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.

After a snowy week we finally got some sunshine today and have a few more trails open and dry that were in the winter wildlife closure zones that opened up on Wednesday.  Crystal Lite and Crystal Butte are both good options in the sun as are the first parts of Putt Putt and the Sidewalk.  A volunteer group from the Community School helped to break up some of the snow drifts on those trails this morning to help them dry out a little faster.  In west Jackson, lower Josies, Kellys, Lindas, KC, Champa, and parts of Sink or Swim are dry as well.  Further south the lower parts of Adams, Wilson, and Game Creek are also dry.  If you are exploring and come to a snow drift walk over it on the trail and please don’t short cut and create a trail around it.  The trail is also typically muddy to the down hill of the drifts so please walk and push your bike along the edge of these muddy sections.  Have a fun weekend!

So the record February snows set trail season back a bit this year.  The only things that are dry on the national forest at the moment are the Nelson Knoll Loop, and the first mile or so of Game Creek.  In some of the shadier areas you can hike and post-hole on snow but please try to avoid using muddy sections of trail as this causes trail damage and drainage problems for the rest of the summer.  Other trail options include the singletrack that parallels the pathway from Game Creek to South Park Loop road and the pump park and singletrack by Blair Dr.  When using the pump park please by considerate of nearby neighbors by staying in the park and keeping the noise level down.  All of the pathways are dry and open and the inner park road is plowed and open to non-motorized use through May 1.  Also remember the winter wildlife closures are still in effect until May 1 but the good news is that means Josie’s Ridge opens up on Wednesday next week!

The crew has had a whirlwind couple of weeks out on the trails.  They finished four bridges in Black Canyon and one in Phillip’s Canyon with the help of Carney Logan and Burke Architects who had 30 volunteers haul lumber and rocks to finish the bridge just this morning.  The style of bridge we are building assembles quickly but the slow part is hauling all the lumber miles into the forest to the bridge sites and then getting rocks, gravel, and dirt for the approaches.  Anyone interested in what we call “trail crew crossfit” should come out with us one day.  The crew also cleared Phillip’s Pass and Ski Lake, brush cut Putt Putt and Hagen, and cleaned all the drains on those trails.  We also had help from Lillard Flyfishing who brush cut the Kelly’s and lower Josie’s Ridge loop which was getting overgrown in places.  We are still working with Wildflower Watch and Nature Mapping JH to monitor plants, animals, and trail use in Cache Creek each week to look at long term trends.  Next week look for the crew working with more volunteers on bridges on the History Trail and West Game.  ps they like taking a funny picture after finishing each bridge so feel free to suggest something for the next one.

This week crews finished up 2 bridges on the History Trail, cleared History, Wilson, West Game, Blacks, worked with volunteers to move lumber to bridge sites, and got trained with Wildflower Watch and Nature Mapping JH.  We had 2 awesome volunteer groups from the Teton Science School and from the Teton Trail Runners who helped us move over 3000 pounds of lumber a mile up the trail to our next bridge sites.  We certainly couldn’t do all the projects on the forest each summer without help from amazing volunteers like them!  The crews also became trained for our Citizen Science project with Wildflower Watch, Nature Mapping JH and the BTNF.  This summer they will help record plant, animal, and recreation data in Cache Creek as part of an ongoing study there.  They also cleared a few dozen trees off of the upper reaches of trail on Pass Ridge.  The next spot to hit will be the Skyline Trail on Monday!  We are excited to get up there after it opens up on Sunday and we hope you go up for an adventure as well!

The front country trails are in prime summer shape right now!  Teton Pass has only a few lingering snow drifts which are quickly melting and the rain this week has kept the dust down and the trails in great shape.  The Youth Trail Crew started this week and had a fun first day clearing drains on Putt Putt in a torrential hail storm but on the plus side it was easy to see the drainage dips and water bars working.  They spent the rest of the week working on bridges on the History Trail.  We are up to 4 bridges built with a few approaches left to fill in with gravel.  Next week we have 2 volunteer groups from TSS and the Teton Trail Runners to help us move lumber into the woods for the next bridges.  We also looked at a reroute on the Big Munger Trail with the USFS and DIRT.  They have a grant to bring severely eroded sections of that trail up to standards and when it is done it should make for a much more enjoyable experience for all trail users.  I would recommend that as the trail of the week as the views are stunning and the wildflowers are in full bloom right now!

