail allows hikers to experience some of the most stunning views in the park,” said Grand Teton National park Foundation President Leslie Mattson. “We are pleased to work with our partners in the park to improve two key sections of the trail to make it safer for visitors for years to come.”

Learn more about the Crest Trail restoration project online.

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