Snow is accumulating in the Tetons, temporarily stopping backcountry trail construction on the west side of Jenny Lake until spring. Grand Teton National Park trail crews have worked diligently improving visitor access to highly traveled sections of trail in the Hidden Falls area, along the South Cascade Creek trail, as well as beginning reconstruction of the west shore boat dock. In total, crews moved over 450 tons of material in 2016 in the construction of 207 stone steps, 20 stone drains, 338 linear feet of single-tier wall, 794 square feet of multi-tier wall, and 550 cubic feet of causeway. Aside from work near Inspiration Point slated for 2017, this brings backcountry construction to near completion at Jenny Lake. Below are before/after photos of work completed this summer.
Before photo of South Cascade Creek trail. Millions of footsteps had caused erosion and exposed the roots of these large Engleman Spruce trees, making this section of trail difficult for visitors to safely navigate, especially when wet.
After photo of South Cascade Creek trail. The new low wall and steps cover and protect the roots, eliminating tripping and slipping hazards. Steps are uniformly spaced and graded to allow a much more enjoyable hike to Hidden Falls. This photo was taken before topping material was placed to complete the trail.
Hidden Falls viewing area prior to GTNP trail crews constructing dry-stone retaining structures. Similar to the Cascade Creek trail, exposed roots and rocks created unsafe walking conditions.
Newly built Hidden Falls viewing area. Crews reconstructed the popular destination to include proper drainage, informal seating, and and a boulder edger wall to contain visitors to the hardened area. Informal terraces will accommodate the large crowds that often gather on busy summer days.