Garnet Canyon hike
The Garnet Canyon Hike in Grand Teton National Park is the easiest canyon hike in the Tetons. This trail will give you a taste of what longer day hikes in the Tetons have to offer. Don’t worry, the views here are no smaller than those on other canyons.
From Colter Bay drive south along the John D. Rockefeller Parkway, turning right onto Teton Park Rd. Keep going along Teton Park Rd. for approximately 14.0mi then turn right (west) at the Lupine Meadows Junction. Alternatively, from Moose, drive 6.8mi north and turn left at the Lupine Meadows Junction. You will continue along Lupine Meadows Rd. until it ends.
|When to do|
June through October
Out and back
Route Description for Garnet Canyon
You access this hike via a gravel road with some potholes, however all two-wheel drive vehicles should be able to make it. Go slow! This parking lot is very busy as many mountaineers and climbers use it to access fun routes past both Amphitheater Lakes and Garnet Canyon. Get here early, or be prepared to have to walk for a while to get to the trailhead.
The trailhead is at the end of the road, where there are pit toilets. The first part of the hike remains flat, but you will quickly start the “meat and potatoes” of the climb. For nearly 3.1mi the trail switchbacks through the forest, occasionally popping out from the trees with views down across the valley. You will also be able to see Bradley and Taggart Lakes below you.
There is an abundance of wildlife along this trail. Some of the adorable animals include chipmunks, squirrels, grouse and marmots. However, along some of long switchbacks we did see a mother bear with two cubs – the most dangerous bear one can see. Take heed if you are hiking by yourself, and try to stick close to other groups.
At the first junction you will arrive at points towards Bradley and Taggart Lakes. Continue right towards Amphitheater Lake and Garnet Canyon. After numerous switchbacks you will find yourself at another junction. Go left and head towards Garnet Canyon. You will climb a little more, but the vast majority of your climbing is done, and nothing but good views remain.
Continue up along the right-hand ridge of Garnet Canyon until you reach a large boulder field and a stream. This is the end of the official trail. Across the stream is a very pleasant backcountry campground, and surrounding you are stunning mountains. Across the valley you will be able to see Shadow Peak, Nez Perce, and Cloudveil Dome. At the back of the valley with a jagged peak running down the middle will be Middle Teton, the third highest mountain in the Tetons!
This hike can get very hot, especially on the climbs, so bring a lot of water and start early!
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