Backpack the Teton Crest Trail, Grand Teton NP

38 miles 9681 ft gain  - Point-to-Point Trail

Added by Rachel Becker

This is an incredible trail passing through canyons, over passes, and around breathtaking mountains. It hits several of the most beautiful spots in the Tetons and makes for a remarkable 3-4 day backpacking trip.

The Teton Crest Trail has several variations that allow the hiker to enter and exit through different canyons. The classic trail begins at the Phillips Pass Trailhead and comes to a close at Paintbrush Divide. Many hikers choose to take the Teton Village Tram up to Marion Lake and join up with the Teton Crest Trail from there. This trail is typically travelled over 3 to 4 days, but can be extended or shortened to fit the hiker's timescale. Because this trip is point-to-point, the easiest way to complete it is by setting up a shuttle from your end point to your starting point.

A permit is required to camp along this trail, but there are several backcountry zones that can be used if your itinerary is flexible. You will also pass through Alaska Basin in the Bridger-Teton National Forest, an area that does not require permits to camp. This is a popular area, so be sure to reserve your spot well in advance.

Beginning from the south, this trail goes over Fox Creek Pass, along the Death Canyon Shelf, down Mt. Meek Pass, and into Alaska Basin. Here, Sunset Lake is a highly recommended place to camp with stunning views of the basin. Climbing out of Alaska Basin, you will travel over Hurricane Pass where you will see views of the Grand Teton and the rest of the range. You can either continue to Paintbrush Divide or take Cascade Canyon out to the Jenny Lake or String Lake trailhead. Depending on the daily mileage you are looking for, you can fairly easily find campsites to fit the plan for your trip.

Get more information on planning your trek here.

Read More

Tags

Fitness
Camping
Photography
Backpacking
Hiking
Forest
Lake
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

A must do!

Some friends and I did this route together and it was a blast! I recommend it for anyone who loves backpacking! Train and get your pack to a good weight before taking it on, but make sure you do this trail. Best campsite is at Sunset Lake, camp at the site in the trees above the lake for a glorious evening and morning.

A fantastic hike in a National Park.

So often we view our National Parks from the car. We drive to a lot, do a short hike, see the thing that's on the postcards, and hike back to our cars. The Teton Crest Trail, however, is an emersion in one of the most scenic parks in the NPS system. Away from the ranger stations, vending machines, historical plaques, and visitors centers, this trail is what being in a National Park should be.

🥇Top Contributor

about 4 years ago

Some of the best backpacking in the country

The Teton Crest Trail ranks among the top backpacking destinations in the country, and is without a doubt the best way to experience Grand Teton National Park. We took 4.5 days to cover 40 miles, starting from Granite Canyon trailhead. Be prepared for an intense amount of elevation gain, as this trail crosses over several significant passes, ascending and descending many different canyons. We went in early August to avoid steep snowfield crossings on Paintbrush Divide and only crossed one short (and not very steep) permanent snowfield. We didn’t see any bears, though hikers just ahead of us saw a black bear cross the trail in front of them on our first day. Deer walked through our campsites every night, and we saw lots of marmots, pika, ground squirrels, and chipmunks all along the trail. Highlights from our trip included stopping at Marion Lake, camping on Death Canyon shelf, lunch at Sunset Lake, wildflower covered fields, climbing over Hurricane Pass and seeing Schoolroom Glacier, views of Grand Teton from North Fork Cascade Canyon, resting at Lake Solitude, the hard push up Paintbrush Divide and the incredibly rewarding top-of-the-world views, and Holly Lake.

We Had A Blast!

There were 4 in our group and we spent 3 days hiking 28 miles. There were plenty of great views and amazing scenery. Wildlife was fairly common, but beware of bears! Some parts of this hike were super easy while others had me literally panting for air. Training is highly recommended as well as being aware of dramatic elevation change. The best view by far is at the top of the Teton Crest.

Stay Nearby

Teton Village, Wyoming

Glamping Of Jackson Hole

Glamping of Jackson Hole is a summer glamping destination located in the Bridger-Teton National Forest. We provide a luxury wilderness camping experience only 20 minutes from Jackson Hole down Fall...

From $500/night

Alta, Wyoming

Teton Canyon

Overview Teton Canyon Campground is located in beautiful Teton Canyon at an elevation of approximately 6,500 feet. Driggs, Idaho is just 11 miles away. Hiking, backpacking and horseback riding are ...

Alta, Wyoming

Reunion Flat

Overview Reunion Flat Campground is located in beautiful Teton Canyon in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest. Hiking, backpacking and horseback riding are popular activities in this scenic region.R...

Jackson, Wyoming

Jackson Hole Adventure Townhouse

Nestled in Jackson Hole between Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons and Snake River, our 3BR, 3BA log townhouse is the perfect home base for up to 8 adventurers. With cozy rustic décor and easy access t...

From $187/night

Nearby Adventures

  • Hike to Huckleberry Point, Grand Teton NP

    Getting There: Coming from Jackson Hole, enter Grand Teton National Park and turn left onto Moose-Wilson Road. Continue southwest until you come to Death Canyon trailhead on your right. There is a large parking lot beside the trailhead, as well as...

    4 miles

  • Backpack to the Death Canyon Shelf

    If you can snag a permit to camp at Death Canyon Shelf, consider yourself lucky. This backcountry camping zone holds some of the best sites in Grand Teton National Park. The shelf is a 3-mile stretch of the Teton Crest trail between Fox Creek Pass...

    20 miles 2700 ft gain

  • Backpack to Alaska Basin via Death Canyon

    Death Canyon Trailhead is easily accessed by heading south on Moose-Wilson Rd. from Grand Teton National Park Headquarters for 3 miles. Once at the junction turn right onto an uneven dirt road and go north 0.7 miles to the parking area.Day 1: (8.3...

    28.2 miles 7500 ft gain

  • Hike to the Patrol Cabin at Death Canyon

    Your adventure begins at 7,000 feet along lodge pole pines and small creeks. Just a few minutes into the hike, you will reach the Valley Trail Junction. Stay left and continue towards Death Canyon. The first mile of the trail climbs 400 feet throu...

    8 miles 2000 ft gain