Home US REVEALED: The secret mountain pass to avoid traffic to the wealthy enclave of Jackson, but it’s not for the faint of heart

REVEALED: The secret mountain pass to avoid traffic to the wealthy enclave of Jackson, but it’s not for the faint of heart

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A secret route known only to locals in Idaho's Teton Valley is becoming the talk of the town as residents look for alternatives to the congested main roads leading to Jackson, Wyoming.

A secret mountain route known only to locals in Idaho’s Teton Valley has become the talk of the town, but it’s not for the faint of heart.

The road, Reclamation Road, offers a detour over the Teton Mountains, allowing residents to bypass traffic into the wealthy enclave of Jackson Wyoming.

The dark mountain road drew attention after the main commuter route, Highway 22, which traveled between Idaho and Jackson, literally fell off the side of a mountain earlier this month.

This forced many travelers to take the longer route through Star Valley.

But with word spreading about the little-known highway between Idaho and Jackson, the National Park Service is now worried about an influx of frustrated drivers trying to use it. The Cowboy State Diary reported.

A secret route known only to locals in Idaho’s Teton Valley is becoming the talk of the town as residents look for alternatives to the congested main roads leading to Jackson, Wyoming.

The dark mountain road drew attention after the main route for workers traveling between Idaho and Jackson literally fell off the mountain.

The dark mountain road drew attention after the main route for workers traveling between Idaho and Jackson literally fell off the mountain.

Many people who work in Jackson cannot afford to live there, so they typically travel from the cities using Highway 22 over Teton Pass.

But this route was left impassable last week when a massive landslide caused a large section of the road to collapse in a “catastrophic failure”.

Reclamation Road, also known as Grassy Lake Road, is a dirt and gravel road that begins about 25 miles north of Tetonia. To find it, drivers should look for the Squirrel Graveyard near Ashton before heading east.

While half of the ride allows speeds of up to 70 mph, the remaining stretch requires a much slower pace.

Despite the incredibly rugged terrain, there is usually no traffic: just miles of potato farms and silos.

But Grand Teton National Park spokesman Jeremy Barnum warned travelers not to take this road.

He told Cowboy State Daily that with still three to four inches of snow, he’s concerned travelers could get stuck in snowbanks and recommended people wait until the snow melts.

“There are still 3 to 4 feet of snow banks in the shaded areas, and we will begin clearing them in the next few days. The road is scheduled to be open on Monday,” he said.

“I would hate for people to start getting into their Jeeps thinking it’s a viable way to avoid it.”

The road is also rough at times and slow, so with lots of travelers, it’s prone to traffic jams more like something you’d see in Los Angeles than what small towns in Wyoming and Idaho are used to, according to the half.

This road, Reclamation Road, offers a detour over the Teton Mountains, but it's not for the faint of heart.

This road, Reclamation Road, offers a detour over the Teton Mountains, but it’s not for the faint-hearted.

Part of Reclamation Road passes by the beautiful Grassy Lake Reservoir

Part of Reclamation Road passes by the beautiful Grassy Lake Reservoir

“Reclamation gets the nickname ‘Jeep Trail’ because it’s a little rough in places,” Tetonia resident Jim Beard told The Cowboy State Daily.

The rugged trail eventually connects to U.S. Route 191, about a dozen miles north of Jackson.

However, Google Maps offers little help in navigating this remote section of the potato belt.

But with the main route from Jackson to its working-class communities in Idaho out of service, locals don’t have many other options.

The loss of Highway 22 was a major setback for Idaho residents.

Since then, tourism has also slowed and gasoline prices have increased.

At the Sinclair station in Tetonia, gas prices have risen to $3.54 per gallon.

The loss of Highway 22 was a major setback for Idaho residents. Since then, tourism has also slowed and gasoline prices have increased. At the Sinclair station in Tetonia, gas prices have risen to $3.54 per gallon.

The loss of Highway 22 was a major setback for Idaho residents. Since then, tourism has also slowed and gasoline prices have increased. At the Sinclair station in Tetonia, gas prices have risen to $3.54 per gallon.

“I miss having tourists around here,” gas station manager Erica Black told the outlet.

“The people who live here have been greatly affected by the closure of Teton Pass,” Zach Bennett, who runs a resort in the city called Teton Peaks Resort in Tetonia, told the outlet. “We’ve seen a lot of cancellations because everyone thinks there’s nothing to do here.”

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