There are so many amazing backpacking trips in the Teton and Wind River mountain ranges, that it’s hard to pin down exactly where you should explore. We put together 4 of our favorites for the next time that you’re feeling the call of an open, alpine trail! And know that many of our campers will experience aspects of these different trails. While we may not do the exact trips outlined below many of our campers experience Alaska Basin, the Teton Crest Trail and Cascade Canyon!
3 and 1/2 hours south of Grand Teton National Park, this 36 mile loop will take you through some of the most beautiful and dramatic scenery that Wyoming’s Wind River Range has to offer. Over the course of this trail’s 36 miles, you will climb 2 sweeping passes, traverse the expansive Lizard Head Plateau, visit almost a dozen lakes, and pass through the beautiful Cirque of the Towers This trip is strenuous but rewarding - we recommend allocating 5 or more days for this trip, though it can be done in 3 nights/4 days if necessary.
Located in the heart of Grand Teton National Park, this world class trail spans 45 miles and hits the high points of Grand Teton National Park and beyond. With plenty of offshoot trails and canyons, this hike can be done in many different ways, and is a must do for any dedicated backcountry enthusiast. Be aware - this is popular hike and the permit process can be tough! Plan ahead accordingly!
Slightly less rigorous than the previous 2 choices, Alaska Basin is a favorite among locals - and it’s not hard to see why. Expansive fields of wildflowers, flowing rivers, and pristine lakes await you on this 20 mile trek which is doable as an overnighter or a very long day hike. Located in Jed Smith Wilderness, this trail is also a very solid last minute trip option.
Heading up Cascade Canyon to Lake Solitude is a popular 18 mile trip that will take you to a lake hidden among the peaks of the tetons, all while providing spectacular alpine views. You have the option when starting this trip to either hike around Jenny Lake, or take a ferry across - though we recommend saving the ferry ride for on the way back when your legs are good and tired! This is a very popular area - as such make sure you think ahead about securing permits!
There you have it! 4 of the best backpacking trips that the Grand Teton and Wind River areas have to offer. As always, remember to leave no trace, explore responsibly, and care for the communities you pass through on your way to the trailhead. If you and your family are planning a trip to Jackson and would like some thoughts on day hikes or other areas to explore, let us know!