Teton Crest Trail

2:18 p.m. on December 2, 2012 (EST)
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I am from the east and the only real hikes I have done are in Baxter State Park Maine. I want to hike the TCT and could use any advise. Everything from trails, getting use  to elevation ,  and camping site selections. I  live in the town of North East, PA near Erie Thanks

1:40 p.m. on December 3, 2012 (EST)
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I have made Jackson WY my summer home since 1982 and have hiked the TCT many times. You can get info on the trail from the park service if you go to the NPS website and then GTNP (Grand Teton Nat. Park).

Anyway there are a number of access places to get onto the trail. If you are driving,renting a car or taking a airline to Jackson Hole (JH) which then between Memorial Day and Labor Day the town shuttle bus (S.T.A.R.T.)  or the AllTrans shuttle can be taken to the trailheads leading to the TCT also. I will go  into some detail about these now.

The TCT starts and ends at two places if you want to do the whole thing. I am not sure of the top of my head how long it is. It starts at Teton Pass above Wilson Wyoming and ends at the North end of Jenny lake in GTNP. You can access it from many places in between.

If you can find it in my previous trail description here at Trailspace when others have asked about the trail it will be much easier than re-describing the route and camping area. I will look and see if I can find it in a moment and cut and paste it below.

1:45 p.m. on December 3, 2012 (EST)
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This is what I posted in 2010:

I have hiked the Teton Crest Trail many times in the last 30 years. I never heard anything about getting altitude sickness from going up on the tram, but I guess its possible. Jackson Hole (JH) is 6000 feet above sea level. The tram takes you to 10,400 feet.

If you want to start at Jenny Lake to do the TCT, I would suggest this:

Day one:

Start on the Jenny Lake trail and follow along the lake to the northeast to the String Lake crossover and then go on the Paintbrush Divide trail. Hike up and over this trail to Lake Solitude the first camp.

Day two:

Hike down the North Fork Cascade Canyon trail to where Cascade Canyon divides and take the South Cascade Canyon trail towards Hurricane Pass. This will take you to the highest point on the trail at the pass.

Follow on the TCT and head south into the Alaska Basin and the Sunset Lakes area. This is camp 2.

Day three:

Hike up and over Fox Creek Pass to the southwest along Death Canyon Shelf. After the pass continue on to Marion Lake. This is camp 4.

Day four:

Hike down into Granite Canyon along the North G.C. trail until you come to the first trail Jct, take the left and go down Granite Canyon to the Valley Trail. Turn north again when you get to this trail and head north back towards Phelps Lake, staying on the Valley Trail all the way back to your car at Jenny Lake.


This is a map I made for some others a few weeks ago that were requesting a route like yours. The only difference is where you will go along the northeast side of Jenny Lake above near the upper right of this map.

If you have two cars it could be easier to hike down the Granite Creek trail and then take the right hand trail to Teton Village along the Valley Trail, or hike up to the top of the tram from Marion lake by following the North Granite to the middle and south Granite trail and up to the tram. They will let you take the tram down for free being you hiked all the way to the top. The view from the top of the tram is great of all of Jackson Hole.

If you want me to send individual topos showing the daily route email me atcpatflgaz@yahoo.com with Teton Crest Trail in the subject line and I will be happy to make you up the maps that you can download and view and decide apon till your hike in September. I made the above map at www.mapcard.com

and you can also go to another USGS site at:


The above link the maps are free and its easy to use and save maps.


View of the Tetons from the north end of Jenny Lake

1:49 p.m. on December 3, 2012 (EST)
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This is what I posted for Gonzan back in January 2010: 

Yes, that area is also a nice place to camp near the Patrol Cabin. Once on the Valley Trail the trail goes thru some pine and aspen forests and makes its way back to Teton Village. Look for Moose near the mouth of Granite Creek, as I have often seen them, especially Bulls in the rut.

