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Contact: Public Affairs Office, 307.739.3393
Despite rainy weather during May, Grand Teton National Park trail crew members labored continuously to complete a trail improvement project on the southwest segment of the Jenny Lake trail system. The popular and well-traveled trail around the south end of Jenny Lake is now open for public use. Major trail improvement work on this portion of the Jenny Lake trail system has been underway since the spring of 2014. Park trail crews were able to finalize their work a month earlier than anticipated, and the detour to a parallel trail that rises higher above the lakeshore is no longer required.
To prepare for this trail improvement project, a contract helicopter flew in approximately 76 tons of rock material from a local Teton Range location during the spring and fall of 2014. Trail crews placed this rock and added soils to essentially raise the trail by two feet above the lake surface. Elevating the shoreline trail, along with improving the trail tread, greatly improves the overall hiking conditions, especially during times when the lake level runs higher, such as spring run-off.
While the southwest Jenny Lake trail segment is again open for public access, hikers are reminded that the popular trail connecting Hidden Falls to Inspiration Point will be closed for most of the 2015 hiking season as park trail crews replace two wooden bridges over Cascade Creek and improve the steep, rocky ledge trail to Inspiration Point. Backcountry travelers will need to use the horse trail that lies just north of the Jenny Lake westshore boat dock to reach Inspiration Point —and destinations within Cascade Canyon or beyond. Day hikers who wish to reach only Hidden Falls will simply follow the customary trail leading upslope from the westshore boat dock for one-half mile. This foot trail will dead-end at Hidden Falls, however, and hikers will not be able to proceed beyond that point to Inspiration Point. Signs will be posted on Jenny Lake's westshore to direct hikers to their desired destinations: Hidden Falls or Inspiration Point, Cascade Canyon and beyond. Most of the backcountry trail work is expected to be completed by late fall.
All of the trail improvement work at Jenny Lake, Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point is part of the Jenny Lake Renewal Project called Inspiring Journeys. This project is being funded through a public-private partnership initiative with the Grand Teton National Park Foundation, the park's primary fundraising partner.
Next summer, major work will be underway to improve the visitor services located throughout the south Jenny Lake area, including trail segments along the eastshore of Jenny Lake and all foot paths that lead from the parking areas to the lake.
To finance the Jenny Lake Renewal Project, the Grand Teton National Park Foundation is raising $14 million through its Inspiring Journeys campaign.Grand Teton National Park is contributing $3 million generated from entrance fee revenues.This public-private partnership effort serves as a signature project to highlight the National Park Service's 2016 centennial milestone. For information about the Foundation or its Inspiring Journeys campaign, please go to www.gtnpf.org or phone Leslie Mattson at 307.732.0629.