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.
While the prime hiking and backpacking season in the Tetons runs from July through September, when trails are mostly snow-free, post-Labor Day often delivers beautiful, Indian-summer weather, few thunderstorms, and fewer people—making it easier to get a walk-in backcountry permit without having a reservation. Although it’s too late to see wildflowers in bloom, you can enjoy a rare degree of solitude.
Watch the video below from a family backpacking trip on the Teton Crest Trail, which is one of “My Top 10 Favorite Backpacking Trips.” Then see my story about that trip, “Walking Familiar Ground: Reliving Old Memories and Making New Ones on the Teton Crest Trail,” and my popular story “American Classic: The Teton Crest Trail,” as well as my story “Ask Me: 8 Great Big Dayhikes in the Tetons.”
You’ll also find some spots in the Tetons, and inspiration for other great national park adventures, in my list of 25 favorite backcountry campsites, and useful advice on clearing the hurdles to backpacking in the Tetons in my “10 Tips For Getting a Hard-to-Get National Park Backcountry Permit,” as well as more videos from trips I’ve taken and written about at this blog on my Youtube page.
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Do you like The Big Outside? I’m Michael Lanza, the creator of The Big Outside, recognized as a top outdoors blog by a USA Today Readers Choice poll and others. Subscribe for updates about new stories and free gear giveaways by entering your email address in the box at the bottom of this story or in the left sidebar, and follow my adventures on Facebook and Twitter.
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