The Bridger-Teton National Forest, Jackson Ranger District has dog leash requirements at the Cache Creek and Trail Creek trailheads year-round, and leash requirements that extend onto trails located adjacent to crucial wildlife habitat during the winter months.
From December 1 – May 1, dogs must be leashed in the following trailhead and trail areas, all of which are well signed:
- The Cache Creek, Trail Creek, Game Creek, and Teton Pass trailhead areas;
- The entire Putt-Putt trail area from Nelson Drive and north of Cache Creek to Salt Lick Draw;
- The first 1.2 miles of Game Creek;
- The entire A&W trail connecting Adams and Wilson Canyons.
“We have these winter leash requirements in order to protect wildlife, protect water quality, and ensure the safety of people’s dogs in these heavily visited areas”, said Jackson District Ranger Todd Stiles. Compliance in the trailhead areas has improved and we commend the many recreationists who do care and are following the leash requirements. However, the Nelson Drive/Putt-Putt trail area continues to be problematic. In that area, monitoring by ambassadors and Forest staff has revealed 73% or less compliance. “The water tank road directly parallels very important winter wildlife habitat and dogs have been observed running up the hillside into the closure, chasing wintering wildlife,” Stiles said. “On the nearby Woods Canyon and Putt-Putt Trails, we recently observed another instance of a dog chasing an elk up the hillside,” he said. “Continued off leash behavior could result in closure of the entire Putt-putt trail area to dogs in the winter,” he cautioned.
The Bridger-Teton National Forest continues to patrol and inform trail users about wildlife on the trail system and the need for dogs to be leashed. “A few weeks ago, there were two moose near Cache Creek trailhead area and two winter ambassadors tag teamed placing themselves on each side of the moose and spent the afternoon alerting people coming and going up the trail,” Stiles remarked. But we can’t be everywhere all the time. We need people to respect the leash requirements to provide for the safety of their pets and the space for wildlife to conserve their resources to make it through the winter,” he said. Since December 2023, the Forest patrollers have frequently observed mule deer, elk and moose near Putt-Putt and Cache Creek. Recreationists are encouraged to contact Jackson Ranger District with any questions. Leash regulations for winter trails can be found on the Bridger-Teton National Forest website at: Occupancy and Use Dog Leash