Togwotee Pass Continental Divide Trail Project Update!

Wyoming Pathways’ partnership with the Shoshone National Forest to build a new section of the famous Continental Divide National Scenic Trail near Togwotee Pass west of Dubois, WY. continues in 2020.  Executive Director Tim Young just walked the route with South Zone Trails Coordinator Chris Sellars to finalize trail design and layout, and the trail crews will start July 20 for approximately one month of trail construction planned. These are part of the Wyoming section of the CDT, which runs 3,100 miles from Canada to Mexico along the continental divide.

This is a stunningly beautiful 4-mile new section of trail that flows along from Togwotee Pass below the Breccia Cliffs, over 10,000’ Sublette Pass, and down the north side to a meadow above Brooks Lake. This new natural surface trail replaces the uninspiring old on-road route that went down the Brooks Lake road to the US-26 highway.

The Shoshone National Forest and Bridger-Teton National Forest recently coordinated these alignment changes to the CDT to improve the user experience and to build better quality sustainable trails to replace the old road and grazing trails. Wyoming Pathways and the Shoshone National Forest have a Challenge Cost Share Agreement to manage this section of the project. The SNF is provide national scenic trail funding, and Wyoming Pathways is donating its services to manage the construction contracts and assist with trail planning and layout. The total project investment is estimated at approximately $125,000.

The BTNF has been working to improve the trails from Togwotee south to Sheridan Pass, approximately 14 miles, and the Shoshone is working on the 10-mile sections north of Togwotee Pass to Bear Cub Pass. These new trails are open to shared nonmotorized use, including hiking, mountain bikes and horses.

Soon a new trailhead is planned on top of Togwotee Pass to provide access for those seeking an accessible alpine day trip. The area is unique in that it starts at 9,659’ and provides an alpine experience close to a paved highway access point.

Wyoming Pathways hired Pathfinder Trail Building, a professional trail construction firm, to come in and turn these flag lines into a wonderful new addition to the CDT.  We have high expectations, as this is the same organization that built the well-received Upper Brewers Trail in Sinks Canyon near Lander, WY in 2018. They will have assistance from a Montana Conservation Corps crew, along with support from the Shoshone South Zone Trail Crew. Wyoming Pathways will be there to get them started and will be monitoring things as the project progresses.  To keep up with the latest on the Togwotee Pass Continental Trail Project, be sure to check our project page regularly.