Backpackers planning to hike the Teton Crest Trail this summer should expect delays along the trail mid-August and early September due to planned construction on the path.
Grand Teton National Park and the Grand Teton National Park Foundation will be working to improve sections of the Teton Crest Trail Aug. 19-24 and Sept. 3-8, national park officials said in a press release on Tuesday.
The Teton Crest Trail winds for 45 miles through the high country of the Teton Range, and some sections of the trail were completed as early as 1934. Despite constant use from backpackers each summer, “much of the trail has remained largely untouched since then,” park officials wrote.
This summer’s construction will be focused on a section of trail near the summit of Hurricane Pass, one of the highest points along the trail.
“Over time, heavy water flow from melting snow has caused severe erosion and exposed bedrock along areas of the trail,” park officials said.
The most damaged areas are mostly limestone, which has eroded over the decades, and the trail damage now poses a serious safety threat to hikers, according to the press release.
The plan is to remove portions of the eroded trail and create a new, more solid trial from the existing granite bedrock.
During construction, loose materials such as rocks and gravel may move downhill, posing a safety hazard to hikers below, so to ensure hikers' safety, the trail will have intermittent 30-minute closures during construction activities. The closures will allow construction work to be performed without interruptions and give workers time to clear the trail of any debris.
The project is meant to help restore the integrity of the trail for future use.