The 2021 Youth Conservation Program in Grand Teton National Park has come to a close for the summer. The crew spent their last two weeks completing projects they had previously started, as well as spending four days and three nights in Death Canyon on their annual backcountry hitch.
While in Death Canyon, YCP assisted a NPS crew to re-establish a trail that was heavily impacted by a windstorm in 2020. They moved large downed trees and root wads using griphoists (powerful come-alongs), cleared lateral drain structures, and hiked to Static Peak Divide to take care of a newly fallen tree. Before the crew hiked out on day four, they cut, peeled, and transported logs to build a new bridge.
During the final week of YCP, the crew had the opportunity to return to Grandview Point where a previous YCP team had built over a half-mile of new trail in 2019. They spent the day re-benching part of the trail that had sloughed down a steep slope and were excited to take a look at how their old work had held up. They also spent two days around Phelps Lake, where they built a log box structure to raise the tread level around another bench overlooking the lake. The crew also spent some time closing off social trails that were causing resource damage. YCP thought they were going to make it through the whole season without a cold, wet day but, alas, their final day at Phelps Lake brought rain and cold temperatures. The team was prepared and finished on a high note with smiles despite the poor weather.
On the very last day of the season, the crew was rewarded with a well-deserved trip to Yellowstone. Many of them had not been to the world's first national park and everyone was excited to see the geysers and hot springs, including a ten-minute eruption of Grand Geyser and two Old Faithful eruptions!
We would like to express our most sincere gratitiude to this year's YCP participants, our partners in Grand Teton, and all of our supporters for making the 15th season of YCP a great success. We couldn't be more proud of all that the team has accomplished. Best wishes to the crew - THANK YOU!