Grand Teton National Park starts to increase recreational access
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The following is a news release from Grand Teton National Park.
MOOSE, Wyo.- Following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local public health authorities, Grand Teton National Park is increasing recreational access and some limited visitor services.
The National Park Service is working servicewide with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and using a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis.
“It was great to welcome Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence to Yellowstone National Park and First Lady Melania Trump to Grand Teton National Park last year. These are incredible places that are special to the American public. I appreciate Superintendent Sholly and Acting Superintendent Noojibail for working with Gov. (Mark) Gordon and health officials to make the parks accessible to the public,” said Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt.
Beginning Monday, May 18, Grand Teton National Park will have recreational access with limited services available to the public, including;
- Primary road access (Teton Park Road, Moose-Wilson Road and North Park Road)
- Public restrooms in some areas
- Day-use hiking on seasonally-accessible trails
- Riverbank and lakeshore fishing
- Multi-use pathway system (where free from snow)
- Several viewpoints continue to be accessible along US Highway 89/26/191
With public health in mind, the following facilities remain closed or services are unavailable at this time:
- Park visitor centers
- Overnight lodging
- Food service
- Boating/floating on river and lakes
- Backcountry permits
- Special-use permits
It is anticipated that expanded recreational access and visitor services will be available as the park continues with a phased opening approach, conditions permitting.
“I appreciate the willingness of Acting Superintendent Noojibail to engage with state and Teton County officials to develop a reopening plan that provides access to one of the most iconic parks anywhere,” Gov. Gordon said. “This plan is designed to protect employees, visitors and community members. Spring in Teton County would just not be the same without the opportunity to appreciate Grand Teton National Park up close.”
“I appreciate the strong working relationship the park enjoys with our local and state partners,” said Grand Teton National Park Acting Superintendent Gopaul Noojibail. “Their input has helped inform the park’s phased reopening plan, which provides recreational access to the park in a manner that promotes the health and safety of our employees, volunteers, partners and visitors. We ask all park visitors to do their part to take preventive actions as they enjoy the park by maintaining social distancing and following all CDC and local health guidance.”
The park is implementing a number of preventive measures to reduce the spread of infectious disease, including prioritizing the hiring of seasonal custodial workers and increased contracted services for cleaning and disinfecting high use areas, and the use of plexiglass panels in locations of high visitor/public interaction such as entrance stations, visitor centers, and permit desks, and providing visitor guidance.
Grand Teton National Park will examine each facility function and service provided to ensure those operations comply with current public health guidance and will be regularly monitored. The park continues to work closely with the National Park Service Office of Public Health using CDC guidance to ensure public and workspaces are safe and clean for visitors, employees, partners, and volunteers.
When recreating, the public should follow local area health guidance, practice Leave No Trace principles, avoid crowding and avoid high-risk outdoor activities.
The CDC has offered guidance to help people recreating in parks and open spaces prevent the spread of infectious diseases. All park functions will continue to be monitored to ensure that visitors adhere to CDC guidance for mitigating risks associated with the transmission of COVID-19, and take any additional steps necessary to protect public health.
Details and updates on park operations will continue to be posted on the park’s website at www.nps.gov/grte/index.htm and the park’s Facebook and Twitter pages. Updates about National Park Service operations will be posted on www.nps.gov/coronavirus.