Trail map

Eight trail restoration and reconstruction projects are being proposed on the Bridger-Teton National Forest’s Jackson Ranger District this summer, including in places like Munger Mountain, Upper Cache Creek and Teton Pass.

The forest announced the projects, along with an array of more routine maintenance work, in a “scoping document” that is now open to public critique.

“Projects essentially fall into two categories, reconstruction and maintenance,” Bridger-Teton officials say in the document. “Reconstruction projects are those that will alter or take place outside the actual trail alignment such as major reroutes around problem areas.”

The maintenance projects, by contrast, occur within the existing trail corridor, and include brushing, benching, drainage improvements, minor reroutes, and bridge and turnpike construction.

Four nonmotorized trail reconstruction projects are planned.

Two of those projects entail rebuilding or relocating sections of trails that were wiped out by mudslides. At the Crystal Creek trail in the Gros Ventre River area, crews will cut a new established route through a large mudslide that is currently impassable to horses and hikers. At Upper Cache, the trail will go around large washouts and be relocated uphill away from the creek bed.

A project planned on the Horse Creek trail will address a roughly 2-mile section of trail that’s become nearly impossible to navigate due to its proximity to springs and bogs. The reroute will bypass all the existing problems and reconnect the trail back into the original tread higher up. Trail workers will also clear the entire trail of brush and install new drainage infrastructure.

Work planned at the downhill mountain bike trails on Teton Pass is related to increasing congestion in the Crater Lake area. Small trail reroutes are being planned for the exits of the Jimmy’s Mom, Fuzzy Bunny and the Powerline trails, with the goal of slowing speeds on the Old Pass Road due to safety concerns. None of the work is occurring in the Palisades Wilderness Study Area.

Work is planned on motorized trails in Mosquito Creek, Horsetail, Munger Mountain and the Slate Creek trail.

On the new Crankshaft Trail up Mosquito, work will be done with mini excavators and by hand to help clear lines of sight, add jump features and to fix persistent wet areas.

The reroute on the Big Munger Trail is on the north side of the mountain, where the trail has become washed out due to its location and heavy dirt bike use.

“The trail will be rerouted completely from the junction with the lower Squaw Creek Trail to the top of the ridge where it will rejoin with the system trail,” the Bridger-Teton’s scoping document says. “The old trail will be closed off and rehabilitated using erosion control netting.”

At Horsetail, located just past Lower Slide Lake, three approximately 1,000-foot sections of trail that have become so rutted and deep they are nearly impassible will be routed onto the hillside. Also up the Gros Ventre at Slate Creek, 2 miles of boggy trail will be reconstructed, with hardening, minor rerouting and new drainage infrastructure. A damaged bridge will also be repaired.

Trail maintenance work on the Jackson Ranger District is planned at: Red Creek, South Fork of Fall Creek, Dog Creek, Grayback Ridge Parallel trail, Adams Creek, Lower Willow Creek, Goosewing and West Goosewing trails, West Crystal Creek trail, Josie’s Ridge and Cache Creek Road at Noker Mine draw.

Comments on the trail plans are due by Tuesday. Any thoughts can be emailed to Trails Supervisor Tim Farris at timothy.farris@usda.gov.

Contact Mike Koshmrl at 732-7067 or env@jhnewsandguide.com.

Mike has reported on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem's wildlife, wildlands and the agencies that manage them since 2012. A native Minnesotan, he arrived in the West to study environmental journalism at the University of Colorado.

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