Backpacking Grand Teton National Park

A young boy hiking in the North Fork Cascade Canyon in Grand Teton National Park.

The Best Short Backpacking Trip in Grand Teton National Park

By Michael Lanza As we backpacked up Paintbrush Canyon on the first day of a three-day family hike on the nearly 20-mile loop of Paintbrush and Cascade canyons in Grand Teton National Park, I kept a close eye on our kids. Our son, Nate, then eight years old, had taken a few backpacking trips with me already; I figured he’d …

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A backpacker on the Teton Crest Trail in Grand Teton National Park.

5 Reasons You Must Backpack the Teton Crest Trail

By Michael Lanza On my first backpacking trip on the Teton Crest Trail in Grand Teton National Park, camped on Death Canyon Shelf, a broad, boulder-strewn and wildflower-carpeted bench at 9,500 feet, I awoke to the sound of heavy clomping outside my tent. I unzipped the tent door to investigate—and saw a huge bull elk standing just outside my nylon …

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A backpacker on the Teton Crest Trail in Grand Teton National Park.

A Wonderful Obsession: Backpacking the Teton Crest Trail

By Michael Lanza Wildflowers bloom in colorful abundance, vast fields of lupine, columbine, and geraniums as we hike the steeper switchbacks in upper Death Canyon to reach Fox Creek Pass, at nearly 9,600 feet in Grand Teton National Park. It’s the last week of August, in time to catch the wildflowers even as a hint of fall hangs in the …

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A backpacker at a campsite along the Teton Crest Trail on Death Canyon Shelf in Grand Teton National Park.

American Classic: Backpacking The Teton Crest Trail

By Michael Lanza

That first full day was a hard one.

We had hiked less than an hour into the backcountry of Grand Teton National Park the night before, camping in the dense forest surrounding Phelps Lake, where we saw mule deer grazing at dusk and the wind howled through the dark night. In the morning, probably tired from the long previous day of traveling to Jackson, we got a slow start under packs heavy with too much old, oversize gear. The sun starts baking the open lower section of the Death Canyon Trail by mid-morning; so our gorgeous hike beneath soaring granite cliffs and along a roaring cascade quickly also became a hot, dusty climb.

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Video: Backpacking in Grand Teton National Park

By Michael Lanza

After almost 20 visits to Grand Teton National Park to backpack, dayhike, rock climb, backcountry ski, and paddle a canoe, the sight of that jagged skyline still gives me chills. One of America’s premier multi-day hikes, the Teton Crest Trail is, step for step, one of the greatest mountain walks in America, with incomparable views, scenic campsites, wildflowers, mountain lakes and creeks, and a chance of seeing moose, elk, marmots, pikas, mule deer, and black bears.

And the best time of year to head out backpacking in the Tetons is right now.

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