Park volunteers

Grand Teton National Park volunteers Bill Finerty, left, and Bob Weiss provide information and keep park visitors safe. Due to the high amount of spring visitors, the park has added a cohort of volunteers and a mobile information center by the Taggart Lake Trailhead.

Lured by warm temps and smooth pavement without cars, outdoor enthusiasts (and their dogs) are flocking to Grand Teton National Park.

A 14-mile section of Teton Park Road opened last month to non-motorized recreation and has already seen so many visitors the park is expanding services to meet demand.

The park has increased parking access between the Taggart Lake Trailhead and Cottonwood Picnic Area and added additional portable restrooms, although strong winds tossed some of them over on Saturday. They also plan to add a staffed mobile information trailer, according to a recent press release.

Since dogs aren’t allowed on park trails, the road is a rare opportunity for park visitors to stretch their legs alongside four-legged friends.

Park staff expect crowds to continue throughout the month and encourage all visitors to be good stewards of the land and recreate responsibly.

That means keeping dogs leashed, packing out all trash, coming prepared with food, water, sunscreen and warm layers, and saving enough energy to fight a headwind on the way back.

Visitors can also consider starting their adventure at the Signal Mountain end of the road, which is less busy and offers ample parking, restroom facilities, a water filling station and usually a tailwind on the way back to the car.

Whether you plan on walking, biking or skating, the additional services on Teton Park Road should make it easier to admire the Teton Range’s famous Cathedral Group before the summer swell.

The road will open to public motor vehicle traffic on Saturday, May 1.

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