Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
6,252.00 ft (1,905.61 m)
Trail type
31.90 mi (51.34 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.

Death Canyon Loop is a 32-mile route in Grand Teton National Park. It starts and ends at the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve Center parking area. The route skirts the northeast shore of Phelps Lake, enters Death Canyon, and makes a counterclockwise loop through the Grand Teton backcountry.  

This is a moderate to strenuous loop that takes place approximately between 6,400 and 10800 feet above sea level with an overall elevation gain of around 6,250 feet. There are steep climbs and rocky slopes along with lush forests, alpine lakes, and incredible vistas with panoramic views featuring deep canyons and the surrounding Teton Mountains.


Take the Phelps Lake Loop Trail around the northeast side of the lake to Death Canyon. Ascend the Death Canyon Trail through the canyon. After you reach the Death Canyon Patrol Cabin, turn right and follow the Alaska Basin Trail along the west sides of  Albright Peak, Static Peak, and Buck Mountain. Go over Buck Pass and on to Sunset Lake (a beautiful spot to camp). 

Head south and make your way to the Teton Crest Trail (which becomes the Death Canyon Shelf Trail). Continue along the Death Canyon Shelf Trail until you reach Fox Pass. 

From Fox Pass, descend the Death Canyon Trail northeast. This will take you back to the Death Canyon Patrol Cabin. From there, retrace your steps back to the start (or add a few miles to your hike and follow the trail along the southwest side of Phelps Lake).


Grand Teton National Park is home to a variety of animals, including black and grizzly bears. Information about bear safety can be found online at the park’s website.


Grand Teton National Park charges a fee to enter the park. Park passes can be purchased upon arrival or in advance. Discounts are available for qualifying individuals. For more information please visit


Teton National Park requires a permit for overnight camping in the backcountry. Permits can be obtained in advance online at, or at the park the day before. Permit availability can be seen online at A limited number of permits are available on a first-come-first-served basis. Read through the information at for more details. 


This loop starts from the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve Center Parking Area because it is easily accessible for all vehicles. As an alternative, if you have a high clearance / 4-wheel drive vehicle you have the option of starting from the Death Canyon Parking Area located down Moose-Wilson Road..


Mid summer to early fall is the ideal time to visit this area. The trails along this route may be covered in snow in winter, spring, and even through early summer. 

  • Check at one of the Grand Teton visitor centers for current conditions before beginning this trek.


Bicycles and vehicles are not permitted on trails or in the backcountry.


Pets are not permitted on trails or in the backcountry. 


NPS - Grand Teton National Park

Hikes at Death Canyon

Laurence Rockefeller Preserve
Death Canyon Trailhead


Logistics + Planning



Parking Pass

National Park Pass

Open Year-round



Alpine lakes. Incredible mountain views.


Trailhead parking areas tend to fill up fast in the park, especially on the weekends.

Trailhead Elevation

6,402.00 ft (1,951.33 m)

Highest point

10,828.00 ft (3,300.37 m)


Backcountry camping
Near lake or river
Big vistas

Typically multi-day


Permit required


Permit self-issue on site




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

You May Also Enjoy

Temperance River State Park, Minnesota
Custer State Park, South Dakota