Backpacking in the Tetons in May

8:37 p.m. on April 29, 2007 (EDT)
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Is it possible/ reasonable to backpack the Crest trail the third week in May? Anyone know of the snow conditions/ weather this year?


12:27 p.m. on May 3, 2007 (EDT)
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I had Backpacked in the Colorado Rockies late June and I dare not go over any of the Passes (12,000 ft or more) because of the late Spring snow conditions. Its a good bet that there will be substantial amount of snow where avalanch conditions can persist up to mid-July or later. Even the lower areas at 8,000 to 10,000 ft, snow still could be rather deep and you have the hazards of spruce traps or falling through an unsuspecting snow bridge hiding Icy water from a creek.
Therefore I would suspect that the Tetons even though you,ll be at a lower altitude, they're also situated at a higher lattitude where snow may linger later in the year.

My best advice would be to call the National Park Service or the Local Ranger Station for that area to get trail conditions.

Lots of luck!!!!!!

PS: I plan to Backpack the Crest Trail in September.

6:00 p.m. on May 3, 2007 (EDT)
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Thanks for the reply. I actually did get a hold of a ranger the other day, and she kept giving me vague answers about the trail conditions. She said there will be snow but people have done it before, and not much more than that. My backpacking partners and I are debating on attempting the crest trail in the Tetons or going somewhere else with less snow.

2:06 a.m. on May 27, 2007 (EDT)

Hi Braden,

What have you decided on? I'm headed to the Tetons next week and had planned to backpack up through the Alaska Basin. I was told by a ranger that it's still under 3-4 feet of snow. Not sure where the snow level starts - do you know?


9:21 p.m. on May 27, 2007 (EDT)
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We didn't make it to the tetons (too much snow). We decided to go to the Bighorns instead, because of reported less snow. There ended up being large drifts of snow in shady spots in between trees. There was less snow once we made it to a ridge. All of the creeks/ rivers were swelling with snow melt and most of the lakes still had ice on them; this was a couple of weeks ago. I'm sure the tetons will have similar if not worse conditions.
Good luck.

10:23 a.m. on May 29, 2007 (EDT)
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Been to the Tetons the last two weekends...

Snow on most trails seems to be at around the 9000 foot level (at least up Stewart Draw, off the Death Canyon trail). Timberline Lake at 10k' is completly frozen over and snowed in, for instance. Also, folks report that there is patchy snow at the Platforms in Garnet Canyon, and the Meadows is under a bunch of snow right now too.

Cascade is pretty clear (some snow in the shadows) at least in about the 8500 foot level.

I think the snowpack in the Tetons is at around mid-June levels due to the lack of average snowfall this winter/spring, but, its still spring and there's usually snow up high until early July most years.

Hey, at least the Valley trail is clear...


-Brian in SLC

August 19, 2018
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