teton pass
Credit: WYDOT

Short- and Long-Term Detours Planned for Teton Pass After Road Failure

Officials say a short-term detour for Teton Pass should be in place within a few weeks, but it will be closed for the foreseeable future.

The Wyoming Department of Transportation said the Teton Pass will be closed for the foreseeable future. But officials are aiming to open short-term detours within a few weeks.

According to Monday's announcement, WYDOT officials are "confident they can build a safe, temporary detour around the slide area using local fill material and paving two temporary lanes." The agency added that the temporary detour will most likely have strict weight and width restrictions.

WYDOT also said officials are working on long-term plans to rebuild the Teton Pass, a 17-mile route carved through the Teton mountain range connecting Jackson, Wyoming, to Victor, Idaho. They will soon review the area with a survey plan and geological drilling in preparation for reconstruction.

teton pass

Drone image of milepost 12.8 at Teton Pass taken on June 8, 2024. Credit: WYDOT

Meanwhile, the agency is directing commuters to use U.S. 26 through Swan Valley and then into the Snake River Canyon. Federal agencies, such as the U.S. Forest Service and the National Park Service, are placing signage directing visitors to recreational areas unaffected by the landslides and mudslides.

Government support for Teton Pass

Issues with Teton Pass began on June 6, when WYDOT temporarily closed the road due to damage. Crews noticed the road had faulted, creating a large crack across both lanes. They said some parts of the crack had dropped roughly eight inches in some places.

Although they reopened the road at milepost 12.8 that afternoon, the very next day, a mudslide washed away a portion of the road at milepost 15. Initially, officials thought the road at milepost 12.8 could be salvaged, but they said it "catastrophically failed" on June 8.

teton pass

Teton pass at milepost 15 was washed away by mudslides on June 7, 2024. Credit: WYDOT

That same day, Wyoming's governor, Mark Gordon, declared the incident an emergency, which opened it up to both state and federal support. Idaho's state transportation department offered support, sending 80 to 90 loads of materials by June 9.

In video and images, you can see a large chunk of road at milepost 12.8 completely missing after breaking off at the outer edge of a curve. The mudslides at milepost 15 appear less damning as a portion of the road is covered in mud. Officials say they're planning to provide more drainage to the affected area by installing a box culvert.