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Granite Canyon

Grand Teton National Park

Targhee/Teton Area, Wyoming

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Granite Canyon

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  • The trailhead and the large meadow beyond.- Granite Canyon
  • People enjoying the trail on horseback.- Granite Canyon
  • They say don't run and don't go alone in bear country. She is a rebel!- Granite Canyon
  • One of the early backcountry sites.- Granite Canyon
  • A small waterfall right next to the site.- Granite Canyon
  • Idyllic forest vistas in Granite Canyon.- Granite Canyon
  • Pebble beaches along the creek shores.- Granite Canyon
  • Wild raspberry.- Granite Canyon
  • Another site along the river further up.- Granite Canyon
  • White berries.- Granite Canyon
  • Little sunflower along the trail.- Granite Canyon
  • Idyllic forest vistas in Granite Canyon.- Granite Canyon
  • Another small waterfall near a large set of backcountry campsites.- Granite Canyon
  • Can you believe how clear this water is?- Granite Canyon
  • Idyllic forest vistas in Granite Canyon.- Granite Canyon
  • Idyllic forest vistas in Granite Canyon.- Granite Canyon
  • Idyllic forest vistas in Granite Canyon.- Granite Canyon
  • A good-sized moose peeks out along the way.- Granite Canyon
  • A good-sized moose peeks out along the way.- Granite Canyon
  • This is another magical hike in the Tetons.- Granite Canyon
  • Idyllic forest vistas in Granite Canyon.- Granite Canyon
  • Idyllic forest vistas in Granite Canyon.- Granite Canyon
  • The canyon begins to open up as you ascend.- Granite Canyon
  • The canyon begins to open up as you ascend.- Granite Canyon
  • It is two very distinct hikes, given the differing terrain.- Granite Canyon
  • Idyllic forest vistas in Granite Canyon.- Granite Canyon
  • Idyllic forest vistas in Granite Canyon.- Granite Canyon
  • The large creek below looks tailor-made for wildlife viewing.- Granite Canyon
  • Idyllic forest vistas in Granite Canyon.- Granite Canyon
  • A multi-sided waterfall on the north face.- Granite Canyon
  • Granite walls loom over the canyon floor.- Granite Canyon
  • The glacier-cut mountains are jagged and beautiful.- Granite Canyon
  • Looking out over idyllic forest vistas in Granite Canyon.- Granite Canyon
  • Idyllic forest vistas in Granite Canyon.- Granite Canyon
  • It really is a beautiful canyon.- Granite Canyon
  • - Granite Canyon
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Stunning beauty. Wildflowers. Backcountry campsites. Pebble beaches along the river.
Cons: 
Grizzly territory.
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Region:
Targhee/Teton Area, WY
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
No
Net Elevation Gain: 
2,086.00 ft (635.81 m)
Parking Pass: 
National Park Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Summer, Fall
Suitable for:
Hiking, Horseback
Total Distance: 
11.70 mi (18.83 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
6,380.00 ft (1,944.62 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

Granite Canyon is a great hike into the Grand Teton National Park's southern region. The flat and open trailhead starts just off Moose-Wilson Road and meanders through an open meadow with the mighty mountains lying in wait.

Views abound to Granite, Open and Death canyons along the face of the southern Tetons on the approach to the first forests. The early part of the trail is mostly flat and tightly packed with pine trees. One of the best parts of this canyon is how quickly available are the backcountry campsites early on the trail. There are some terrific sites here, right near the creek, and many have awesome small waterfalls and the clearest water. The trail is usually not very steep, and there are lots of great places to stop and have a snack along the way.

As you head higher up the canyon, the forest opens up, and the canyon widens to allow sweeping views of the creek below and its surrounding meadows. The glacial-cut granite was heavily shaped until about 15,000 B.C. as the last ice receded. The many waterfalls along the canyon walls that run late into the year show how much snow this area gets.

There are many opportunities to refill water bottles along the way. Middle Fork and Upper Granite are two more backcountry camping zones accessible from splits in the trail. This canyon probably has as many sites to explore as any in the Tetons.

Bring bear spay and a bell. There are large stretches without other hikers, especially after a few miles on the trail. They say there are fewer grizzlies in the south Tetons, but experience dictates otherwise. Marmot, porcupine, hummingbirds, large birds of prey, and the adorable pika are all active here. In the summer there are wildflowers and different types of berries that the bears must just love. Open Canyon is located one drainage to the north and can be combined into a loop with Granite. It is recommended to do Granite Canyon first and then Open Canyon because of the steep switchbacks into Open Canyon. Alternatively, take the aerial tram at Jackson Hole Resort up in summer and hike down Granite Canyon. Marion Lake is accessible from North Fork Granite farther up the trail.

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(4 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(37 within a 30 mile radius)

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