Snow Removal on Grand Teton Park Road Now Underway

Tuesday, April 02 2013 07:12   Grand Teton
Road crews at Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming began their annual spring plowing of the Teton Park Road from Taggart Lake parking area to Signal Mountain Lodge on April 1, 2013.

"It was a lighter snow year for the valley, and our road crews had to wait about two weeks to begin plowing (because of budget cuts)," said Jackie Skaggs, the park's public information ranger. "But crews got all the way to South Jenny Lake junction yesterday, and that's about five miles in."

Skaggs said warmer weather has been helping with the park's snow clearing efforts.

"We probably got up to about 52 degrees yesterday, and the sun is helping to melt the snow off the road," she said. "There's about two inches of ice and snow today, but it's real slushy. I would think that by Saturday, visitors can use their mountain bikes on the road, or rollerblade, or walk, because the road is not open to vehicles until May 1."

As plowing operations get underway, recreation on this winter trail will end for the season, park rangers said. Visitors may continue to use other winter trails, or areas adjacent to the Teton Park Road, for skate-skiing, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing until conditions are no longer favorable.

grandteton_rotary_snowplowFor safety reasons, park visitors may not access the Teton Park Road while rotary snow removal equipment and plows are working; the roadway is closed to all users during this time, rangers said.

Skiers and snowshoers using areas adjacent to the Teton Park Road are cautioned to avoid the arc of snow being blown from the rotary equipment because pieces of ice and gravel can be mixed with the spray. Park rangers will enforce the temporary closure to ensure safe conditions for plow operators and visitors alike.

Depending on weather, snow conditions and plowing progress, the roadway should become accessible to traditional springtime activities by mid-April.

Once the Teton Park Road opens to non-motorized use, people should be alert for park vehicles that occasionally travel for administrative purposes and for snow plowing operations that continue as a result of late-season snowstorms.

The Teton Park Road is scheduled to open to vehicle traffic on May 1, 2013.

Due to budget reductions, the Moose-Wilson Road, Antelope Flats, Death Canyon and Signal Mountain Summit roads will not be plowed this spring, rangers said. Vehicles can access these roads once they have naturally melted out and road closed signs are removed.

Grassy Lake Road in the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway is closed for the winter and will remain closed to all vehicles from April 1 to May 31, due to springtime grizzly bear activity. Although the Grassy Lake Road will be open to vehicles for the 2013 summer season, dispersed campsites and vault toilets along the road will not open due to budget reductions.

Leashed dogs are permitted on the Teton Park Road and other park roads; however they are restricted to roads and turnouts. They are not permitted to travel beyond the roadbeds, into the park's backcountry, or on the multi-use pathways. Owners are required to keep pets on a leash (six foot maximum length). Mutt Mitt stations are in place at the Taggart Lake parking area and pet owners are required to use these disposal bags.

Entrance stations are operating and collecting fees, rangers said. Fee options are as follows:

When entering the park using a pass, be sure to bring personal identification. Bicyclists are required to stop and show a pass before proceeding through the gates, just as motorized vehicles are required to do.

Skaggs also said the bears, both grizzly and black, are moving around the park, one of the great natural wonders in the western United States.

"The bears are now out, because we've seen their tracks in the snow," she said. "They've been out since about March 15. Females with cubs aren't out yet. They're the last to come out (of hibernation)."

For more information, visit the park's website at .


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