Trail Talk: A Window Into Grand Teton National Park’s Youth Conservation Program – Week 9

Summer is starting to wind down but the Youth Conservation Program is still going full steam. The crew spent four days camping in the backcountry at the Lower Berry Cabin. Spending time in this area (which is proposed wilderness) provided a great opportunity to work on trails that are seldom maintained and often disappear. It is important to keep up these trails to ensure that hikers are able to find their way in these remote areas. In two work days, the team benched three miles of trail in Owl Canyon and constructed a new footbridge. Additionally, they brushed and benched problem areas in Webb Canyon, removing stumps and roots to create safe, walkable sections of trail.


Crew members trek through a gorgeous green meadow.

In all, the crew hiked 23 miles this week and braved both blisters and torrential rain. After-work duties included cooking for 23 people, washing dishes, pumping water, and maintaining the Lower Berry Cabin. All of these chores were worth the privilege of being able to camp and do trail work in this special part of Grand Teton. Highlights of the week included a dip in a refreshing swimming hole after work and watching bald eagles at sunset. There was also a sighting of a bull moose in velvet by camp, but everyone kept their distance.

The crew spent their last morning exploring a piece of history in Webb Canyon during a visit to the remains of a hand dug mine. This mine never produced anything but was dug into the rock with hand tools over a period of 23 years. All in all, it was a safe, productive, and fun-filled week.

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