You are here

Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
?
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
11.70 mi (18.83 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

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.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

National Park Pass

Pros

Stunning beauty. Wildflowers. Backcountry campsites. Pebble beaches along the river.

Cons

Grizzly territory.

Trailhead Elevation

6,380.00 ft (1,944.62 m)

Net Elevation Gain

2,086.00 ft (635.81 m)

Features

Backcountry camping
Mountaineering
Rock climbing
Waterfalls
Bird watching
Wildlife
Big Game Watching
Big vistas
Wildflowers
Geologically significant
Big Game Watching

Suitable for

Horseback

Location

Field Guide

Comments

Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.