Grand Teton begins plowing roads in preparation for spring operations

National Park Service road crews use rotary plows to clear heavy snows at the end of the winter season in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. (Ruffin Prevost/Yellowstone Gate - click to enlarge)

National Park Service road crews use rotary plows to clear heavy snows at the end of the winter season in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. (Ruffin Prevost/Yellowstone Gate - click to enlarge)

From Staff Reports

The annual plowing of the Moose-Wilson Road and Teton Park Road in Grand Teton National Park will begin Monday, March 12. As plowing begins, recreation on the snow-packed trails will conclude for the 2011-12 winter season. Park visitors may continue to use other winter trails—or areas adjacent to these roads—for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and other activities as conditions allow.

Visitors may not use the Teton Park Road while rotary snow removal equipment and plows are working. Safety precautions require that the road is closed to all users during that activity.

Skiers and snowshoers using areas adjacent to the Teton Park Road are cautioned to avoid the arc of snow blown from the rotary equipment, because pieces of ice and gravel can be mixed with the snow spray and pose a safety concern. Park rangers will enforce the temporary road closure to ensure safe conditions for plow operators and park visitors.

Depending on weather, snow conditions and plowing progress, the roadway should become accessible in early April to traditional springtime, non-motorized activities. Opening of the Teton Park Road to bikers, hikers and inline skaters will be announced once snow removal equipment is no longer operating.

The Grassy Lake Road in the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway is scheduled to close for the winter season on Thursday evening, March 15, in conjunction with other closures in nearby Yellowstone National Park. This road remains closed to all motor vehicles from April 1 – May 31 due to springtime grizzly bear activity.

Depending on snow conditions, ranger-led snowshoe hikes from the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center will continue through mid-March. To make a reservation for this activity or for additional information, call 307-739-3399. The Discovery Center will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. during March and April.

Pet owners are reminded that dogs are not allowed in the park’s backcountry, which includes all areas away from park roadways and turnouts. Pet owners are required to have their dogs on a maximum 6-foot leash and must clean up dog waste. A “mutt-mitt” station is conveniently located near the Teton Park Road closure gates.

The paved, multi-use pathway running from Dornan’s to South Jenny Lake will not be open for public use until the snow recedes naturally.

The Teton Park Road will open to vehicle traffic for the 2012 summer season on Tuesday, May 1.

Contact Yellowstone Gate at 307-213-9818 or [email protected]

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