JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) — Two of the most heavily used day-hiking routes in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks in northwest Wyoming are closed for the time being because of weather damage and maintenance.
In Yellowstone, the iconic Brink of the Lower Falls trail is closed in the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone because of a mud and rock slide that deposited a 7-by-8-foot boulder on the route, effectively blocking the path.
In Grand Teton, the trail beyond Hidden Falls to Inspiration Point is closed and being rerouted so crews can replace bridges over Cascade Creek and rebuild the rocky ledge trails and steps that lead up to the popular Jenny Lake overlook.
Work can’t begin to remove the enormous rock on the Brink of the Lower Falls trail in Yellowstone because of wet weather, Yellowstone spokeswoman Traci Weaver said Thursday.
“It’s closed until further notice,” she said, “until we get a drying trend and are able to get in there and deal with it.”
Because of the trail’s location in the Yellowstone River canyon, dynamiting the boulder would be unsafe, Weaver told the Jackson Hole News & Guide (http://bit.ly/1Q3d9j3).
The Brink of the Lower Falls trail, which leads hikers to a perch right above the 308-foot waterfall, may end up being rerouted, she said.
The trail work on the west shore of Jenny Lake in Grand Teton is more of a long-term situation, and the half-mile stretch leading up to Inspiration Point will be closed for “most of the hiking season,” according to the National Park Service.
Destinations up Cascade Canyon are also affected.
Those trails are “the most popular and highly used” in Grand Teton, the Park Service says.
Park staffers have erected signs on Jenny Lake’s west shore to direct people to alternative routes to Hidden Falls, Inspiration Point and Cascade Canyon.
The customary route from the Jenny Lake west shore boat dock to Hidden Falls remains open, but hikers will find themselves at a dead end at the falls.
This summer trail crews will also work on Jenny Lake’s southwest shore trail, which will be closed until early July.
Hikers can take a parallel trail that rises above the lake shore.
The trail work is part of a $17 million effort to repair and renovate many facets of the Jenny Lake area. Some features of the area date back to the 1930s.
Information from: Jackson Hole (Wyo.) News And Guide, http://www.jhnewsandguide.com
Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.