Tetons planning

isleroyaleguy

Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2014
Messages
167
We are planning a Tetons trip for next September. We have never been so we are looking for advice from people who have went thru the permit process, either online or mail in. What works best,.what not to do. All input is helpful and appreciated.
Thanks
IRG
 

Brad Gaddis

Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2014
Messages
19
I went a long time ago....like 14 yrs. Awesome trip. Hoping to take my Scout troop there this summer if I get approval.
 

Joey

walking somewhere
Joined
Apr 1, 2014
Messages
878
September is a great time to go. You shouldn't have any problems getting a permit after Labor Day. I personally have never reserved a permit, I always just pull a walk up permit. But you may feel more comfortable reserving one.

How many days are you planning to spend backpacking? Do you have a route already in mind? How many people in your party?
 

isleroyaleguy

Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2014
Messages
167
September is a great time to go. You shouldn't have any problems getting a permit after Labor Day. I personally have never reserved a permit, I always just pull a walk up permit. But you may feel more comfortable reserving one.

How many days are you planning to spend backpacking? Do you have a route already in mind? How many people in your party?
We are looking at a 4-5 day trip along the Teton Crest trail. We are doing a 4-5 day Wind's trip in the days preceding this. We are a group of 4 could end up to be 6. But could be down to us 2 for Tetons. It's Early in the planning process. A lot up in the air yet, But I know permits go out in January.
Thanks for reply
IRG
 

Bob

Trailmaster
Joined
Mar 3, 2013
Messages
2,643
It can be done without permits....... if you plan your camp spots right.
Check out the resource section, I have a GPS route posted
 

Chuck the Mauler

Formally known as "kcwins"
Joined
Aug 20, 2014
Messages
419
Don't sweat the permit process. I've never left the state of MI with one in hand and I've made at least 15 trips there. Let us know if you would like route suggestions.
 

pstm13

Auribus Teneo Lupum
.
Joined
Dec 27, 2012
Messages
570
I get my back country permits online. The system is OK. One thought is to take the tram up and hike down the mountain and end up at your car after a few days . There are several trail options on or near the Teton Crest Trail depending on what you want. I have not done it but it sounds really cool and have it on my to do list. I stayed at Phelps Lake over the summer and hiked around Death Canyon. I also have a friend who took his family on a large section of the Teton Crest Trail. I went through the online system and picked up the actual permit at the ranger station on our way to the trail head. They make you watch a video on backcountry safety before you leave. You put the tag they give you on your pack so it is visible while you hike and then transfer it to your tent when you set up camp. I believe there is a 2 night limit for each backcountry site but I could be wrong. Don't underestimate the elevation gain especially with a full pack. My campsite was in the middle of a huckleberry patch so bears were even more of a concern than usual but there were no problems. If you make it to Phelps Lake there is a large rock you can jump off into the very cold lake. It is quite a rush. The bottom line is that you really can't go wrong in GTNP. I'm sure you will have a great experience you can talk about with your friends for a long time.
 

Joey

walking somewhere
Joined
Apr 1, 2014
Messages
878
We are looking at a 4-5 day trip along the Teton Crest trail. We are doing a 4-5 day Wind's trip in the days preceding this. We are a group of 4 could end up to be 6. But could be down to us 2 for Tetons. It's Early in the planning process. A lot up in the air yet, But I know permits go out in January.
Thanks for reply
IRG
If you think there is a chance there will be 6 of you, its probably a good idea to try and make a permit reservation. The camping zones are based on number of people, not number of groups. It would be the safe choice. The permit costs 25 bucks regardless of the amount of people. Also, if you want a popular campsite like Holly Lake (which only has 3 sites), then you definitely should reserve it.

Park Service does hold several spots open in each zone for walk up permits though. And the backcountry thins out after August. I would be shocked if you weren't able to get your permit the day of your trip that late in the year.

