Greater Yellowstone Trail and Teton Pass Pathway Progress

Wyoming Pathways continues to make excellent progress toward the vision of the Greater Yellowstone Trail, a world-class regional bicycling and walking trail connecting Jackson Hole Wyoming with West Yellowstone Montana. The GYT starts in Grand Teton National Park, crosses Teton Pass on the south end to Victor, then follows the historic Yellowstone rail line and back roads through communities in eastern Idaho, crossing over the Continental Divide at Reas Pass on the north end and connecting to West Yellowstone and Yellowstone National Park west gate.

In May, the respected American Trails nonprofit recognized the Greater Yellowstone Trail Concept Plan with their International Trail Award for “best large planning project”. Wyoming Pathways led the team that prepared the Concept Plan for the City of Victor, funded by a HUD grant.

Then in June Wyoming Pathways was delighted to receive news of a Rails-to-Trails Doppelt Family Foundation Grant for the Greater Yellowstone Trail. This gift will support additional partner meetings along the corridor, and to further help plan, brand, and open more of the Greater Yellowstone Trail.

Teton Pass Connection. The vision of the Greater Yellowstone Trail includes a paved off-highway bike route system for the 17-mile section from Wilson to Victor. Teton County and private donors have made solid progress over the years to complete the pathway from Wilson and repairs to the Old Pass Road, making a safe connection on the east side to the summit of Teton Pass. One the west side, Idaho repaved the quiet Old Jackson Highway from Victor to Moose Creek, and Victor built pathways and a bike route that connects to the Old Yellowstone Rail Trail to Driggs.

Recently Wyoming Pathways helped Victor and Teton County win successful federal grants of $2.7 million that will extend the pathway from Moose Creek all the way to the Idaho-Wyoming state line, with construction planned for 2018. Then the missing link will be down to just 6 miles.

Focusing on the key Wilson to Victor section, this spring Wyoming Pathways helped both the City of Victor and Teton County apply for new grants from the Federal Land Access Program (FLAP). The City of Victor requested $1.25 million for a pathway bridge over Moose Creek and highway underpass that will connect the pathway to Mike Harris Campground and new singletrack system. On the Wyoming side, Teton County applied for $1.2 million to extend the pathway from the state line to the Trail Creek Campground, including an underpass of the busy Teton Pass WY-22 highway, and funding to complete preliminary design for the pathway connection to the top of the pass.

In breaking news, the Victor FLAP grant just received preliminary approval from the FHWA grant Decision Committee. That grant will be combined with the current one for construction in 2018. This will fully complete the Idaho connection for a safe bicycle route from Driggs to Victor and all the way to the State Line. The Wyoming FLAP committee meets later this month to decide on the Teton County grant request.

For more information, visit the Wyoming Pathways Greater Yellowstone Trail project page