Trail Talk: Behind the scenes with Grand Teton National Park’s Youth Conservation Program – Week 8

Last week, YCP spent four days and three nights at the Lower Berry Patrol Cabin on the west side of Jackson Lake. Logistics for a twenty-two person crew (plus five leaders) can be challenging in the backcountry, especially when it requires a boat ride across Jackson Lake. The crew loaded up coolers and tents and shuttled across the lake, where they had to ford through the shallows to make it to shore to set up camp.

YCP fire-lining gear to shore. Teamwork makes the dream work!

The crew focused their efforts on continuing to restore trails in Webb and Owl canyons that were destroyed by the 2016 Berry Fire, the largest wildfire in the history of Grand Teton. This area of the park is proposed wilderness, so the only cutting tools the crew is permitted to use are cross-cut saws and axes. They also cleared drains for two miles up Owl Canyon before cutting in new trail for a mile. If there is one thing this year’s YCP is definitely getting good at, it is cutting new trail.

The crew had a great time in the backcountry. The NPS leaders said, “The food was good, the bugs were bad, and the weather was delightful!” Thank you YCP for doing such a great job maintaining the trails in this remote part of Grand Teton.

A common sight for YCP 2019! Digging new trail!

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