@Bob is right about camping outside the park without a permit if you plan it right. Several great places around Alaska Basin, Mount Meek, Fox Creek Pass, and Moose Lake. However, if you want to include Paintbrush Divide in your route (which I highly suggest) you would definitely need a campsite inside the park.
 

isleroyaleguy

Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2014
Messages
167
I get my back country permits online. The system is OK. One thought is to take the tram up and hike down the mountain and end up at your car after a few days . There are several trail options on or near the Teton Crest Trail depending on what you want. I have not done it but it sounds really cool and have it on my to do list. I stayed at Phelps Lake over the summer and hiked around Death Canyon. I also have a friend who took his family on a large section of the Teton Crest Trail. I went through the online system and picked up the actual permit at the ranger station on our way to the trail head. They make you watch a video on backcountry safety before you leave. You put the tag they give you on your pack so it is visible while you hike and then transfer it to your tent when you set up camp. I believe there is a 2 night limit for each backcountry site but I could be wrong. Don't underestimate the elevation gain especially with a full pack. My campsite was in the middle of a huckleberry patch so bears were even more of a concern than usual but there were no problems. If you make it to Phelps Lake there is a large rock you can jump off into the very cold lake. It is quite a rush. The bottom line is that you really can't go wrong in GTNP. I'm sure you will have a great experience you can talk about with your friends for a long time.
Great info!
Thanks for taking the time for a detailed description.
I am digging the Tram option.
IRG
 

isleroyaleguy

Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2014
Messages
167
If you think there is a chance there will be 6 of you, its probably a good idea to try and make a permit reservation. The camping zones are based on number of people, not number of groups. It would be the safe choice. The permit costs 25 bucks regardless of the amount of people. Also, if you want a popular campsite like Holly Lake (which only has 3 sites), then you definitely should reserve it.

Park Service does hold several spots open in each zone for walk up permits though. And the backcountry thins out after August. I would be shocked if you weren't able to get your permit the day of your trip that late in the year.

@Bob is right about camping outside the park without a permit if you plan it right. Several great places around Alaska Basin, Mount Meek, Fox Creek Pass, and Moose Lake. However, if you want to include Paintbrush Divide in your route (which I highly suggest) you would definitely need a campsite inside the park.
Once again, great info.
Thanks for response and sharing your experience.
IRG
 

Absarokanaut

Member
.
Joined
Sep 17, 2014
Messages
603
WHEN in September?

Even in the height of the season if you have one, perhaps two days of flexibility you will most likely get that walkup as Chuck implied.

If you want the short trip pstm13 suggested with all due respect I would never hike down the road of Jackson Hole Mt. resort on Rendezvous. Most people do it as a dayhike but you could take the tram up and come down Granite Canyon which is awesome for moose. It's only 12+ ,iles so probably just an overnighter at best.

There are some great outside the park sites as mentioned, sweet one not far from Marion Lake too. Unfortunately Backpacker Magazine just promoted this idea. I however think you should think about Holly, top of Upper Zone in Southfork, maybe Death Canyon Shelf, all in Park.

Lots of folks like an abbreviated version of the crest and that is of course OK. I however have had some of my best wildlife encounters of the "complete" trail on the Southern end. With 5 full days unless you're uber slow like I often am you could add Taylor Mountain or something.

Pick what you're comfortable with. I shuttle for burgers or barley pops if you need help and I can fit your schedule. Whatever you do have a blast.
 

isleroyaleguy

Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2014
Messages
167
WHEN in September?

Even in the height of the season if you have one, perhaps two days of flexibility you will most likely get that walkup as Chuck implied.

If you want the short trip pstm13 suggested with all due respect I would never hike down the road of Jackson Hole Mt. resort on Rendezvous. Most people do it as a dayhike but you could take the tram up and come down Granite Canyon which is awesome for moose. It's only 12+ ,iles so probably just an overnighter at best.

There are some great outside the park sites as mentioned, sweet one not far from Marion Lake too. Unfortunately Backpacker Magazine just promoted this idea. I however think you should think about Holly, top of Upper Zone in Southfork, maybe Death Canyon Shelf, all in Park.

Lots of folks like an abbreviated version of the crest and that is of course OK. I however have had some of my best wildlife encounters of the "complete" trail on the Southern end. With 5 full days unless you're uber slow like I often am you could add Taylor Mountain or something.

