News Release

Temporary closures scheduled for trails around Phelps Lake and Death Canyon Road

a wood bridge across a creek

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News Release Date: October 6, 2021

Contact: CJ Adams, 307-739-3431

A temporary area closure will be in effect for several trails around Phelps Lake as well as the Death Canyon Road in Grand Teton National on Thursday, October 7, and from Tuesday, October 12—Thursday, October 14. The temporary area closure is necessary to ensure public safety during construction activities involving helicopter transport of heavy materials from White Grass to the Phelps Lake outlet bridge on the east side of Phelps Lake. Closures will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the provided dates.

For safety during the staging and hauling of construction materials, Death Canyon Road and some trails around Phelps Lake, including the Wister Draw Trail, the Woodland Trail, and Boulder Ridge Trail will be temporarily closed.

Staff will be located at junctions or trailheads where trails will be closed. Death Canyon Road will have staff on either end and will be closed to incoming traffic. 

Schedules may change, or be delayed, due to weather conditions, equipment malfunction, or other extenuating circumstances.

The Phelps Lake outlet bridge was closed for replacement beginning August 18. The closure is expected to be in place through fall 2022. 

The bridge connects Lake Creek trail to the Woodland trail and therefore hikers will not be able to make a loop on those trails, although hikers can still hike the Lake Creek or Woodland trail one way to the lake and back. The Phelps Lake loop from the Death Canyon trailhead will require an additional 1.5 miles to complete the loop. Signs will be placed around Phelps Lake to reflect the closure.

The bridge was originally built for vehicle use by the Rockefeller family more than 60 years ago, before being reconfigured for pedestrian use as part of the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve. The bridge sits on untreated logs and over time the weight of the bridge has made the wood deteriorate. The old bridge will be replaced with a new bridge that will be less costly to maintain and will continue to reflect the attractive, rustic appearance of the historic bridge.

Jackson Hole Preserve Inc., one of Grand Teton’s longest standing partners, is helping to support the bridge replacement.  

Last updated: October 6, 2021

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