Hiking in Grand Teton
The precipitous Tetons that look so dramatic from the roads are even more impressive up close and personal. Grand Teton National Park is laced with 200 miles of trails, and hikers can choose anything from simple day treks to weeklong trips along the crest of the range.
Unlike nearby Yellowstone, where most of the country is forested, the Tetons contain extensive alpine scenery. This means, however, that many of the high passes won’t be free of snow until late July and may require ice axes before then. Check at the visitor centers or Jenny Lake Ranger Station for current trail conditions.
In addition, this high country can be dangerous when frequent thunderstorms roll through in summer. Several people have been killed by lightning strikes in the Tetons. Most storms hit in the afternoon, so it’s good to get an early start to avoid them if possible. Besides, trailhead parking spots fill early, especially on warm summer weekends.
Get the helpful Grand Teton Day Hikes pamphlet from park visitor centers or online at www.nps.gov/grte. For the guided version, get a schedule of free ranger walks and hikes (including special ones for kids) from visitor centers or in the park newspaper. These are offered daily throughout the summer.
Here are some of my favorite Grand Teton hiking trails:
© Don Pitcher from Moon Yellowstone & Grand Teton, 5th Edition