Below are some shots from Granite Canyon...The fourth from the last shows a Bull and cow Moose I saw near the mouth in late October 2008.

The third picture down is of Apre Vous Peak, while the second one is from near the same peak on the ridge above looking across the canyon. I was near the point on the upper right in the first picture, near the top of the Apre Vous ski lift.

The fourth shot down is a falls you'll pass close to on the way down near the mouth. The next shot is Granite Creek way down near where it flows into the Snake River in the lower valley along a trail that leads from the Wilson-Moose road I mentioned.

fter that is my friend Lane drinking from Granite Creek the same day we saw the two Moose in late October, notice the new snow.

The next to last picture is the Sleeping Indian (or Sheep Mountain, as od timers called it) taken along th Valley Trail. The Last shot is from the other side of Jackson Hole on the east side from a place called Curtis Canyon with the definite features of a Indian Chief laying on his back, nose upward and his belly. Lane and I did a day hike up to his belly from Kelly WY a week before.










Have fun next week in Jackson Hole(JH) and be sure tolook east for the Sleeping Indian. He will first come into view just northeast of Jackson and a good/best place to see him is about 4 miles north when you come to the unoffical south end of Grand Teton Parks at this sign...(I say unoffical, as the true south entrance is about 6 miles up the road near Moose after you cross the Snake River.) The park lands are actually much larger than the land the Rockefeller's gave to the Nat'l Park system many years ago. Yes, The Rockefeller's , one of the richest families in the 1900's used to own the land that makes up the Grand Teton Nat'l Park. They donated it to the park system in the early 1900's. I guess it was their pioneer ancestors homestead.

It just up the hill past the fish hatchery. Theres a pull-out with the sign above and look to the east for the sleeping Indian Mountain. Many times I have stopped there while cycling around Jackson Hole, and asked after tourist's have looked around, "Did you see the sleeping indian over there," Pointing to the east. They always look at me like I have lost my mind. Then I point to to the mountain and say, "There , Thats the Sleeping Indian I was talkin' about". And then they see it and say "thanks we never noticed it!" Can you see the forest thru the tree's?

1:53 p.m. on December 3, 2012 (EST)
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In Jan 2010 Gonzan posted this:

n five weeks I will be heading out to Wyoming for ten days of Backpacking, hiking, and plein air landscape painting. The first three days of the trip will be spent hiking 3/4 of the Teton Crest Trail.


TCT Hike Plan:

  • First Day: Begin at Cascade Canyon TH at around 10am, Sat. 9/10
  • Proceeded up the Cascade Canyon South Fork Trail towardsHurricanePass.
  • Camp fist night at upper end of the South Fork of Cascade Canyon, belowHurricanePass.(If I make exceptional time, I may cross over the pass and camp in the National Forest, ideally at Basin Lakes.) Distance to upper end of the South Fork: 9.4 miles
  • Second Day, Sun. 9/11: Climb Hurricane Pass, Proceed past Basin Lakes and through Alaska Basin. (or leave directly from Basin Lakes if Sat. time permited going that far)
  • Continue south on the TCT through Mount Meek Pass, along Death Canyon Shelf, over Fox Creek Pass, and down to Marion Lake
  • Camp second night at Marion Lake - Distance from Cascade Canyon: 10.8 Miles (8.8 miles from Basin Lakes) 
  • Third Day, Mon. 9/12: Hike down and join the Upper Fork Granite Canyon trail, proceeding to the main canyon, then continue down Granite Canyon.
  • Cross the Valley Trail and hike on out to the Granite Canyon trailhead. Distance from Marion Lake to trailhead: 10.4 miles

Here is a simple map of the route: The Red line is my first day hike,  Green is the second day, Purple is the Third Day. Blue Circles are anticipated camping locations. The Orange Line and Circle are the alternate first day rout and camp location.  


