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New Bike Path - Teton Park

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

We went on a ride Sunday to check out Jackson Hole's latest bike path.  Grand Teton National Park just opened a brand new pathway from the main park Visitor Center at Moose to the south shore of Jenny Lake.  This portion of the path is only eight miles long, but it's just the first phase of a project that will open another 35 miles and potentiall connect the town of Jackson with Teton Park via a continuous bike path.

 

It is SO cool to be able to ride a bike right at the base of the huge peaks of the Tetons without having to worry about being run over by RV's or drunk drivers.  Here are some of the views from the new path:

 

Grand Teton in the background:

 

 

Teewinot peak behind (site of a near-future ski trip ):

 

 

Bridge over Cottonwood Creek:

 

 

The saga of this path is a long and tortuous one, unlike the path itself.  It was actually very controversial, with the management of the Park being reluctantly dragged into building the path.  There were (and still are, I suppose) concerns expressed that the path, which parallels the main interior park highway, might disrupt elk migrations.  Another potential problem involves some belief that bears might decide that bikers look like leisurely-running dinner.  We saw lots of elk on both sides of the path but we didn't see any bears.

 

Anyway, the path is absolutely fantastic.  Cruising along in the shadow of the Tetons is amazing.  I can't wait until more of the pathway is ready for use.  Best of all, if you choose to you can finish your ride at Dornan's in Moose, which has unquestionably one of the finest decks anywhere to sit outside and enjoy a beer while rehashing the day's skiing or hiking or climbing - or BIKING - adventures.

 

Picture yourself here:

 

 

Bob Peters

Jackson Hole, WY  North40 Realty

Me on twitter - http://twitter.com/bobpetersjh

 


Edited by Bob Peters - 6/22/2009 at 06:28 pm GMT
post #2 of 19

When Bob Peters tweets, I click and look. 

Beautiful.

post #3 of 19

 I drove through the park on the way back from the Henrys Fork this Memorial day and saw that the path was looking good.  I got pulled over for speeding.  I was confused because i was only going 46.  They have lowered the limit to 35.  At least by the Cottonwood bridge.  I was let go with a warning, so it wasn't a big deal.  I'm sure that we will be inspecting the path more closely very soon.  Dornans makes great bloody marys.

post #4 of 19

that is cool 

post #5 of 19

that looks beautiful! 

 

I'm curious, though. Is the argument that the bike path disrupts the migrations because of a small strip of asphalt? Or is it the bikers themselves? I understand how a highway could disrupt migrations due to scary, smelly, metal objects moving at high speeds, but would cyclists be doing the same? Just want to know, since I'd love to go biking there sometime!

post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by reducedfatoreo View Post

that looks beautiful! 

 

I'm curious, though. Is the argument that the bike path disrupts the migrations because of a small strip of asphalt? Or is it the bikers themselves? I understand how a highway could disrupt migrations due to scary, smelly, metal objects moving at high speeds, but would cyclists be doing the same? Just want to know, since I'd love to go biking there sometime!

 

Here's what I've been told and you can buy it or not buy it...

 

Apparently there are a few quasi-studies around that MIGHT indicate that a deer or elk processes the image of a bicyclist much differently from that of a car or other vehicle.  Cars are bigger and go lots faster (on a relative basis), so theoretically the elk doesn't correllate that image with anything that remotely resembles a predator. 

 

A bicyclist, on the other hand, moves along the ground at a speed that might be more similar to its two biggest historical predators, wolves and bears.  Also, the size of a bicyclist is a bit more in keeping with the size of a wolf or bear.

 

So...

 

The theory is that elk might be so confused about whether they need to worry about bicyclists that they choose to simply go somewhere else rather than hang around somewhere that has a high concentration of bikers.

 

From a scientific standpoint, I guess there just aren't very many places where a bike path has been dropped down in the middle of a large elk population, so nobody really knows.  I can tell you from personal experience that the elk we saw alongside the path didn't seem to be any more concerned about us than they were about the cars.

 

Who knows?

 

It may be politically incorrect, but I'm happy they put in the path and I can't wait until more miles are open.