A few cool days slowed the snow melt on Teton Pass but the trails continue to dry out.  I saw a few brave souls who had pushed out through the ~3 feet of snow on Pass Ridge and descended Black Canyon and Lithium.  Ski Lake is quite doable to the lake with snow remaining above.  Arrow to Phillip’s Canyon is cleared and passable with a few lingering drifts.  The Ridge is also passable by linking Arrow to Snotel and sections of the BPA road before descending the Ridge trail to Fish Creek road.  There are still a few trees down there that the Youth Trail Crew will help clear on their first day this Monday.  Look for these high school students working on the trails over the next 9 weeks, particularly on Teton Pass where they will be building bridges and installing new signs.  The crew also finished the first bridge on the History trail this week and we have some volunteers lined up to help us add gravel to the approaches and carry lumber to the next bridge sites.  Hopefully we dodge the rain this weekend and everyone is able to get out for an adventure.  Remember to wait til the roads dry out after a rain before going on the trails, that is usually a good indicator of when they have dried out enough to not be damaged and muddy.

Thanks to everybody who came out to help on National Trails Day last Saturday!  We got a big head start on the bridge project on Teton Pass, moved ~8,000 pounds of lumber, rerouted a wet section of the History trail, cleaned all the water bars on Big Rocks, and finished the first bridge on Big Rocks in under 3 hours.  Crews were out clearing trees and fixing drainage problems on Snow King and Teton Pass this week.  The Arrow trail has maybe 500 feet of snow left, mostly in shaded drifts in the trees but is passable and Phillips Canyon is clear as well.  You can also link Arrow to the BPA road to bypass the Snotel and paraglider launch area to link up with the Ridge trail which is clear below 2 towers and the switchbacks.  Crews will clear the last few trees off of Snotel and Ridge next week.  Upper History is good to go as well and now is a great time to hike before the nettle grows 6 feet tall.  One more heads up for the bottom of the Shade Monkey trail at Snow King.  The condo construction and magic carpet location have led to the bottom 2 corners being graded over.  This will be fixed sometime in June after the construction fence is moved back to the property line and the magic carpet is moved to the west.  Enjoy the weekend!

Snow King and Munger trails are good to go and Teton Pass is slowly but surely melting out. The TFR trails on the south side of the pass are in pretty good shape and should be riding nicely for their Pass Bash on Saturday. Everything else is probably still and out and back exploration from the bottom until you hit the snow line. The one exception may be the Ridge trail which you can link from the Phillip’s trailhead to Fish Creek road by using portions of the BPA powerline road that tends to melt out quicker than the shaded trail around the Snotel section. On Saturday you should start your day with bagels and coffee and at the base of Old Pass Road and then stay and help us build some new bridges with the USFS for National Trails Day. We will finish up with lunch and beverages and then you can continue on to the Pass Bash and make a full day of supporting and enjoying the trails!

The Cache Game trails are a go for the season!  Things have melted out about 3 weeks ahead of last year and the crews cleared the Cache Game divide, West Game, and Wilson this week.  I would say the trails are 99.9% good with a few seeps and water problems that we will address this summer.  Munger is also in great shape after crews got a few more trees off of Tusky and Squaw.  Teton Pass continues to melt out and the snow line is receding daily.  All of the trails there make a good out and back starting from the bottom and exploring your way up to the snow line.  Again if you see any trees down on trails or other problems let us know and we will get he crews out to fix them.  Also a reminder that the Skyline trail remains closed until July 1 each year to protect elk calving in the area.  I would say Cache to Game is the trail choice for the holiday weekend so get out and enjoy!

Trails are continuing to dry out in the front country.  The Munger Mountain Trails are in good shape with only a few wet spots from spring seeps.  The Trail Crew did a pass on Poison Creek and Wally’s World and will hit Rock Creek, Squaw Creek, and Tusky Ridge next week.  On the pass the snow line is receding and you can make a loop out of lower History and Crater or Big Rocks and Black Canyon.  Lower Phillip’s Canyon and the Ridge trails are also clear from Fish Creek up to just below the Arrow trail junction and the switchback section respectively.  Snow King trails are almost all dry with some snow and mud persisting on upper Cache and Game Creek, upper Wilson Canyon, and the saddle of Ferrins.  The Cache Creek trails are tree free and the crew removed 54 trees and cleaned 314 drainage features on Poison, Wallys, History, Crater, Big Rocks, Blacks, Phillip’s Canyon, Ridge, Josies, Ferrins, Putt Putt, Wilson, West Game, and Game.  There are still a few more lingering out there and if you notice a tree down or a drainage problem message us and we will get to it asap.  Have a good weekend out there!