Friends of Pathways has a formal partnership with the USFS to collaborate on design, construction and stewardship of local trails for all users – hike, bike, horse, and ski. We’re committed to providing easy year round access to trails that is essential to maintaining our high quality of life in Jackson Hole.

The Youth Trail Crew has been busy working to improve the popular Ski Lake Trail over the last 3 weeks.  They have been installing water bars and rock steps and improving the tread in areas where erosion has affected the trail.  They will be finishing up their work this week and moving to other projects so if you’re looking to take a hike high in the mountains to avoid the heat go say hi to them at Ski Lake and check out the work they have done.  The Forest Service Trail Crew has also been busy working on several reroute projects with a volunteer group from Wilderness Ventures.  They have worked on sections of trail at Ouzel Falls by the headwaters of the Gros Ventre River and rerouted the Crystal Creek Trail around the giant landslide that covered the old trail and created a lake.  The Friends of Pathways Trail Ambassadors have been out performing yearly trail maintenance on the Snow King and Teton Pass trails, digging drainage in Black Canyon, rebenching parts of the Woods Canyon, clearing trees on the Ridge Trail, and removing user created trails in the Cache Creek area.  They want to remind folks to stay off of rehabbed trails to give them a chance to grow back, and if you have any questions for them they will have the tent set up at the Flat Creek trailhead on Tuesday and at the Trail Creek trailhead on Friday morning.  Come say hi and get a map or bike bell or a dog leash.

The project to separate use on the Nelson Dr. section of the Putt Putt trail wrapped up this Thursday.  Since the start of the project on June 6th, 232 volunteers have donated almost 1,000 hours of time to help the Bridger Teton and Friends of Pathways crews to build 1.2 miles of new trail and close and rehab .58 miles of old eroded trail.  During this time work was also done to connect the Shade Monkey trail to the base of Snow King providing another way to access the trails without driving to Cache Creek Trailhead.  The FOP Youth Trail Crew has begun working on the Ski Lake trail installing new waterbars and improving drainage and the BTNF Trail Crew has been working on projects in the Gros Ventre Wilderness with groups from Wilderness Ventures.  Look for the FOP Trail Ambassadors out at the Phillip’s Trailhead tomorrow.  Stop by their tent with any questions or to pick up a trail map and have a great weekend out on the trails!

On Thursday July 2, Friends of Pathways’ Youth Trail Crew will complete work on the bike/hike portion of the Putt-Putt Trail from Nelson Drive. Immediately following completion, rehab will begin on the old section of trail.  In the next few weeks, a separate horse/hiking trail will be completed.

Construction on the Putt-Putt separate access began during National Trails Day. Seventy-five volunteers, fueled by Lucky’s Market, built a half mile of trail through the aspen tress from Nelson Drive. This portion of trail was visited by the Secretary of Agriculture, where Vilsack praised the partnership of FoP with the Bridger-Teton National Forest.

After the initial work, the youth crew completed another half mile of trail before moving over to do rehab work on the Shade Monkey Trail at the base of Snow King Mountain. The youth crew worked alongside our Ambassador team who used a machine to buff the trail and rebuild the corners while the crew rehabbed places with excessive erosion.

“Given the heat we’ve been experiencing, these kids deserve extra kudos for working outside in the sun all day,” said Katherine Dowson, FOP Executive Director. “Their contributions to our world-class trails system are indispensable. With continued budget cuts at the Bridger-Teton, Friends of Pathways is committed to community based solutions to support our loved trail system.”

Thursday, July 2nd, volunteers from Teton Science School Operation Purple, a Military Families Retreat, will work with the youth crew to complete the last stretch of trail.  They will then begin rehab of the old Putt-Putt Trail. If you want one last hike/run/bike on the old trail, make sure you get out there before Thursday! And, schedule some time this weekend to get out on the new trail!

Jackson District Ranger Dale Deiter authorized a trails document that would lead to a balanced approach to managing increasing recreation pressures and necessary wildlife protections. Projects approved include:

1. A 5.5 mile multi-use trail that will skirt the Skyline Ridge on Snow King Mountain. This trail will provide the visual and scenic recreational opportunity afforded by a higher elevation trail that is carefully designed with elements that allow the trail to blend in with the natural setting.

2. A 1.2 mile trail segment near Nelson Drive to separate hiking and biking use, which will ultimately reduce conflicts between users and provide for a more enjoyable experience for all recreationists.

3.  Josie’s Ridge reconstruction which will provide a short hiking loop near town and be designated for pedestrian travel.

4. Game Creek trail motorized use dates. The trail will now be open to motorized use from September 1 through October 30 each year unless conditions deteriorate to where resources are being adversely affected.

“People choose to live near their National Forest for many reasons, but mainly because they like being able to recreate, enjoy the scenery and the wildlife habitat that we conserve,” said Deiter. “We feel that with the help of the community, we are progressing towards more sustainable and responsible strategies for accommodating recreationist and wildlife in our trails system” he said.

GSKA Scoping Decision

View the many Appendices here

Do you know a 15-18 year old who wants to spend the summer outside, working in the Bridger-Teton National Forest? 

