Wilson Boat Ramp

Parks and Rec’s proposal for the Wilson Boat Ramp.

Just as Parks and Rec is poised to redesign the Wilson boat ramp, some boaters worry that the wild Snake River could shift course, undercutting the goal of making the launch safer.

“The wildcard in the whole deal is the river,” said John Wasson, a Wilson boater who floats the river recreationally.

Sandwiched between a highway, a new pedestrian bridge and tracts of private land, the boat ramp’s location is generally recognized as poor — but unavoidable.

There’s no natural eddy, for one, meaning boaters generally have to load and unload in a current.

As gravel and silt flow downstream with spring runoff the channels that boaters use to drop their vessels in the water can fill and often have to be dredged come spring.

And, when the ramp is crowded, as it frequently is during morning hours in the summer, rafts are dragged upstream to get out of the way and into the main current. 

That’s part of why river runners are hoping that, with $700,000 in county funds budgeted for the project this fiscal year, the Wilson boat ramp will be improved.

But there’s also concern, not necessarily new, that the river could run away from the ramp.

Read more about the ramp, the changing river, and designs for its future in this week's News&Guide. You can also read online at JHNewsAndGuide.com.

Designs for the Wilson boat ramp improvements are available online for public comment through Thursday.

The survey link is: TinyURL.com/ParksProjectsJH2021.

Contact Billy Arnold at 732-7063 or barnold@jhnewsandguide.com.

Teton County Reporter

Billy Arnold has covered government and policy since January 2020, sitting through hours of Teton County meetings so readers don't have to. He moonlights as a ski reporter, helps with pandemic coverage and sneaks away to climb when he can.

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