Garnet Canyon Hike
In the Grand Teton National Park, somewhere between Moose Junction and Jackson Lake Junction is a little dirt road. This bumpy, pot-hole ridden road, with just enough room to squeeze two cars side by side, takes you a mile away from traffic to the Garnet Canyon Trailhead. You’ll begin your journey on the valley floor and ascend a difficult path for over 2,000 feet and 4.1 miles to the top of the trail. It is there that you’ll shake hands with the South Saddle of the Middle Teton and be treated to some of the most breathtaking views I’ve ever seen.
As you switchback up the mountain, look out and catch the panoramic views. You’ll be treated to the lake below and the snow-capped mountains being illuminated by the sun. If it’s an overcast day, kiss the clouds and watch as they graze by like cattle in an open field. As the views get better and you start to get higher, you’ll begin to realize that this hike is certainly more than physically demanding. Maps recommend giving this trail 5 hours to complete and they advise beginners to choose another adventure. This hike is indeed strenuous and you may want to gradually work your way up to this on other trails. Do this especially if you’re not an experienced hiker or if your body has not yet acclimated to the altitude of the area. Once you’re ready, you can press forward!
Continue past the 3 mile mark and cliffs will soar high above you. Marmots dot the landscape and they’ll often appear to investigate the foreign sounds of footsteps and conversation. Snap a picture or two; they’re anything but camera shy. Just don’t feed or agitate them (this applies to other animals too)! If Big Horn Sheep exist (which they don’t) this is likely where you’ll find them perched precariously on the rocky outcroppings as well. Even in late May, snow blankets this higher elevation of the trail.
From 3.5 miles onward, you’ll continue to navigate across the slippery, jagged rocks and eventually you’ll find yourself at the top of the trail. Stunning views in all directions will reward you for your troubles. Stop and breathe deeply. Enjoy the crisp mountain air and marinate in the beauty that surrounds you. With all this stimulation, you might just forget how tired you really are…until you remember that your car is still parked 4.1 miles away. 🙂
For other hike summaries, check out my other blog posts! Thanks for reading!