FOP is looking for 8 motivated teens to be a part of our first Youth Trail Crew program. Crew members will work on a variety of projects on the Bridger-Teton National Forest for nine weeks, June 19th – August 17th. This is a Monday – Thursday position (32 hours); crew members will earn $11/hr. As a crew member you will help complete a variety of manual tasks including restoration and maintenance of trails, new trail lay-out and construction, and the closure and rehab of old trails. Crew members will interact weekly with resource managers from the Bridger-Teton, and will also learn about many aspects of forest and natural resource management (wildlife, recreation, forestry, fire management). The job requires teamwork, personal motivation, enthusiasm for new challenges and an excitement to work outdoors! Applicants must complete a written application and attend a personal interview.

To apply for this position, you must complete an application and reference form and email it to chris@friendsofpathways.org no later than May 12, 2017. Please be sure to complete all questions on the application in a thoughtful and thorough manner. If mailing, please send this application along with your reference form to:

Youth Trail Crew
Friends of Pathways
PO Box 2062
10 E. Simpson Ave.
Jackson, WY 83001

CLICK THE LINK BELOW TO DOWNLOAD THE YOUTH TRAIL CREW APPLICATION & REFERENCE LETTER:

2017 Youth Trail Crew Job Description

2017 Youth Trail Crew Application

2017 Youth Trail Crew Reference Letter

May 4 2015 Trail Conditions

Cache Creek
Putt-Putt – OPEN
Sidewalk – OPEN
Cache Creek Road – wet/muddy in shady areas
Hagen – OPEN (even up to the base of Ferrin’s)
Josie’s – OPEN
Ferrin’s – OPEN at the base, snowy on top
Game – OPEN up to the Beaver Ponds – wet up to the divide
Wilson/West Game – CAUTION very muddy in places
Snow King – almost dry, but watch for closures

Teton Pass
Parallel – OPENEverything else – muddy
Old Pass Road – OPEN plowed and swept by Jim Verdone this weekend- THANKS!

Munger – OPEN 

This year, Jay Pistono, Friends of Pathways Pass Ambassador, was voted to have the ‘coolest and most important jobs in the valley’ by The Planet.  Here’s what they’re saying:

Pistono’s job began on a volunteer basis as he tried to help clean up after dogs and control the calamitous parking situation atop Teton Pass. These two issues became so problematic that “access was hanging in the balance,” according to Pistono, and WYDOT was ready to ban Teton Pass skiing access altogether.

When Friends of Pathways and the U.S. Forest Service got wind of what Pistono was doing to help minimize chaos on the pass, they decided to create a job for him, hoping he could help ensure continued access to the area.

Most people don’t realize that without Pistono, skiing on Teton Pass would likely be restricted and this winter playground would be the forbidden fruit dangling in our faces. Of course, Pistono is incredibly humble and insists it’s all about the pass, and he doesn’t want credit for the great job he’s doing. The Ambassador’s approach has always been one of compassion and teaching:

“I like to talk to people in the spirit of learning, not judgment,” he said. “They’re much more likely to listen.”

Teton County Grooming Schedule (starts December 15th)
Cache Creek T/Th/Sa – Early AM
May Park T/Th/Sa – Early AM
School Fields Complex T/Th/Sa – Late AM
Game Creek T/Th – Early PM
Emily’s Pond Levee W/F – Early AM
Wilson Centennial W/F/Sa – Early AM
South Park Loop W/F – Late AM
Von Gontard W/F – Late AM

Grand Teton National Park – M/F

Teton Pines – OPEN

Trail Creek – OPEN

Shooting Star – OPEN

Teton County Idaho TVTAP Grooming Schedule (already begun)
Alta M/W/Sa
Driggs School Fields M/W/F
Grand Targhee Nordic Trails T/Th/Sa/Su
Pioneer Park T/F
Teton Canyon T/Th
Teton Springs W/Sa

Visit JHNordic.com for more information on local cross country ski, snowshoe, snow bike, ect. information.

REMINDER: The Elk Refuge Pathway will being its seasonal closure on November 1 to reduce conflicts with migrating or wintering animals and to maintain the National Elk Refuge’s mission.

The pathway will reopen on April 1, 2015.

A seasonal closure was a key condition of the agreement between Teton County and the National Elk Refuge for pathway use on U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service property. Another alternative identified during the planning process called for locating the pathway on the west side of the highway with fewer restrictions, but public comment supported the east side placement despite the seasonal closure.

Take Action!

We need you to show your support for the Greater Snow King Area Trail Projects Scoping by commenting before September 26th.

Let the Bridger-Teton know you support the Greater Snow King Area Trails Project. They has done an excellent job of putting together a trail plan that Friends of Pathways enthusiastically supports. The plan will build new trails that reduce user conflicts, while repairing resource damage and will balance recreational use with the need to protect important wildlife habitat.

This document proposes five new projects: Skyline & Putt-Putt Extension trails, Nelson Drive and Josie’s Ridge hiking specific trails, and a reduction in the season for motorized use in Game Creek. For the complete document or project map

In your comments please:

1. Support the plan to build new trails, reduce user conflicts, repair resource damage and balance recreational use with the need to protect important wildlife habitat.

2. Commend the BTNF for releasing a clear and concise scoping document that “address[es] improvements needed to make the summer trail system work better for all visitors.”

3. State that you support all five proposed projects: map of proposed projects

4. Add a personal comment to let them know why you value the Greater Snow King Area.

Read the complete document and make your comments by September 26th.