Landslide Causes ‘Catastrophic’ Failure of Teton Pass in Wyoming

The long-term closure of Teton Pass following major damage caused by a landslide will have far-reaching economic impacts on the region, residents, and visitors.

1 minute read

June 10, 2024, 7:00 AM PDT

By Mary Hammon @marykhammon


A road winds along the edge of a mountain, with an inclined tan rockface above it and a snowy treeline near the top of a photo.

Teton Pass is a 17-mile stretch of road that reaches altitudes of over 8,000 feet. It is often closed during winter because snow and avalanches make the road extremely dangerous. | Kenneth Sponsler / Adobe Stock

The Wyoming Department of Transportation announced on Saturday that part of Teton Pass, “a crucial highway weaving through the mountains of western Wyoming,” collapsed in a massive landslide, according to an CBS News article. The landslide “effectively destroyed a whole section of the surrounding highway,” writes CBS reporter by Emily Mae Czachor. Fortunately, no one was injured.

Officials have not released a timeline for repair but said it will likely be closed long-term, which is a major concern for the surrounding region because the pass is the primary transit route between Victor, Idaho, and Jackson, Wyoming, and provides “vital access to Teton County, which includes Jackson, Yellowstone and Grand Teton, for workers who commute there from eastern Idaho,” Czachor reports. Because of the mountainous terrain, the detour route roughly triples the normal 30-minute travel time between Victor and Jackson.

The region is bracing for economic consequences. According to the CBS article, workers who live in Idaho and commute to Teton County make up about 40 percent of the county’s workforce. A long-term closure will have both impacts on those workers, as well as services for visitors and locals in Teton County during the height of the summer tourist season.

Sunday, June 9, 2024 in CBS News

Three colorful, large beachfront homes, one khaki, one blue, and one yellow, with a small dune in front and flat sand in foreground.

Florida Homeowners 'Nope Out' of Beach Restoration Over Public Access

The U.S. Corps of Engineers and Redington Shores, Florida are at a standstill: The Corps won’t spend public money to restore private beaches, and homeowners are refusing to grant public access to the beaches behind their home in return for federal assistance.

June 7, 2024 - Grist

Multistory apartment building under construction.

New Tennessee Law Allows No-Cost Incentives for Affordable Housing

Local governments in the Volunteer State can now offer developers incentives like increased density, lower parking requirements, and priority permitting for affordable housing projects.

June 10, 2024 - Nooga Today

Pumping Gas

10 States Where the Gas Tax Is Highest

As the gap between gas tax revenue and transportation funding needs widen across the country, the funding mechanism is drawing increased scrutiny from both public officials and consumers.

June 9, 2024 - The Ascent

Concrete walkway with landscaping, decorative tiles, and picnic tables in a Los Angeles County park.

Wish Granted: Former Brownfield Transformed to New Park

Wishing Tree Park in West Carson, California officially opened last month, replacing a brownfield site with a much-needed green space for recreation and respite.

June 14 - Urbanize LA

"No right turn on red" and "Turning vehicles yield to pedestrians" sign.

The Tide is Turning on Right Turns on Red

The policy, which stems from the gas embargo of the 1970s, makes intersections more dangerous for pedestrians.

June 14 - NPR

Thick green forest on edge of lake in Louisville, Kentucky.

Louisville Begins Process to Clean Superfund Site

A public forest is home to dozens of barrels that have been leaking toxic materials for decades.

June 14 - Inside Climate News

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.