Backpack to Marion Lake

Rate this Adventure Wyoming Granite Canyon Trailhead

Added by John Sides

This deep blue subalpine lake at the top of Granite Canyon sits below Housetop Mountain, at an elevation of 9,250 ft. Marion Lake works as a perfect destination for an overnight trip, or an inspiring and rejuvenating stop on a longer multi-day trip through Grand Teton National Park. 

Marion Lake is one of Grand Teton National Park’s many spectacular high altitude lakes. The lake sits above Granite Canyon, and next to sweeping meadows that are loaded with colorful wildflowers during July and August. Campsites at the lake may be available by obtaining a backcountry permit from a ranger station or online. Other nearby camping options also requiring a backcountry permit include Upper Granite camping zone and Middle/South Fork Granite camping zone.  

The most direct routes to Marion Lake are via the Teton Village Tram or Granite Canyon. The Teton Village Tram takes hikers to the summit of Rendezvous Mountain at 10,450 ft (for the tram fee click here). From here, you can hop on the Teton Crest trail and descend sharply towards Granite Canyon. Once you reach the Granite Canyon trail junction, stay straight to climb the final 500 ft up to the lake (11.8 miles round trip, total climbing 4,000 ft).

From the Granite Canyon trailhead starting at 6,400 ft, stay straight through the Valley trail junction to enter the canyon. You will follow Granite Creek as you gradually ascend the very beautiful Granite Canyon, passing both the lower and upper camping zones until you reach the Teton Crest trail junction and take a right (18.5 miles round trip, total climbing 3,700 ft).   

Marion Lake can also be accessed via Open Canyon, Death Canyon, or Teton Crest trail. Its location makes it easy to plan a variety of overnight or multi-day options. For a few ideas, check these two adventures out here and here.

Pack List

  • Tent
  • Backpack 
  • Warm sleeping bag 
  • Sleeping pad 
  • Water filter (tip: if you’re headed towards Death Canyon shelf, be sure to filter water at Marion Lake as this is one of the last reliable water sources for about a 3 mile stretch during late summer months)
  • Food 
  • Bear canister 
  • Bear spray 
  • Stove and fuel 
  • Cookware 
  • Hiking boots 
  • Trekking poles 
  • Rain jacket 
  • Fleece 
  • Down jacket (seasonal) 
  • Warm hat and gloves (seasonal) 
  • Base layers (seasonal) 
  • Hat to keep you out of the sun 
  • Sunscreen 
  • Headlamp and extra batteries
  • Camera 
  • Map 
  • Backcountry permit
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Activities:

Backpacking, Camping, Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:

Intermediate

Season:

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

18.5 Miles

Elev. Gain:

3700 Feet

Features:

Forest
Lake
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

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Added by John Sides

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