Grand Teton pathway adds additional section, seeks volunteer “ambassadors”

A multipurpose pathway in Grand Teton National Park has averaged more than 19,000 trips each year since it opened in May 2009. A new segment of the pathway will open later this year. (NPS Photo)

From Staff Reports

MOOSE, WYO. — A multi-purpose pathway that winds through Grand Teton National Park and its gateway communities will add an additional newly completed section later this year, and the National Park Service is seeking volunteer “ambassadors” to help manage traffic on the popular route.

For the fourth year, Grand Teton National Park is recruiting volunteers to serve as ambassadors for the pathway that extends from Dornan’s restaurant and wine shop in the Moose area to South Jenny Lake. Volunteer ambassadors will patrol the eight-mile-long paved pathway on foot, bicycle or roller blades to meet and greet other pathway users, provide emergency assistance and inform people of regulations.

Grand Teton path

Volunteers will also patrol the 6.5-mile pathway segment from Moose to the Gros Ventre River after it opens in early summer. Work on that portion of the Grand Teton pathway segment requires completion of the Moose Junction underpass and final construction of the small bridge over a side channel of the Gros Ventre River.

The opening date of the Moose-to-Gros Ventre River segment is dependent on weather and construction progress. In future years, the segment will open when it becomes snow-free — as is the case with hiking trails in Grand Teton.

The entire 12.5-mile pathway from Jackson to Moose spans lands managed by two separate federal agencies: the National Elk Refuge and Grand Teton National Park.

Jackson Community Pathways worked with Refuge officials and took the lead on managing design and construction of this leg and the bridge spanning the Gros Ventre River. Park staff worked with Western Federal Lands Highways Division engineers to design and construct this segment.

For existing sections of the pathway as well as the new section opening later this year, the Park Service will work with volunteers to help educate travelers about safety regulations governing use of the pathway.

Volunteers who choose to become a Grand Teton pathway ambassador will join a team of park employees who are trained to educate people about rules governing pathway use, park officials said in a statement released Monday.

Through a “gentle informal approach, volunteer ambassadors will also provide information regarding protection of park wildlife and other resources,” the statement said. Volunteers will also help those who may require first aid or a minor bike repair, as well as tally visitor statistics for documentation of pathway use.

The pathway crosses an important wildlife corridor, so users must minimize impacts to animals. For example, pets are not allowed on the pathway, and nighttime use is not permitted.

The automated self-serve machine adjacent to the Moose Entrance Station will be in operation again this summer. People traveling on the paved pathways will be required to pay $12 for a 7-day entry permit, or have a previously purchased pass. Pathway users should carry an ID along with their park pass.

A pathway ambassador orientation and training session will be arranged for those interested in the program. To learn more about this opportunity or sign up as a participant, contact volunteer coordinator Sara Petsch at (307) 739-3397.

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

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