Logistics and Details:

  • Friday, 9pm - My Flight arrives in Jackson, where I will be picked up by the rental car shuttle and taken to Jackson to get my rental.  After picking up the car, I will run a couple quick errends to get fuel for my stove, etc.
  • Friday, 10:15pm - After getting any errands out of the way I will head up to Gros Ventre Campground to sleep for the night.
  • Saturday, 6am - I will get up and hit the road towards the Granite Canyon Trailhead, where I will leave my rental car.
  •  Saturday, 7:15am - I have a taxi scheduled to meet me at the Granite Canyon TH and take me up to Moose, where I will catch the Resort Shuttle up to Jenny Lake. Working out logistics for this stage of the trip has been a ridiculous headache. It is going to cost me $35 for the Taxi to get only 6 miles from the TH to Moose. Most of the taxi services wanted $55-$75. Good Grief. The shuttle all the way from Jackson to ColterBay only costs $12. The taxi company is supposed to look into cutting me a deal to take me on up toJenny Lake, if it is less than $20 more, I will just do that.
  • Saturday, 8am - Once at Jenny Lake I will have to pick up backcountry camping permits and a bear canister from the ranger's station. I will also have to pick up Bear Spray, since the freaking airlines won't permit that in checked baggage; firearms and live ammunition - yes, bear spray....no? Oh well.
  • Saturday, 9:15am – Since I will have quite a ways to go, and a stiff dose of elevation to gain, I will catch the Jenny Lake water taxi over to the Cascade Canyon Trailhead. That will shave off a couple miles of hiking, and it should be a beautiful ride across the lake.
  • Saturday, 10am – Begin the hike up Cascade Canyon

(hiking details- see above)

  • Monday afternoon/evening – Arrive back at Granite Canyon trailhead and retrieve rental car. After the hike I will be driving out to Dubois, where I will be staying for the next six days. I will primarily be out landscape painting with a group of other artists, but I plan to do some more hiking and spend a couple nights out in the Shoshone National Forest, which surrounds Dubois. The mountain ranges north of Dubois are actaully nearly as high in elevations as the Tetons.

I will post more details for those plans as I work them out.

1:57 p.m. on December 3, 2012 (EST)
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I believe Gonzan was the last person to ask about info on the TCT. You could  send him a message here by going to his profile in the members name area and ask him about his experiences.

Hope I have been helpful. JH has many beautiful areas to visit as it is surrounded by mountain ranges. 

Email or send me a private message if you have any questions more on the trail.

3:10 p.m. on December 3, 2012 (EST)
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Here is a link to a site about some that hiked the full length of the Tetons.


3:22 p.m. on December 3, 2012 (EST)
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Oops! That maybe the wrong URL...

Try this one.


7:46 p.m. on December 3, 2012 (EST)
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Gary thanks for quick reply. Will get back to ya as I digest info I am sure to have question this is a big step in my backpacking career. I friend I was to hike the TCT with died in March so I am on my own with the planning. Hopefully I can get on of the young bucks I know to come with me.

7:30 p.m. on December 27, 2012 (EST)
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what is the bear situation on the trail? any officially required precautions ?

12:08 a.m. on December 28, 2012 (EST)
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Bear canisters are required in GTNP now.  You can rent them from the ranger station in Moose.

11:21 a.m. on December 28, 2012 (EST)
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Actually you don't rent them they let you use them free, or did last summer. I used two as they always seem small for my 4 day trips like last summers.

Sabino, Bears are out there just keep an eye for them. They can usually be scared away if they come towards you. Most of the time they hear,smell us long before we see them. Most will give you a wide berth. Just stand tall, raise your arms to appear bigger. Carry bear spray just in case. I have never used bear spray in the Lower 48 states.  Be sure to spray it downwind if possible.

Sows with cub(s) can become agitated so keep clear if you can.

11:29 a.m. on December 28, 2012 (EST)
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You're correct, Gary.  I mistyped.  That lend they lend the canisters, as you mentioned, or as of last summer they did.

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