A Master Plan to increase the skiable acreage of Grand Targhee, WY, by almost 50% has hit a significant roadblock in the past week. Currently, the Caribou-Targhee National Forest (CTNF) is preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed “Grand Targhee Master Plan.” This past week, Teton Basin Ranger Jay Pence said two of the three lifts proposed in the South Bowl expansion area are not viable due to avalanche concerns. This will reduce the expansion area from 600 acres to 290 acres. In addition to the South Bowl expansion, the plan proposes another ~600 acres of skiing in the Mono Trees area.
- Related: Master Plan to Increase Grand Targhee Resort, WY by Almost 50% is Under-Going Environmental Impact Survey
The South Bowl expansion is a part of Grand Targhee’s 2018 Master Development Plan, which includes new ski terrain down into Teton Canyon from Peaked Mountain. Currently, the public comment period is still in process and will continue until January 2022. The expansion is a contentious topic among locals, with many wanting to keep the terrain a backcountry zone. Recently, Grand Targhee scrapped a plan to add cat skiing to the area before the new lifts were installed due to public backlash.
The South Bowl expansion plan included three new lifts: South Bowl West, South Bowl East, and Southbowl Connector. It is currently unknown which two lifts are not viable, but it is highly likely that South Bowl West and Connector have been canceled. The planned connector lift would rise around 200 vertical feet from the East base to the West lift base. This means that to return to the resort from the East lift, the connector would be required to get to the West Lift. This makes it highly likely that the West lift is the only safe lift in the area.
The EIS is still in progress, so Targhee will have to wait for a final report on the environmental impacts of this expansion.