By Jackie Skaggs
Grand Teton National Park spokeswoman
MOOSE, Wyo. – Grand Teton National Park road crews have cut through the snow cover on the Teton Park Road between the Taggart Lake parking area and Signal Mountain Lodge – a distance of 15 miles – and completed this portion of the annual spring plowing operations on March 27.
Annual plowing of the Teton Park Road is a process that can take several weeks to complete, depending on the depth and consistency of the snowpack. Due to the relatively thin snow cover this year, removal operations on the road took just one week this year.
The park road has melted down to pavement in most places and is now open to non-motorized recreation such as walking, biking and rollerblading. Springtime visitors can look forward to access on this park road for nearly five weeks before it opens to private vehicles for the summer travel season on Friday, May 1.
Although the road is open for non-motorized use, springtime recreationalists must be alert for park vehicles that periodically travel this roadway for administrative purposes. Road crews are still in the process of clearing other auxiliary roads and wayside areas, and visitors are cautioned to keep a safe distance from heavy equipment that may be operating at various locations.
Dogs are permitted on the park road, but owners are required to keep pets on a leash no longer than 6 feet, and must use waste disposal bags to pick up after their dogs. Mutt Mitt stations are in place at the Taggart Lake parking area.
Bears are now out of hibernation and active again in Grand Teton National Park and the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway. Park visitors need to be alert for bears and take appropriate precautions when using the Teton Park Road and other park areas. Visitors should exercise common sense and good judgment, stay alert, and follow these recommended safety tips while biking, hiking or spring skiing:
- Make noise
- Travel in a group of three or more
- Carry bear spray and know how to use it
- Maintain a 100-yard distance from bears at all times
- Never approach a bear under any circumstances
People should also report bear sightings or sign to the nearest visitor center or ranger station. Timely reporting will help park staff to provide important safety messages about bear activity to other visitors.