Trail Talk: A Window into Grand Teton National Park’s Youth Conservation Program – Week 8

This week in Grand Teton National Park the most useful tool for the YCP team proved to be the trusted rain jacket. As they tromped through monsoonal conditions in the mountains, the weather showed that the crew truly does work in rain or shine.

Group on the trail

YCP crew members making the best of stormy weather!

The YCP began work at Colter Bay, maintaining 9 miles of trail around Hermitage Point. They also constructed a re-vegetation fence by Colter Bay swim beach and picnic area. This fence is necessary in consolidating user trails and allowing for regrowth of native wildflowers.

On Wednesday, the group traded their shovels for data sheets and worked with the sound ecologist for Grand Teton National Park. The crew split up and walked some of the popular trails, documenting natural and motorized sounds they encountered as well as visitor numbers. Hopefully this data will be helpful in developing ways for the park visitor to continue to experience the Tetons without outside distractions.

“It feels so strange to walk without a shovel and a pick. My hands feel so free, my pack, so light. I don’t know what to do when I’m not hiking with a shovel.” -Caroline

The team finished the week working on a re-route by the west side of Jenny Lake which will be open next summer. As they put the finishing touches on the new trail, the week-long drizzle subsided and the sun peeked out behind the Cathedral group. They hiked out of Jenny Lake with dry boots for the first time this week, gave the bus a thorough clean, and prepared for the backcountry trip on Monday.


Taking a moment to enjoy the view of Jenny Lake.

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