Teton Crest Trail Improvements Slated for Summer 2020

The Teton Crest Trail is a forty-five-mile-long backcountry route that passes through the high country of Grand Teton National Park. It is one of the most scenic, picturesque sections of trail within the National Park Service and Backpacker Magazine claims it as “one of the best hikes ever.” The Foundation is currently seeking support to fund improvements along this iconic footpath in two particular places—Hurricane Pass and Paintbrush Divide. The sections at Hurricane Pass and Paintbrush Divide were originally built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in approximately 1934, and they have persisted largely untouched since. Decades of use along the trail, coupled with natural erosion processes at high elevation, have led to deteriorating trail conditions that necessitate repair and improvement.

View of the Grand, Middle, and South Tetons from Hurricane Pass along the Teton Crest Trail.

Hurricane Pass sits at an elevation of 10,400 feet. During the spring of 2016, rain and snow melt runoff created a new spring that subsequently caused a landslide, creating hazardous conditions for hikers. The Foundation is working with Grand Teton National Park to develop a concentrated rehabilitation effort to address safety concerns at Hurricane Pass. This project will be an in-depth restoration and require a technically-skilled trail crew with that goal of re-establishing a safe trail corridor across the 2016 washout area as well as other difficult-to-address sections of trail in the immediate area. Paintbrush Divide also needs significant restoration, but work there will not take place until after the Hurricane Pass project is complete.

Anyone who has walked the Teton Crest Trail understands what an incredible experience it is. The trail often remains above 10,000 feet and yields countless dramatic views of the high peaks of the Teton Range, alpine lakes, and flower-filled meadows. The Teton Crest is a once in a lifetime experience for many hikers and we are pleased to assist Grand Teton National Park in their efforts to provide a safe, sustainable, and enjoyable visitor experience.

To support this effort, please go to our DONATE
page and list “Crest Trail” in the comments field.

One of many alpine meadows along the Teton Crest Trail.

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