Sheep Gulch closure will shut down lower Snake River

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – Sheep Gulch Boat Ramp will be closing for critical repairs at the end of the day on October 2. The improved ramp will reopen for public use in April, 2019.

The closing of the ramp effectively closes the lower Snake River Canyon for the 2018 season as there is no option for taking out below West Table Boat Ramp, which is the traditional starting point for whitewater outfitter 8-mile trips.

It’s that time of the year for river runners. Water level on the Snake has dropped along with daytime highs. Time to compare Chaco tans. (Dave Hansen Whitewater)

“We scheduled this repair for the time after the water dropped,” said Wild and Scenic River Manager David Cernicek. “The contractor going to be on-site and beginning work right away to minimize the interruption to recreationists and outfitters.”

Cernicek emphasized the limited window in which construction on the boat ramp facilities can occur.

“We purposefully waited until after Labor Day, but must begin the repairs while the weather, and lower water levels are favorable,” Cernicek said. “There is never a good time to close a boat ramp on a popular stretch of river, but we do appreciate everyone’s cooperation and understanding as we work to get these much-needed repairs underway.”

Sheep Gulch boat ramp map.

Cernicek is aware of the effect that the scheduled repair work at the ramp at the end of the whitewater section has on users, especially as the weather has stayed warm. The Snake River Canyon sees an average of 150,000 boaters annually during June, July, and August.

The Sheep Gulch Boat Ramp repairs consist of stabilizing, reinforcing and lengthening the ramps that “have sustained significant damage from past highwater events,” Cernicek said.

Contributions toward the construction project have come in from: Lewis and Clark Expeditions, Dave Hansen Whitewater, Snake River Park, Barker Ewing River Trips, Jackson Hole Whitewater, Sands Whitewater, Mad River, The Grand Teton Association, Wyoming Game and Fish, Snake River Fund, Teton Conservation District, Jackson Hole One Fly, and Forest Service outfitter fee retention monies (FLUREA).

 

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