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5 Best Backpacking Trips in Grand Teton National Park

The sun rising over the horizon beyond a backpacking campsite in Paintbrush Canyon of the Teton Mountains. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Grand Teton National Park features some of the best backpacking options you’ll find anywhere in the country. From glacial lakes to alpine scenery, there’s no shortage of fantastic canyons and trails to explore. Below are five of my favorite backpacking trips found within the park. Click on the links for more details and information.

Teton Crest Trail

The Teton Crest Trail is, without a doubt, one of the most stunning backpacking trips in the country. Attracting hikers from all over, it shows off the best of the Teton Mountains over the course of 43 incredible miles. Few, however, will actually hike the trail in its entirety. The reasons frequently vary from time restrictions to trouble acquiring proper permits to dozens of other reasons. As such, this spectacular trail still offers plenty of opportunity for wild solitude.

Paintbrush-Cascade Canyon Loop

For those wanting a taste of the Teton Crest Trail but might only have one night to get out, the Paintbrush-Cascade Canyon Loop makes for a perfect backup plan. This loop includes the northernmost leg of the “crest trail” but also throws in the majestic Cascade Canyon to round out the loop. At 21 miles round trip, it packs in some epic Teton Mountain scenery in a classic loop. Highlights include Holly Lake, the Paintbrush Divide, and Lake Solitude.

Alpine Terrain in the Tetons

Death Canyon Loop

The Death Canyon Loop is an incredible 27 miles of mountain ruggedness. Climbing past Phelps Lake, the loop passes the Static Peak Divide, the Alaska Basin, and the Death Canyon Shelf, as well as the remarkably remote and peaceful, Death Canyon itself. Split this up into two nights for an unparalleled adventure. Ideal camping spots would be the Alaska Basin and Death Canyon.

Marion Lake

Though limited in campsites, Marion Lake is a prized place to camp thanks to its perch above Granite Canyon, and its convenient access to Marion Lake. With the alpine lake situated right at treeline, the stunning scenery surrounding the small campground puts you miles away from not just civilization, but anyone else. This can be hiked via the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort Tram, or through Granite Canyon. Likewise, you can also hike this as an out and back backpacking trip, or make a loop from Teton Village using Granite Canyon and the Valley Trail.

Trapper Lake

Trapper Lake provides an excellent option for anyone not wanting to gain significant elevation. The easy 5 mile hike culminates at a remote glacial lake at the base of Mount Moran. This wild setting still gets you into a gorgeously natural setting. With such a beautiful campsite all to yourself, it makes for a perfect location for those new to backpacking, or for experienced backpackers just wanting an easy night.

Early Light on Tetons Above Trapper Lake
Sunrise light hitting the Teton Mountains and the forests above Trapper Lake. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

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