After temporarily closing the ever-popular one-way Scenic Drive near Jenny Lake, Grand Teton National Park has reopened the attraction to visitors. With the project is complete, those on two-wheels and four-wheels can more safely enjoy the gorgeous route.
A go-to choice for visitors that aren’t quite ready to hit the trails, Grand Teton’s Scenic Drive takes motorists and cyclists from the northside at String Lake towards Jenny Lake before connecting with Teton Park Road. Previously, the park had closed the road to enhance cyclist safety by adding stripes and paint signage. Now, the road allows for one-way vehicle traffic and two-way bicycle traffic.
“The existing southbound bicycle lane was widened to allow for bicycles and vehicles and a new northbound lane was created for bicycles only,” the release stated.
According to Grand Teton National Park, Scenic Drive sees plenty of bicyclists every year. With the improvements, cyclists will now have a new way to ride “south with traffic and then loop back to the north on the one-way bike lane.”
“Prior to the improvement, cyclists had to use Teton Park Road as part of their return trip north, which is less comfortable, less convenient, has higher two-way traffic volume, higher vehicle speeds with a longer travel time,” the park explained.
In addition to the road striping, Grand Teton National Park will be adding new road signs this fall to Scenic Drive which will help convey the recently installed bike route.
In response to the projects, Chip Jenkins, superintendent of Grand Teton National Park, stressed the importance of cyclist safety in the park.
“Enhancing cycling experiences and opportunities in the park is high priority for us,” Jenkins said. “We appreciate the collaboration of partners like Wyoming Pathways who provided the concept and technical ideas for the improvements to Scenic Drive.”
Grand Teton National Park Also Raises Fire Danger to High
Another notable development for Grand Teton National Park is the change in fire danger status. As of September 7, the park increased the fire danger from “medium” to “high.”
According to the park, “A high fire danger rating means fires can start easily and spread quickly. When determining fire danger, fire managers use several indicators such as the moisture content of grasses, shrubs, and trees; projected weather conditions including temperatures and possible wind events; the ability of fire to spread after ignition; and availability of firefighting resources across the country.”
While campfires are still welcome in the park, there are a few precautions that overnight visitors need to take in order to prevent any risk of causing a wildfire.
“All campers and day-users should have a shovel on hand and a water bucket ready for use if choosing to have a fire. Soak, stir, feel, repeat,” the park informed. “It is extremely important that all campfires are ‘dead out’ and cold to the touch before leaving.”