Hike the world class Teton Crest Trail through Grand Teton National Park

Tom’s experience on the Teton Crest Trail:

The Teton Crest Trail is a world class mountain hike through Grand Teton National Park.
Teton Crest Trail GTNP

The Teton Crest Trail follows along the Tetons on the other side of the mountains from the popular campgrounds in the national park.

Teton Crest Trail Hike

The trail is very popular and you will see other people along it but the deeper you are in the mountains the less people you will pass.

Teton Crest Trail Wyoming

 

We took a short cut when we hiked this and took the Teton Village Tram up to cut down a lot of the elevation on the first day.

Hiking Teton Crest Trail

 

It was really fun and I would recommend it however it is more expensive than hiking it yourself.

Teton Crest Trail Grand Teton National Park

There were a lot of hang gliders that were going from the summit of the tram which were fun to watch.

Grand Teton National Park Teton Crest Trail

From there we hiked past Marion Lake to Fox Creek Pass.

GTNP Teton Crest Trail
We were unable to get permits for the locations we wanted/needed in order to hike it in the time frame we had.

Through Hike Teton Crest Trail

Because of that we had to camp outside of the national park where permits are not required.

Wildflowers Teton Crest Trail

We also climbed to the top of a small spire that was outside of the national park. It was a fun climb that was exposed on loose rocks but we all made it safely. On day two we went from just below Fox Creek Pass to Alaska Basin.

Teton Crest Trail Wildflowers

The trail through this area had some wonderful wildflowers especially Alaska Basin. It was really fun and we spent a ton of time taking the scenery in.

Teton Crest Trail

Since we didn’t have permits we had to spend the night in Alaska Basin which is outside of the national park. On day three we went from Alaska Basin down Cascade Canyon to String Lake Trailhead.

Teton Crest Trail Photos

This portion of the trail had the best views of the mountains and was also very pretty. We took a side route and went up to Ice Flow lake which was really neat.

Teton Crest Trail Through Hike

The views of the Tetons were gorgeous and we didn’t have any problem with wildlife. Dogs are not allowed on the backcountry trails in Teton National Park.

Tom’s Rating:

Trail Info: The trail requires multiple cars or a shuttle but the trailheads are not very far apart and it is a short drive. You can put in at multiple places but the traditional Teton Crest Trail starts outside of the park at Coal Creek but you can enter from any of the canyons or from the Teton Village Tram. The trail ends at the String Lake Trailhead.

GPS:

Teton Village Tram:  43.597277,-110.870697

Marion Lake:  43.624031,-110.928376

Alaska Basin:  43.696675,-110.850195

String Lake Trailhead:  43.784325,-110.726395

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Squirrel Canyon – Water Canyon Loop

Tom’s Experience hiking the Squirrel Canyon – Water Canyon Loop:

This 9 mile loop lets you explore two different canyons in Southern Utah. The hike can be longer depending on how many side trips you would like to add on. To start off from the lower parking lot you will head east and drop down into a wash and back up the other side. There are a few four wheeler tracks you can follow as well as a fence you need to cross. After that you follow the canyon up river.

Squirrel Canyon

We never got our feet wet but we did need to be careful. Continue up canyon for about 1.4 miles until you come to an intersection. From here you start to head more north and head up the canyon on the left of the fork. From here you follow the canyon up. We were not able to find great trails until we were almost out of the canyon. It may have been due to the leaves covering the trail but I’m not sure how great the trail is overall.

Water Canyon Trail

The trail begins to get steep as it climbs up the side of the canyon to the top of the cliffs. From here the trail is much more level. Follow the better marked trail and it will eventually meet up with the Canaan Mountain Trail. This trail leads to the top of Canaan Mountain as well as over to Water Canyon. You can turn off the trail between here and the entrance to Water Canyon if you would like to visit Water Canyon Arch.

Hiking Water Canyon

You can find directions at this website if you want to do the arch plus it has great directions for the whole loop. If you don’t head to the arch you continue the way you were heading. The trail is hard to follow at times as it is on slickrock and there aren’t very many cairns. Eventually you should be able to see Zion National Park off to your right in the distance which is very pretty. You will also shortly come to some really neat white domes.

The White Domes Water Canyon

I thought these domes were one of the highlights of the trip and a great place to stop for lunch. They are very large and tough to capture with a camera. If you would like to head to Canaan Mountain the White Domes are where you leave the loop trail to head off to the mountain summit. From the white domes you drop down into Water Canyon. There are a few cairns but not too many. You head down the slickrock towards the slot canyons but be sure not to enter the slot canyons, instead, stay to the left of them.

Water Canyon Arch

This will lead into a wash that you follow for quite a bit. Eventually you will reach a fork where two washes intersect. From here you have about .2 miles until you leave the wash following a trail on the right of the wash. This trail is difficult to see and follow but it will lead up towards top rock. From top rock the trail winds its way down the steep cliff faces and is truly and amazing trail. This will let you out into Water Canyon and follow the trail from here out to the road. It is about a mile from the end of Water Canyon down the dirt road to your car. Dogs are allowed on this trail.

Tom’s Rating:

Trail Info: From Hildale, Utah, turn north onto Utah Drive and reset your odometer. Follow this road 1.8 miles until you reach a stop sign. Continue straight through the intersection. At 2.8 miles there will be two dirt roads on the right. Take the second dirt road called Water Canyon Road. The road will be come very sandy so 4 wheel drive is recommended. At 3.5 you come to an intersection  but continue left on the main road. A short distance further there is another intersection, stay right this time. After that just a little further and you will arrive at another intersection, take a right and the parking lot is right there next to an old fence.

GPS:

Lower Parking Lot:     37.026332,-112.952918

Squirrel Canyon Entrance:     37.040688,-112.940891

White Domes:     37.062793,-112.983897

Water Canyon Exit:     37.037905,-112.954967

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