Edited by Bob Peters - 6/22/2009 at 06:30 pm GMT
post #7 of 19

I think that argument is ka ka.  The path is right next to the road which is fairly busy.  I don't think the bikes have any additional influence.  It's like the park not wanting boaters on THEIR rivers or kite skiers on THEIR snow.  They don't really want people in the park at all unless it's to go to their expensive and unnecessary visitor centers (Moose, Old Faithful). or their expensive and unnecessary entrance gates (village road).  I also think we should be able to para-sail. 

post #8 of 19

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bklyn View Post

When Bob Peters tweets, I click and look. 

Beautiful.


X2.

Bob, you continue to inspire!

post #9 of 19

Great pictures! Trail rides through thick southern woods are fun but notheing like what you've got out west.

My guess is Darwin will take care of the Elk issue in a generation. Those that are too blind or too dumb to tell the difference between a biker and a bear will quickly drop out out of the gene pool - with or or without the new trail.

I don't think most of these concerned citizens have ever beeen around big farm animals. Ther is a reson why the fences in a bull pen are diffent than those that circle the pature. Every time I hear one of these Elk preservationist stories I think about their concerns about running a chair lift through Elk mating areas and their fear of disrupting the mating (during the off season). I always figured the only way it would interrupt anything was if they put the cows in the chair lifts. Even then the bulls would probably knock over the lift towers.

post #10 of 19

This reminds me a little of the bike path at Stowe which is fun if short. Nonetheless I can't help but regret the changes since I went to school there in the mid 1960's. I can't deny similar feelings about Jackson Hole. When I was first there 37 years ago Dornans wasn't much more than a post office and a laundramat (I think). It was there that I met Mardie Murie  and listened to her describe having been married on a steamboat on the Yukon River years earlier. It was only later that I realized who I'd been speaking with. That point in time is fixed somehow in my mind although I'm sure she'd have remarked on the many changes she'd seen there since she first laid eyes on the place. Everyone who stumbles into paradise wants to bar the door against change I guess.

 

I don't know why the people who are concerned about the impact of bicycle traffic aren't concerned about the heavy auto traffic.I don't suppose they are proposing to close the roads and limit wheeled traffic to bicycles although that might not be a bad idea.

 

I hope I get to try the path. It looks great.

post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by oisin View Post

 

I don't know why the people who are concerned about the impact of bicycle traffic aren't concerned about the heavy auto traffic.I don't suppose they are proposing to close the roads and limit wheeled traffic to bicycles although that might not be a bad idea.

 

 

They actually do this every year in the spring and fall.  They plow the snow off about 25 miles of the interior road and on about April 1 they open it to non-motorized bikers/hikers/strollers/roller-bladers/whatever.  In the fall around October 31, they close the same road to motorized vehicles.

 

April is a VERY popular time for local Jackson bikers because you can do something like a 60-mile out-and-back ride on one of the prettiest roads anywhere and not have to worry about a single car, truck, or RV.  Hundreds and hundreds of people come out on warm April weekends.  It's just wonderful.

 

I also thought I'd include a photo of Dornan's, which I mentioned above.  The outdoor deck off the bar/restaurant is at the opposite end of the main building in this photo.  Imagine sitting on that raised deck looking at the peaks with the Snake River just below you.  If you double-click the image (or any of the others above) you'll get a better view.

 

 

Bob Peters

Jackson Hole, WY  North40 Realty

Me on Twitter    http://twitter.com/bobpetersjh

post #12 of 19

That sounds wonderful. I remember wishing that there were fewer visitor facilities in the park which tend to become visitor magnets. Last time I was there they were getting ready to open a huge new visitor center in Moose. These places tend to become the attraction as if Jackson Hole and the Tetons were not enough. I realize I may be a bit of a curmudgeon but there are two roads through the park and I could see one of them being removed and travel htrough that part of the valley leading to Jenny Lake and Jackson Lake being restricted to foot and bicycle travel. You can drive right through the park now without experiencing much more than a few visual snapsahots out the window.  I wonder if the loss of that experience would be very significant compared to the opportunity that would replace it?

post #13 of 19

The pizza is pretty good at Dornan's as well.  My favorite spot to hang out and drink a Moose Drool after hiking.  The liquor store also has a very respectable wine selection -- quite surprising for being in Moose.

