Best hike in Grand Teton National Park

The mountainous teton range is spectacular. These mountains have so much beauty in all of the seasons and they look so different every time you look at them. As for hiking though, you want to go in the summer months as these mountains are impassable in the winter and even early spring. Experienced mountaineers have an extremely difficult time “hiking” these trails when off-season.

I have explored almost every maintained trail in the park in addition to some un-maintained trails and found this hike to be the most rewarding hike in the whole teton range. If you can only do one hike in the tetons, I advise you do table mountain.

This hike is difficult. You don’t need any mountaineering experience but you do need to be in great shape or have incredible will power to finish it. The trail is steep, long and strenuous bringing you up over 4,000 feet of elevation gain. This trail can either be done as an out and back trail or as a loop trail.

It’s hard to give the exact mileage because you have three options to accomplish this hike. You can do an out and back trail two different ways or do a loop. There is a longer way with a more gradual climb to the top and there is a shorter trail that is extremely steep! I would say, most people either take the longer route that is gradual and do that as an out and back trail, or by taking the loop. We did the loop and what we did was head up the steep trail first, summit, then take the gradual longer way down. Walking down-hill when its very steep is pretty challenging. I believe the loop trail is a little over 10 miles. Doesn’t seem like much, but when you are hiking it, it just seems a hell of a lot longer.

What makes this trail amazing is it brings you to the back-side of the mountains and brings you to where your view point is spectacular. You can see almost the whole range, or a big chunk of it. You have got the grand, middle and south teton right in front of your face, plus divides, lakes and other features that makes this hike so rewarding!

This is a heavily traffic hike. Don’t expect to be alone but even though you are surrounded by people, you still seem so small in this part of the wilderness.
To get to this point, you have to drive to the backside of the tetons. If you are coming from the National Park, you can do this in two ways. You can drive over the pass by the town of Jackson, or drive a dirt road called grassy lake road, from Flagranch. Either way will bring you into Idaho, which is how you access the trail, but the hike and peak is technically in Wyoming.

I definitely recommend this gorgeous hike. You can check out my other article on other great hiking trails in Grand Teton National Park, including the Crest Trail!
If you need a topo map, you can click here.

I have a video below on the summer I spent living and working in the Tetons. It’s inspiring. You got to watch it!!!

Thank you for reading and hope this helped!


Shelly/ Livingonthedirt

By | 2017-12-31T15:19:03+00:00 December 4th, 2017|All Blog Entries, Destinations, National Parks, Trails, Wyoming|2 Comments

About the Author:

Hi, I'm Shelly! A traveler, hiker and an outdoor enthusiast. My dream my whole life was to travel, so I stopped dreaming and started doing. I quit my job and I am currently doing whatever it takes to keep going. I'll pick up jobs along the way and do what it takes to keep being a full-time traveler! I can prove that you don't need to come from money or anywhere special to live your dream. You just have to have the power of your own life to finally say YES!


  1. Emily January 1, 2018 at 1:15 pm - Reply

    I hope to travel to Grand Teton in 2018, right now expecting it to be in September. In your video you said you got to raft and ride horses, if you have any I would love information for horseback riding, fishing and rafting!

    • shelly January 6, 2018 at 12:43 pm - Reply

      September is a really good time to go. If you’re a hiker, you have the possibility to hike any trail of the park. The park offers rafting and horse-back riding. You can book the activities throughout the park but they are quite expensive. They do offer fishing too but that is really expensive. If you are fishing solo, you need a fishing permit. Basically any activities other than hiking are really expensive. I only went on them because I worked in the park and got to go on them for free. I hope this helps. If you do go rafting, the price is I think is worth it. Make sure you go on the early one or sunset one. There is a chance to spot more wildlife. Thanks for reading!

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