Rise Up: Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Travel to these destinations for tons of open space—and it's all yours

Apr 4, 2013
Outside Magazine
wyoming mount owen the grand teton lake solitude grand teton national park mountain mountains clouds rocky mountains solitude mountains camping hiking vacation

Mount Owen and the Grand Teton from Lake Solitude in Grand Teton Natonal Park.    Photo: Kirkendall-Spring Photographers

Tourists swarm the Tetons’ eastern flanks on trails like Cascade and Garnet Canyons, but almost no one sees the Tetons from the west, which can be accessed only by foot or horseback. Thankfully, the four-day hike along the 32-mile Teton Crest Trail puts you close to the peaks with almost no traffic. Give yourself five days and four nights to traverse the 8,000-foot alpine meadows. Get right to the heart of the trail via Jackson Hole’s aerial tram ($26) and hike to Marion Lake, where you can reserve a campsite with 24 hours’ notice ($25).

Day two gives you the first real eyeful of the Cathedral Group from the top of 9,570-foot Fox Creek Pass. Don’t burn through all your camera memory at once—the peaks will remain in view for the next three days as you cross wildflower-filled Alaska Basin and burbling trout steams. Catch your breath on a sun-warmed rock after a dip in Lake Solitude on your last day, then make your big push over 10,720-foot Paintbrush Divide. Optional refuel: drive your shuttled car the 19 miles from String Lake to a well-earned massage at the Four Seasons ($160) and a butter-braised steak at the newly opened Handle Bar.