Forest Service Seeks Comments on Access Revamp to Packsaddle Lake – Buckrail

DRIGGS, Idaho. – The Teton Basin Ranger District is considering major improvements to the Packsaddle Lake Recreation Area and is seeking public input.

Located just outside of Tetonia, Idaho, Packsaddle Lake is a popular recreation area nestled in the Big Hole Mountains. Fed by various mountain streams, the water is a popular swimming area in the summer.

“Packsaddle Lake is a popular destination,” said Jay Pence, Teton Basin District Ranger. “However, anyone who has been to the area knows how steep, slippery and difficult the trail can be.” Steep roads, poor drainage, and other erosion issues are often exacerbated by seasonal weather conditions, resulting in a less than ideal experience.

The Town of Driggs recognizes the difficulty of access for residents and regional visitors and believes that the project “will improve the safety, convenience and overall enjoyment of this recreation feature by the residents of this community”. Pence realizes that while this project will lengthen the trail a bit, it will ultimately provide a much better experience for those heading to the lake.

The project proposes to redevelop access to the area by relocating portions of FS 381 and 951 and FS 212 trail to more suitable locations and to relocate the parking area near the current intersections of FS 381 and 951. The forest estimates that 1.5 miles of existing trails and roads will be removed while 1.2 miles of new construction will take place. Portions of roads and trails that are no longer needed will be salvaged to match the surrounding vegetation.

The official 30-day public comment period began on March 2. More information about the project, including a proposal map, is available in line or by contacting Joe McFarlane, project manager at 208-354-6615. Electronic comments may be submitted here.

About the Author

Buckrail @ Lindsay

Lindsay Vallen is a community journalist who covers a bit of everything; with an interest in politics, wildlife and amplifying community voices. Originally from the East Coast, Lindsay has lived in Wilson, Wyoming since 2017. In her spare time, she enjoys snowboarding, hiking, cooking, and completing the Jackson Hole Daily crosswords.