Backpack to Alaska Basin via Death Canyon

Rate this Adventure 28.2 miles 7500 ft gain  - Loop Trail

Added by Spencer Williams

This is a multi-day backpacking trip that features some of the most picturesque sections of Grand Teton National Park and Targhee National Forest. The trail begins and ends at Death Canyon Trailhead offering multiple ways to lengthen or shorten the days and mileage of your adventure. My trip was 28.2 miles over the course of 3 days, stopping to camp on the Death Canyon floor and between alpine lakes in Alaska Basin.

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 miles) From Death Canyon Trailhead hike west for 1-mile to the Phelps Lake overlook (7,200 ft.), this will be your first of many photo opportunities. After gazing out at the lake you will hike down into Death Canyon, covering another 3 miles before coming upon a small ranger patrol cabin and a junction for Static Peak and Death Canyon Trail. Go left at the junction and hike 4.5 miles to the Death Canyon camping zone, your first opportunity to camp.

Day 2: (7 miles) To start your second day you must climb to the top of Fox Creek Pass (9,600 ft.) here you will meet with the Teton Crest Trail. Take the crest trail north following the Death Canyon Shelf; from the shelf you will have fantastic views of the Teton Range. Descend the crest trail into the lake spotted Alaska Basin, at the junction follow Alaska Basin Trail and make camp.

Day 3: (12.9 miles) The third and final day will be the longest in mileage. After packing up camp and refilling your water reserves follow Alaska Basin Trail southwest to your next challenge, the 3.2-mile hike to the top of Buck Mountain Divide (10,550 ft.). From here traverse 1.1 miles to Static Peak Divide where you have the option to summit Static Peak (11,303 ft.), a short half-mile detour from the trail. Finally continue down the basin trail for 4 miles to the patrol cabin you encountered on the first day, and head back to the trailhead and parking area.

Things to Keep in Mind:
  • Backcountry permits are required in both Grand Teton National Park and Targhee National Forest.
  • Bears are present in this area, so bring appropriate protection including food canisters and repellant.
  • Temperature can drop very low at night even during summer months.
  • At Fox Creek Pass you have to option to go south on the Teton Crest Trail and camp a night at Marion Lake.
  • At the Alaska Basin Trail/ Teton Crest Trail junction you can follow the Teton Crest Trail 1.5 miles north to Sunset Lake for additional camping and photo opportunities.
  • The lakes in the area provide great fishing, be sure to have proper fishing permit if you do choose to fish in the backcountry.
Read More

Tags

Camping
Fishing
Photography
Backpacking
Hiking
Forest
Lake
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Reviews

Have you done this adventure? Be the first to leave a review!

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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Backpack the Teton Crest Trail, Grand Teton NP

    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 ...

    38 miles 9681 ft gain

  • Backpack to Death Canyon

    Day 1: This trip begins at the Death Canyon Trailhead. Try to arrive early, as it gets crowded and various groups day hike from here. After the first few miles, you’ll encounter Phelps Lake. You’ll have several opportunities for photos, and they ...

    26 miles