National parks to begin plowing roads for spring
Bicyclists take advantage of a plowed Teton Park Road in Grand Teton National Park during a previous year. This year’s plowing will begin Monday. JACKSON HOLE DAILY file photo.View our entire photo gallery >>
By Cory Hatch, Jackson Hole, Wyo.
March 9, 2010
Grand Teton National Park will begin plowing Teton Park Road — which is used for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter — Monday to prepare for the summer season.
Yellowstone National Park began plowing interior park roads Monday.
Grand Teton spokeswoman Jackie Skaggs said Jackson Hole residents await snowplows on Teton Park Road because it allows bicycling and walking before the road opens to automobiles in early April.
“The snow plowing begins our classic transition from winter to spring,” she said. “Although the road will be unusable for skiers and snowshoers, it will soon be open to spring bicycling and walking.”
Skaggs said the snowpack this year is thin so plowing operations should proceed quickly.
“Barring equipment failure or additional snowstorms, the rotary plows should make good progress, allowing for the road to open toward the end of March for bicycling, walking and in-line skating,” she said.
“Already we’re getting people who are regretting the end of skiing and snowshoeing,” Skaggs said. “But there’s also people who are looking forward to getting out on their bikes. We have this friendly pull and tug between the user groups.”
Grand Teton officials said park visitors should stay away from the plow equipment because flying ice and gravel can be hazardous for pedestrians.
Yellowstone National Park crews began plowing the road from Mammoth Hot Springs to Norris Junction on Monday. The road is used for snowmobile and snow coach travel in the winter.
Travel through the East Entrance over Sylvan Pass to Fishing Bridge ended March 1.
Park officials closed the road between Mammoth Hot Springs and Norris to snowmobiles and snow coaches Sunday night. Officials will close the road from Madison to Norris to Canyon Village today and the road from Canyon Village through Hayden Valley to Fishing Bridge on Sunday.
The remainder of the park’s roads — from the west and south entrances to Lake Village, Grant Village, Old Faithful and Madison — close Monday.