The Youth Conservation Program spent weeks six and seven working throughout Grand Teton National Park, from the south end at Granite Canyon all the way north to Leigh Lake—they have covered a lot of ground.
Week six began with brushing trail in Granite Canyon. This popular route had vegetation growing over the tread in several areas, and the crew cutback shrubs and bushes to ensure easy passage for hikers and stock for years to come. On Tuesday, YCP made improvements to several sections of trail tread on the north side of String Lake. There were two areas that needed their attention—one where the trail had turned into a gully and another where the tread had widened and crept downhill. The crew removed the berm downslope of the gully and flattened and smoothed the trail. YCP returned to Leigh Lake on Wednesday and Thursday to continue their long-term reroute project.
For the majority of week seven, YCP made a big push to wrap up the Leigh Lake reroute in preparation for its opening along with the nearby campsites on July 28. The team was able to finish the tread surface along the entire half-mile stretch to get it up to a high standard, and were also able to brush the corridor. The ends of the trail had been left untouched until this point to keep visitors from walking on the not yet finished trail, so the crew cut in the final sections of the reroute. To complete the opening of the new trail, YCP moved the campsite marker signs to their new locations and then camouflaged the old trail with brush so that visitors will now naturally be led to the new trail.
The week ended on a high note with Ranger Day with the Jenny Lake Rangers, which involved learning about what it takes to be a member of the search and rescue team in Grand Teton. The group learned about how patients are treated and transported out of the backcountry, how they use ropes and pulley systems to complete rescues, and what other resources they use in park to provide safety to the general public.