From now through the end of the month you can pedal, roller-blade, or simply walk down the Teton Park Road in Grand Teton National Park without worrying about passenger cars and trucks. Although, you do need to watch out for snow-removal trucks and plows.
Park crews have cut through the deep snowpack on the Teton Park Road between the Taggart Lake parking area and Signal Mountain Lodge'a distance of 15 miles. The road has melted down to pavement, and currently is open to non-motorized recreation such as walking, roller-blading, and biking. However, road crews are still in the process of clearing the Jenny Lake scenic loop road, as well as other auxiliary roads and wayside areas.
Because the annual snow removal operations are still underway, anyone using the Teton Park Road for springtime recreation must be alert for and be prepared for sharing the road with heavy equipment, large trucks, and other park vehicles that will regularly travel this roadway as the spring opening continues. As a safety precaution, visitors to this area must stay at least 500 feet back from the large rotary snow removal equipment at work.
The 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 exceptionally deep and dense snowpack this year, snow removal on just the principal Teton Park Road has taken the better part of two weeks. Still, springtime visitors can look forward to access on this park road for more than three weeks before it opens for the summer travel season. The Teton Park Road will open again to private vehicle use on Thursday, May 1.
Visitors are reminded that dogs are permitted on the Teton Park Road. Owners are required to keep pets on a leash no longer than six feet in length, and are required to use waste disposal bags to pick up after their dogs. Mutt Mitt stations are in place at the Taggart Lake parking area.
Also, don't forget that bears are now out of hibernation and active again in Grand Teton National Park and the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway. Consequently, 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 any 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.