Backcountry


Planning Your Trip
This guide contains general information regarding Grand Teton National Park’s backcountry. For specific information obtain a topographic map of the park or a hiking guide. The map on the other side of this guide is only for planning purposes and selecting campsites. As you plan your trip, consider every member of your party. Also consider the distance and elevation gain to your destination. There is no shuttle service in the park.but taxi services are available from the local community. If you have only one vehicle, you may want to plan a loop trip that returns to the same trailhead. July and August are the busiest times because there is less snow in the high country. Weekends and holidays are busiest for boaters on Jackson Lake.

Click here to view backcountry map.

Getting A Permit
Permits are required for all overnight trips. To minimize impacts on park resources, backcountry permits are limited. One-third of the backcountry campsites and all of the groupsites may be reserved in advance. The rest are filled first-come, first-served at park permit offices.

Reservations
The park backcountry is very popular. Reservations are recommended. Requests are accepted by mail, fax or in person from January 1st to May 15th. Requests are processed in the order received. Include your name, address, and daytime telephone number, the number of people, and your preferred campsites and dates. It is best to include alternate dates and campsites. Write to Grand Teton National Park, Permits Office, P.O. Drawer 170, Moose, WY 83012 or fax to (307) 739-3438. Reservations may be made in person at the Moose Visitor Center, open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. We will return written confirmation within two weeks. Phone reservations are not accepted. Call (307) 739-3309 or (307) 739-3397 for more information. A non-refundable service fee of $15 will be charged for each reservation.

Picking Up Your Permit
A reservation holds your permit but does not replace your permit. Obtain permits in person at the Moose and Colter Bay Visitor Centers or the Jenny Lake Ranger Station in the summer. During winter, permits may be picked up only at the Moose Visitor Center. You may get a permit as early as the day before your trip begins. Have alternate destinations and dates in mind in case your first choice is full. A reserved permit must be picked up by 10 a.m. the morning of your trip or it will become available to others. You may call to inform us if you will be late. If you know you will not be using your permit, please cancel your reservation as soon as possible.

Permit Parameters
By signing the backcountry permit you agree to respect the backcountry. Printed on the back of your permit are some of the backcountry regulations. Read and abide by them. Failure to comply with regulations may result in fines and revocation of the permit.

Group Size
Individual parties consist of 1 to 6 people. Groups of 7 to 12 people are limited to camping in designated Groupsites able to withstand the impact of larger groups. In winter, parties are limited to 20 people.

Backcountry Conditions
Snow usually melts from valley trails by mid-June but remains in the high country through much of the summer. Safe travel over Paintbrush, Static Peak, and Moose Basin Divides and Hurricane, Mt. Meek, and Fox Creek Passes requires an ice axe and knowledge of its use until as late as August. Snow conditions vary from year to year. Check with a ranger for current information. Trails begin at about 6800 feet in elevation. Expect to encounter horses and yield to them by stepping off the uphill side of the trail and standing quietly until they pass. Boaters should be aware of strong afternoon winds.

Mountaineering
Permits are not required for mountaineering, but climbers on overnight trips must have a backcountry permit to camp or bivouac. Ask for the Mountaineering brochure. Current and detailed information is available at the Jenny Lake Ranger Station in the summer, (307) 739-3343. In the winter call (307) 739-3309. From June through September, all Garnet Canyon permits and permits for any trip involving technical climbing or mountaineering should be picked up at the Jenny Lake Ranger Station.

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