Grand Teton NP, Granite Canyon, Marion Lake

Jon Carbaugh

Jul 8, 2015
We are Utahns!

Last year Rose and I decided to sell our house outside Atlanta Georgia and move to the Salt Lake City area. Fast forward to early June 2016 and we were under contract to close on July 22nd, which was the week I was set to return from a big backpacking trip in Yellowstone that @scatman put together and was nice enough to invite anyone who wanted to tag along on. Within a 2 day period, we fell out of that contract and received a cash offer that moved the timetable up considerably. We accepted the offer and in what was a whirlwind few weeks we began seriously packing, arranged an apartment in Layton, closed on June 24th, packed all of our belongings into a truck, drove across the country and arrived in Layton Utah on June 30th. I had arranged a leisurely 3 day backpack in Grand Teton NP's Granite Canyon before the Yellowstone trip to help acclimate, so this meant we only had 2 days to throw everything in the apartment, unpack a few bare necessities, and prepare everything for the trip to Wyoming...

We arrived in Jackson Hole on June 2nd, the day before the Granite Canyon trip, checked into the hotel and went into town to have bison burgers.

Sunday June 3rd. We woke early and headed into the park and on to the Jenny Lake Ranger Station to get the permit. Even though it was the July 4th weekend and most camp zones were full, they happily added my son Seth to the permit. Seth had made the drive with us on short notice to help us move in, it was his first ever backpacking trip and he loved it.


We took the Aerial Tram from Teton Village to the top of the mountain to start our hike.

The views were spectacular in every direction and there was still some snow remaining to highlight the peaks and cliffs.

Rendezvous Mountain.

Looking out to the valley south and the Snake River.

After loitering at the top and taking pictures we started down the trail. It was a beautiful day, sunny and 59 degrees to start our hike.
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For the first mile or so there was still several spots of snow to navigate that made it fun for early July.

Soon enough we lost all the snow and it was easy going all the way down to the split we took to the north fork.



Crossing the creek near the beginning of the upper and lower camp zones. All of the crossings on this trip had bridges.

We picked a small campsite on a shelf at the upper end of the camp zone as we had a day hike up to Marion Lake for the next day.

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Day 2 -Monday, July 4th. After just a few sprinkles during the night, we woke to another beautiful sunny day.

The hillsides were covered in flowers.
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We ate, packed up and started the 3 mile trip up to Marion Lake.


We came across a really cool and unexpected arch.
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Crags at the top end of the canyon just before heading up and over to the lake.

Looking back down canyon where we came from.

Nearing the top of the pass heading over to the lake.

Our first views of Marion Lake!
Marion Lake.jpg

Marion Lake 1.jpg

The lake is beautiful. There were Marmots scurrying around everywhere, many were not shy.
Marion Lake 2.jpg



We sat and had a nice break and lunch on the shores of the lake before heading back.

When we arrived back at camp we packed up and moved down canyon a couple of miles to shorten our hike out the next day. This shot is near a campsite that we almost took , where we believe we heard big rocks falling later that evening.

We found a great spot with a large cliff on the other side of the creek. The evening light started casting glowing highlights on the cliffs that evening.

After the sun had sat we saw some colorful flashes lighting up the clouds over the canyon that we realized were fireworks from the direction of Jackson or Moose. About 30 minutes later we heard some loud crashing and banging that initially expected to be a fireworks finale. We looked around for lights on the clouds again but there were none. The sound was coming from up canyon just a short distance and we realized that it was some large rocks falling around the campsite we were going to stop and take earlier that day. I don't know how close they actually came to that campsite, but we were all glad we were not there to find out!

The next morning we got an early start so we could get out at a decent time because the day we started this trip the breaks on the truck started grinding so we had to go right back into Jackson to have the pads replaced. The creek was getting quite a bit bigger this far down canyon.IMG_8505.JPG
We took a break along the trail where there was a lot of granite boulders pinching the canyon and this big boy came out to sun himself within about 20 feet of us, no fear.
The Valley Trail back to Teton Village was full of flowers, aspens and crossed the creek one last time at the junction.

Thanks for reading.


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Nice write up Jon! A complete contrast from the scenery along the mirror plateau. Nice find on that arch.

Hope yall are enjoying life in Utah!
Nice write up Jon! A complete contrast from the scenery along the mirror plateau. Nice find on that arch.

Hope yall are enjoying life in Utah!
Thanks Joey! Yes, quite a bit different from the mirror plateau! It was beautiful up there in a vastly different way. And all the grizzlies and other wildlife ... that was better than I could have ever expected.

Hope to see you soon man, I still owe you, @Keith R. and @Keith a beer!
If you make it up to Glacier, i'll buy you a beer. Keep me posted if you want to do any more backpacking. You have an open invite to join anytime.

Thanks! I hope I'm able to take you up on that!
I can't tell - is that a beaver or a porcupine?
Good stuff Jon!
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