Pick what you're comfortable with. I shuttle for burgers or barley pops if you need help and I can fit your schedule. Whatever you do have a blast.
We will be there the first week in September. We will have a little flexibility once we finish our Winds trip the week before. But hope to get back on the trail with only one day to resupply. The sooner we can start the more time out there we will have. We spent a day there around the same time last year and checked the backcountry status and there were a lot of good options available.
Thanks for reply
Cheers
IRG
 

isleroyaleguy

Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2014
Messages
167
I'm actually planning a trip this fall to the Teton Crest Trail as well! Sounds a lot like yours.

A ton of great insight here. Thanks to everyone for posting!
Yeah ,great resource for planning here.
What dates are you looking at?
Are you trying for an online permit in January?
IRG
 

pstm13

Auribus Teneo Lupum
.
Joined
Dec 27, 2012
Messages
570
WHEN in September?

Even in the height of the season if you have one, perhaps two days of flexibility you will most likely get that walkup as Chuck implied.

If you want the short trip pstm13 suggested with all due respect I would never hike down the road of Jackson Hole Mt. resort on Rendezvous. Most people do it as a dayhike but you could take the tram up and come down Granite Canyon which is awesome for moose. It's only 12+ ,iles so probably just an overnighter at best.

There are some great outside the park sites as mentioned, sweet one not far from Marion Lake too. Unfortunately Backpacker Magazine just promoted this idea. I however think you should think about Holly, top of Upper Zone in Southfork, maybe Death Canyon Shelf, all in Park.

Lots of folks like an abbreviated version of the crest and that is of course OK. I however have had some of my best wildlife encounters of the "complete" trail on the Southern end. With 5 full days unless you're uber slow like I often am you could add Taylor Mountain or something.

Pick what you're comfortable with. I shuttle for burgers or barley pops if you need help and I can fit your schedule. Whatever you do have a blast.
Great information. Thanks for the heads up.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jun 18, 2014
Messages
7
Yeah ,great resource for planning here.
What dates are you looking at?
Are you trying for an online permit in January?
IRG

Making sure that my trips mates are on board. As soon as I get the thumbs up, hopefully before the end of the month, we'll start in on it.

The online permits sounds the way to go. Even if we end up not needing them, I'd rather have them than not. Not sure which month yet. I'd like to go mid season, but will depend on our schedules.
 
Joined
Jun 18, 2014
Messages
7
I was reading on-line that in the earlier part of the season an Ice Ax is required. Is this for self arrest or is it needed for certain passes?
 

Duke

Mountain Carver
Joined
Feb 19, 2012
Messages
382
You will have a great time and take 6.023 x10^23 beautiful, once in a lifetime, pictures.....But know you won't be alone. You won't have the same experience backcountry as this guy did (link), but be warned.....you are heading for a very popular area. Popular for a good reason though......but well known and well sought after non the less. Then again....it all seems crowded to me :)

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/mobilemobileopinion/58184309-82/jackson-idea-tetons-lake.html.csp

I get a kick out of the picture that @Nick posted here once when he was trying to take a picture of Moulton barn........... with.....28 of his closest friends that all had the same idea. Reminiscent of similar pictures I have seen of Delicate Arch.....which should also be visited by everyone....even though it will be swarmed by stool-pellets on nearly any given, good weather, day. And, when those stool-pellets are there and see me coming....I'm sure they are thinking "oh great, some guy with a crop sensor camera that thinks he's a pro and wants all 56 of us to get away and let him have the place to himself for an hour....just so he can get a picture" :)

Good thing I'm not a landscape photographer I guess:D
 

Bob

Trailmaster
Joined
Mar 3, 2013
Messages
2,643
haha ........ gotta love Jackson. Driggs really isn't much better anymore. :) Hiking the Tetons you expect people. Go north or late season.
 

Joey

walking somewhere
Joined
Apr 1, 2014
Messages
878
Yea, Jackson is a zoo, so it the park. Lots of people on the valley floor trails, as well as Cascade and Paintbrush Canyons. But its definitely pretty, and a worthy trip.

At the same time you could spend an entire summer in the northern section of the park, and not see a single person. And camp at lakes like this:

 
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