Hiking & backpacking routes in and around Grand Teton National Park
One of North America’s most recognizable mountain ranges, the Teton Range is a dramatic upheaval of earth in northwestern Wyoming. Spanning 40 miles, the iconic Tetons are the youngest mountain range in the Rockies. Rising sharply 7000 feet above the valley floor of Jackson Hole, the awe-inspiring central massif is one of the more familiar landmarks of the West. However, as a beacon for backpackers and a monument for mountaineers, this small but legendary landscape has much more to offer than superlative valley views.
The central spine and eastern slope exists within the confines of Grand Teton National Park, where one can access gorgeous glacier carved valleys and stunning high alpine lakes via 200 miles of rugged yet rewarding trails. The less dramatic, but no less beautiful, western flank of the Tetons is encompassed mostly by the 125,000 acre Jedediah Smith Wilderness. No permits are required for overnight camping in the Jedediah Smith Wilderness Area, but permits are required for overnight camping inside of Grand Teton National Park.
While many shorter overnight loops can be enjoyed via an assortment of trailheads, one of the more popular routes of the range is a point-to-point pilgramage along the lofty 40 mile Teton Crest Trail. Some of the more memorable highlights along the route include Death Canyon Shelf, Alaska Basin, Hurricane Pass, and the North Fork of Cascade Creek.
The Tetons are a very popular summer destination, so it is advised to secure your backcountry permits well in advance. The Grand Teton National Park visitor center begins accepting applications for camping permits on January 5 of every year. The Park also requires all backcountry visitors to store his or her food in a bear-proof canister, a practice that is also highly recommended (though not required) in the adjacent Jedediah Smith Wilderness, as both areas see very high bear activity.
- Aug 6, 2013
- Jan 24, 2013