 

Mike

post #14 of 19

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by oisin View Post

That sounds wonderful. I remember wishing that there were fewer visitor facilities in the park which tend to become visitor magnets. Last time I was there they were getting ready to open a huge new visitor center in Moose. These places tend to become the attraction as if Jackson Hole and the Tetons were not enough. I realize I may be a bit of a curmudgeon but there are two roads through the park and I could see one of them being removed and travel htrough that part of the valley leading to Jenny Lake and Jackson Lake being restricted to foot and bicycle travel. You can drive right through the park now without experiencing much more than a few visual snapsahots out the window.  I wonder if the loss of that experience would be very significant compared to the opportunity that would replace it?


Sorry I wasn't finding fault w/ Dornans just the substantial facilities like the Moose Visitor Center that are actualy in the park. I don't understand why the US Park Service finds it necessary to construct these things particularly in a place like the Teton Park.
 

post #15 of 19

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by oisin View Post

That sounds wonderful. I remember wishing that there were fewer visitor facilities in the park which tend to become visitor magnets. Last time I was there they were getting ready to open a huge new visitor center in Moose. These places tend to become the attraction as if Jackson Hole and the Tetons were not enough. I realize I may be a bit of a curmudgeon but there are two roads through the park and I could see one of them being removed and travel htrough that part of the valley leading to Jenny Lake and Jackson Lake being restricted to foot and bicycle travel. You can drive right through the park now without experiencing much more than a few visual snapsahots out the window.  I wonder if the loss of that experience would be very significant compared to the opportunity that would replace it?


I understand what you are saying, but I don't think it is reasonable.  It is a sad testament to Americans, but a park ranger told my wife and I that they had performed a survey of visitors to Yellowstone and over 97% of the folk never got more than a 100 yards from their car.  Removing the inner road wouldn't help, it would simply mean that fewer people would enjoy the wonderful asset that GTNP is to our country.  And it would make it even harder to get access to many wonderful hiking areas, with the result that fewer people would use them.

 

The up side of laziness is that there are many places in both parks were you can hike and see almost no one.  My wife and i have been taking a more or less annual trip to GTNP/YNP for the past ten years or so in late September.  Most years we see no more than 5 people in a week of hiking in YNP.  GTNP has a greater headcount, but it is nothing compared to the traffic we see any weekend in the Indian Peaks Wilderness area close to our home.

 

I don't think most people have any concept of what they miss by sticking to their car.  But taking access away won't change their behavior.  Visitor centers do have the possibility of doing so.

 

Mike

post #16 of 19

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by habacomike View Post

 


I'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

I don't think most people have any concept of what they miss by sticking to their car.  But taking access away won't change their behavior.  Visitor centers do have the possibility of doing so.

 

Mike

I know what you're saying. I'm just not sure that the access you're speaking about is very meaningful since it just allows people to traverse much of the park without actually experiencing it. Access in this sense has a way of destroying that which people can cherish. The way the park's amenities and roads are laid out treats the valley as a sort of inconvenient obstacle to getting to the mountains whereas the valley without the roads or with fewer roads might be sen in a whole new light. I suppose its unrealistic but I think its interesting to imagine the place in various ways  such as "what if some of these roads had not been constructed?".I can imagine that such a place might, in a perceptual sense, begin to become a larger place.I can appreciate your backcountry experience. I'm hoping to get out there again to spend some time in the Wind Rivers and the Teton Wilderness (not to be confused with the park).

 

post #17 of 19

The inner park road is a good thing.  Even if most people don't get out of the car.  It allows access to all of the small lakes and the hiking trails.  If you had to hike or ride from Moose it would make day tripping in these areas much harder.  One nice thing about the extensive wine selection at Dornans is that you can buy a really nice bottle for cheap and drink it on the deck or in the bar. 

post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tetonpwdrjunkie View Post

The inner park road is a good thing.  Even if most people don't get out of the car.  It allows access to all of the small lakes and the hiking trails.  If you had to hike or ride from Moose it would make day tripping in these areas much harder.  One nice thing about the extensive wine selection at Dornans is that you can buy a really nice bottle for cheap and drink it on the deck or in the bar. 

Hey, tpj.

 

I'm going up the 9:00am tram tomorrow (Saturday) morning for a little ski outing over to Cody somewhere.  Open invitation to anybody.  All my normal cohorts have pretty much bagged out.  Big surprise.

post #19 of 19

I was thinking about it.  I'm not sure that it froze last night and I was feeling really beat last night and only a little better this morning.  I'll go another time though.  I accidentally clicked your profile and saw you are a gardener.  I'm trying to find a home for some of my extra tomato plants if you need some.  I have several different kinds. 

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