Granite Canyon to Death Canyon Loop

Jackson, Wyoming

4.5/5
based on 2 reviews

Details

Distance

25 miles

Elevation Gain

4000 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Description

Added by Julien Bacal

An easy 2 day backpacking trip in Grand Teton National park with amazing views on Phelps Lake.

This fairly easy 2-night backpacking trip in the Tetons can be started around noon, allowing you to finish around noon, 2 days later.

From the visitor center, obtain a permit for 2 nights. Ask for a first night at Marion Lake (the Granite Canyon campsites are not my favorites), and for a second night in Dead Canyon. The first day is a 9 miles hike. The second day is just 7 miles, giving you time to enjoy the lake, and on the last day, the hike is around 8 to 9 miles.

Begin the hike at the Granite Canyon Trailhead. Hike along the river for about 6 miles. There are some nice views on the river, but the trail is really enclosed in the canyon. Along the 6 miles there are several campsites alongside the river - the Marion Lake campsite is especially beautiful, however. The hike continues to Teton Crest Trail, where there are some amazing views of the Grand Teton, itself.

At Fox Creek Pass, turn left, to descend down to Dead Canyon. The trails become easier, and it is beautiful, with flowers everywhere. Find a spot in the Dead Canyon for the night.

On the last day, the hike continues to go downhill. The trail becomes really steep, and at this point you’re glad to have started the loop clockwise. There are amazing views on Phelps Lake, which is a really nice place to picnic. There is also a worthwhile trail that loops around the lake.

Head back to the trailhead by the Open Canyon Trail, or to the main road to go faster (we saw a cub by choosing the road).

Note that the campsites in Dead Canyon and Granite Canyon are widely spread out - almost one mile between two campsites. Considers this during your hike, especially when darkness falls.

Note: Bears may be present in this area. 

Read More

Download the Outbound mobile app

Find adventures and camping on the go, share photos, use GPX tracks, and download maps for offline use.

Get the app

Features

Camping
Backpacking
Hiking
Lake
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildlife

Reviews

This was our first backpacking trip in GTNP and it was great. My favorite segment was the second day between Marion Lake and Death Canyon. You are able to see much of the higher peaks from this open area. In early season, snow can make the trail a bit harder to follow here. Paintbrush loop is a bit more scenic, but this is less crowded.

This is a moderate backpacking trip (for beginners). If your are not used to the elevation it can be strenuous at times but always manageable. The views are incredible and so different from mile to mile. We were glad to go clockwise like suggested because Death Canyon is a steep start. I’ve never seen a more beautiful landscape than Death Canyon at dawn! At Marion Lake we ran into a moose that didn’t want to get off the trail but missed the bears that others saw. Also, we regrettably took Valley Trail back to the trail head instead of going to the road. Go to the road. Overall we had the best time. Will do again!

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Nearby

Hike the Granite Canyon Trail

Backpack to Marion Lake

Hike the Rockefeller Preserve Loop

Backpack to Death Canyon

Hike to Phelps Lake

Hike to the Patrol Cabin at Death Canyon

Let Adventure be your Destination in Wyoming

Wyoming’s wide-open spaces make it easy to get off the grid and on a trail, through a park, into a forest, up a mountain or down a river. During your journey through Wyoming’s Black to Yellow Region, discover geologic marvels, dense evergreen forests and sprawling prairielands.

Learn More