MOOSE, Wyo. — Winter closures are currently underway in Grand Teton National Park to protect wintering wildlife from human-caused disturbances.
The Summits of Mount Hunt/Prospectors Mountain and Static Peak are closed to all travel from Dec. 1 through April 30 to protect bighorn sheep.
According to Grand Teton National Park Foundation, Teton range bighorn sheep hunker down on small, high elevation ridges blown free of snow during the winter.
Wintering moose use their long legs to move through deep snow to areas of preferred forage, specifically, bitterbrush. Moose calves remain with their mothers through the winter and follow behind them while trail breaking through the snow. Moose also use their highly developed sense of smell to find only the most nutritious parts of shrubs under the snow.
Areas around the Snake River, Buffalo Fork River, and Kelly Warm Springs are closed to all travel from Dec. 15 through March 31 to protect ungulate populations including, moose, elk, mule deer, bison and pronghorn, from Dec. 15 to March 31.
Blacktail Butte and Wolff Ridge are closed to protect wintering ungulates from Dec. 22 through April 1.
The northern portion of Blacktail Butte is closed north of the Albright view pullout on Highway 89. The open slopes on the southwest side of Blacktail Butte and the practice rocks climbing area at the northern tip of the butte remain open.
The closed area of Wolff Ridge starts at the junction of Highway 89 and Spread Creek Road and heads east along the north side of Spread Creek Road to the park boundary. The closure continues east along the park boundary, then north to the eastern tip of Wolff Ridge, then generally northwest along the base of Wolff Ridge until it intersects with the Wolff Ranch Road. The closure boundary then heads southwest along the southside of Wolff Ranch Road to the junction with Highway 89, then south along the east side of Highway 89 until it meets up with Spread Creek Road to complete the closure.