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Hiking in Grand Teton

Hiking can't be ignored in Grand Teton. Miles of trails, from short, easy hikes such as the loop around Jenny Lake, to the 30-40-mile-long Teton Crest Trail, practically beg your legs to enter this gorgeous setting.

Hiking in Grand Teton can be a challenging experience due to the rugged nature of the landscape, including high elevation, steep trails and extreme and sudden weather changes.

Be sure to check out the Hiking brochure that's attached below for suggested hikes and safety recommendations. For scenic hikes around lakes such as Phelps, Jenny, Leigh and Taggart, check out the Lakeshore Hikes brochure attached below. Also, stop by a visitor center to talk to a ranger about recent trail conditions.

For Your Safety

*This is bear country. Make bears aware of your presence and avoid surprising them by making loud noises like talking loudly or singing. Always carry bear spray and know how to use it.

* Carry drinking water. Dehydration is common and can be serious, every year at least one visitor is rescued or even air-evacuated due to complications from dehydration. Most visitors will need to drink considerably more in Jackson Hole than in other locations, the air is especially dry in this environment.

* Be prepared for rapid weather changes; rain gear and extra clothing.

* High elevation may cause breathing difficulties; pace yourself.

* Snow melts gradually, leaving valley trails snow-free by mid-June, canyon trails by late July. Be careful crossing snowfields and streams.

* Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return.

* Solo hiking and off-trail hiking is not recommended, a considerable number of rescues involve solo parties that were unable to self-rescue and remained alone in the wilderness, sometimes with life-threatening injuries until rescuers could locate them.

* Check with a ranger for up-to-date information on trail conditions.

Parking tips

During July and August trailhead parking areas fill early in the day, especially at South Jenny Lake, String Lake, Lupine Meadows, Death Canyon and Granite Canyon. Parking on natural vegetation results in permanent damage to plants. Obey posted parking regulations. An early start for your hike will help you avoid parking problems.

Backcountry Regulations

*As of April 2011, irregardless of elevation backpackers will be required to carry approved bear-resistant canisters except where food storage boxes are provided. On some specific alpine routes where a climber is bivouacing on a high rocky ledge where bears can not go, park-approved bear canisters may not be required.

All food, garbage, toiletries and any odorous item that may attract a bear, must be stored in an Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC) approved bear-resistant food canister when not in immediate use, day and night. Bear canisters are available for use in the park for free at backcountry permitting locations.

Approved Bear-proof Storage Canisters

The following food storage canisters are currently approved by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee. GrandTetonNationalPark’s new canister requirement program will authorize the use of any of these and any canisters approved by IGBC. Each of these canisters has been tested in the USFS Missoula lab and at the GrizzlyDiscoveryCenter with bears.

Backpacker Model 812-C

Garcia Machine
14097 Ave. 272
Visalia, CA93292
Phone: 559-732-3785

BearVault BV350, BV400

Phone: 866-301-3442

The Bear Keg

Counter Assault
120 Industry Court
Kalispell, MT59901-7991
Phone: 406-257-4740 or 800-695-3394
FAX: 406-257-6674

The Bare Boxer Contender

Golf City Products
9614 Cozycroft Ave. Suite D
Chatsworth, CA91311

* Respect wildlife: Do not approach or feed animals. Observe and photograph from a safe distance; stay at least 300 feet away from large animals.

* All overnight camping requires a permit.


* Carry out all your garbage.

* Hike on established trails to prevent erosion.

* Horses have the right-of-way. Step off the trail and remain quiet while horses pass.

* Pets, bicycles or vehicles are not allowed on trails or in the backcountry.

* Backcountry sanitation: To prevent contamination of waterways, bury feces in a hole 6-8 inches deep at least 200 feet from streams and lakes. Pack out used toilet paper, tampons, sanitary napkins and diapers in sealed plastic bags. Do not bury or burn them.

Grand Teton National Park

National Parks Traveler's Essential Park Guide