The Teton Crest Trail, Day 1 – A Mellow Day to the Middle Fork Granite Canyon
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
Trail Section: JHMR Tram to the Middle fork of Granite Canyon.
Taking the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort tram up 4,139′ to the top of Rendezvous Mountain is considered by some to be “cheating” on the Teton Crest Trail. Those purists believe you need to start the trail on Teton Pass or hike up from the start of Granite Canyon in order to truly hike the Crest Trail and consider it taboo to take the tram.
We didn’t care what they think…
We purposely made the first day an easy one and in fact, we didn’t plan on rushing through this trip at all. We knew we could finish the 32 miles in two-to-three days if we wanted, but we were planning on five days and four nights. If the Teton Crest Trail was truly one of the ‘best backpacking trails in the country,’ why rush through it?
The late-August weather was absolutely perfect – Warm in the sun, cool (almost cold) in the shade, a slight breeze, and barely a cloud in the sky. (Not ideal for photography, but much more preferable than what we’d eventually experience…)
From the top of Rendezvous Peak, the hike quickly enters into Grand Teton National Park and after a quick 1000′ descent, the trail lazily meanders through a conifer forest and open fields carpeted with colorful wildflowers.
Ideally, we wanted to camp at Marion Lake, but being unable to obtain permits, we had to settle for a real short day. Even with our deliberate slow pace, we reached the Middle Fork Granite Canyon camping zone within a couple hours of stepping off the tram and it was only early afternoon by the time we set up camp. The rest of the afternoon was just spent lounging and hanging out around the basin, enjoying the scenery and fading summer.
It was a nice hike and pretty campsite, but overall it felt like a semi-disappointing anti-climactic day.
Luckily, I had ready that the scenery only got better as you move north…
The 2014 Teton Crest Trail:
- Hiking the Teton Crest Trail
- Day 1: A Mellow Day to the Middle Fork of Granite Canyon
- Day 2 (Part 1): Marion Lake & Fox Creek Pass
- Day 2 (Part 2:) Camping Along the Death Canyon Shelf
- Day 3: Rushing Through Alaska Basin & Over Hurricane Pass
- Day 4: Bailing Out Cascade Canyon
- Day 5: Not on the Trail! Just Relaxing in the Tetons