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July hiking trip

Loves Park, Illinois
Level Contributor
7 posts
7 reviews
July hiking trip

Our group of 3 guys is flying into Jackson on Friday afternoon 7/22/11 and departing Sat AM 7/30/11. We will have a car. During the 7 days, we are prepared to to do short backpack trips (1-3 nights each) and/or day trips. Interested in suggestions for 4 or 5 days in GT and 2 or 3 days in Yellowstone.

Advance permits on GT backcountry campsites are entirely filled for the end of July. It appears we need to be flexible and see what is available first-come, first-serve for backcountry permits. Is it possible there will be no backpacking sites available? (I can't see myself getting in line at the ranger station any earlier than 6AM.)

I have a logistical concern- with hiking schedule unknown until we get there, will we have a problem finding a campsite or hotel room locally on a same day basis? Should we make a lodging reservation for the week and just do day trips? If so, suggestions for a week of day trips and a good base campground or hotel?

Moose, Wyoming
Destination Expert
for Wyoming, Jackson, Jackson Hole
Level Contributor
7,844 posts
5 reviews
1. Re: July hiking trip

"Is it possible there will be no backpacking sites available?"

If you show up at one of the visitors centers that issues permits and have very specific days and campsites in mind, yes, it's very possible that nothing will be available. If you're flexible on which trail and for which dates, you're more likely to get a permit.

"will we have a problem finding a campsite or hotel room locally on a same day basis"

End of July is the height of the season, so motel rooms on a same-day basis can be quite limited, and you might end up paying more that you'd like to find a room. But you can almost certainly find a campsite at a GTNP campground; the Gros Ventre campground rarely fills and you could likely show up that morning and get a site.

Something to consider as an alternative is to do your backpack trip in the national forest; or start in the park and cross over into the national forest to camp. You don't need a permit to camp in the forest, and you also can have a campfire. For an example, look at the Teton Crest Trail and the park border.

Naples, Florida
Destination Expert
for Grand Teton National Park
Level Contributor
3,738 posts
79 reviews
2. Re: July hiking trip

You may also want to look into Alaska Basin which sits off the Teton Crest Trail in GTNP and can be accessed from the park via tram, Death Valley or on the West Side (shortest access) in Teton Valley.

You still need a permit, but it is not in the National Park system, but in the Jedidiah Smith Wilderness (yet is surrounded by the NP). There are no offical sites here, but so long as you follow the rules as to how far to camp from water etc, you have pretty much free reign on where you decide to camp w/in this region. You have day to day access to numerous trails in and out of GTNP and IMO the best views and scenery one can get in the backcountry of the Tetons.

In other words, you can set up camp here, and do some day hikes. Alternative gateway campsites would be Teton Canyon Campground in Alta Wy (domestic and pretty available no res required), or in the park in Death Canyon or Cascade Canyon. You could inquire about these sites the day you start your hike, and you also have the advantage of being able to comadeer some backcountry sites in advance of others if you will already be on the trail.

Check it out: free-press.biz/Teton-Valley/South-Teton-Cany…

Edited: 10 May 2011, 04:43
Moose, Wyoming
Destination Expert
for Wyoming, Jackson, Jackson Hole
Level Contributor
7,844 posts
5 reviews
3. Re: July hiking trip

BlueBird,

Late this summer, we'll do this hike, but we cheat and take the tram to the top of Rendezvous. Then we go north along the Crest Trail and end up coming out of the Tetons at South Teton Creek Canyon (where we leave a car). So we basically hike over the Teton Range from Wyoming into Idaho. It's more downhill in that direction and much easier on these 60-year-old knees.

btw, I'd much prefer to do this trip on horseback, but the folks who run the Mountain Resort refuse to let our horses ride in the tram. A very un-Wyoming attitude.

TB

Edited: 10 May 2011, 05:06
Naples, Florida
Destination Expert
for Grand Teton National Park
Level Contributor
3,738 posts
79 reviews
4. Re: July hiking trip

That is ridiculous. A couple of harnesses maybe so they can hang off the bottom of the tram might be an option but they'd probably bonk their heads at the top.

I've done that hike off the Tram, but find getting to Alaska Basin in one day a little much. Death Canyon Shelf was a good place to stop.

Do you know anything about Fox Creek Canyon and whether or not the bridge exists to cross? Last I heard the creek "washed" it away, or prehaps there were to some gravel pit owners that decided to do away w/it. I like that access to Death Canyon Shelf and Alaska Basin.

Moose, Wyoming
Destination Expert
for Wyoming, Jackson, Jackson Hole
Level Contributor
7,844 posts
5 reviews
5. Re: July hiking trip

Never thought of using a sling for the horses, but it's definitely something to consider. Do you suppose the horses might take objection to swinging around underneath the tram as it climbs 4,100' up the mountain? Sounds like a good way to give a horse a heart attack.

Don't know about the bridge. We generally go to Pass Lake and then camp a little ways down Fox Creek to get out of the park so we can have a camp fire. I recall that trail crosses Fox Creek several times, but don't know about bridge conditions.

Edited: 10 May 2011, 05:37
Naples, Florida
Destination Expert
for Grand Teton National Park
Level Contributor
3,738 posts
79 reviews
6. Re: July hiking trip

that's what blinders are for.

Moose, Wyoming
Destination Expert
for Wyoming, Jackson, Jackson Hole
Level Contributor
7,844 posts
5 reviews
7. Re: July hiking trip

Good idea. If I ever sling 2 horses under the tram for a 4100' ride up the mountain, I'll be sure to wear blinders - and take a strong sedative.

Edited: 10 May 2011, 06:30
8. Re: July hiking trip

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