2014 marked the first of four years of construction as part of the Inspiring Journeys campaign and already we’ve made immense progress. Work began in earnest the previous fall when stone for trail structures, crushed rock and fill material were secured, hauled, bagged and readied for helicopter transport in spring 2014. With environmental and other compliance completed earlier in the winter, a technical multiday helicopter operation in May delivered 260 tons of construction materials to work areas on the west side of Jenny Lake.
A K-MAX helicopter delivers stone, crushed rock and fill material to the work sites on the west side of Jenny Lake (left); stone steps and treads (right), and other structures were built with the material delivered by the helicopters.
During the 2014 construction season, crews installed 1207 lineal feet of new trail, and on existing trail installed 309 stone steps & checks, 12 stone drains, 643 square feet of dry-stacked stone retaining wall, 880 lineal feet of single-tier stone retaining wall, and 600 lineal feet of reclaimed trail. This work met a high standard for durability and was designed to have a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC)-era rustic aesthetic. These standards ensured that the new trails blended seamlessly into the landscape, so much so that future hikers would not know that the trails were newly constructed.
Careful construction and appropriate materials will blend seamlessly into the landscape, so much so that hikers next season will not know that the trails were newly constructed.
Not only are these improvements built to last more than 50 years (potentially until the 200th anniversary of the NPS in 2116) but they immensely impact the overall safety of these trails. With less eroded and more even trails, Jenny Lake visitor experience will be a safer and more enjoyable one.
Before/After: A dry-stacked stone retaining wall, fill material and a few steps transformed this rugged section of trail.
Thank you to Grand Teton National Park trail crews for their hard work and continued efforts. We look forward to enjoying these beautifully restored trails in summers to come. Stay tuned for updates from us on planned improvements for next season!