Grand Teton National Park: Lower Saddle via Garnet Canyon Trail

The standard approach for GT climbers, this 6-mile, 5,000-foot trek to the Lower Saddle yields divine views.
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The standard approach for GT climbers, this 6-mile, 5,000-foot trek to the Lower Saddle yields divine views.

INFO For information on permits, current trail and camp conditions, and wilderness guidelines, go to nps.gov/grte/planyourvisit/things2know.htm.

PERMIT A wilderness permit is required for all overnight camping in the backcountry. Reservations accepted ($20 administrative fee for permits during peak season). nps.gov/grte/planyourvisit/back.htm

CONTACT Grand Teton National Park, (307) 739-3300; nps.gov/grte/

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 19.2

Waypoints

GCT001

Location: 43.734608, -110.741673

Head S through forest, watching for elk; trail turns W and uphill

GCT002

Location: 43.726173, -110.756779

R at 3-way; forest opens as trail switchbacks gently up ridge

GCT003

Location: 43.726251, -110.76519

L at 3-way at top of switchbacks; side trail leads R to Amphitheater Lake, a worthy 30-min. (each way) detour if you're camping in Garnet

GCT004

Location: 43.723196, -110.770082

Sudden killer views of Middle Teton and Nez Perce rising above steep-walled canyon

GCT005

Location: 43.726111, -110.789995

Good lunch/layering spot before windy section; beware snack-grabbing marmots; to find lower campsites, stay in valley bottom

GCT006

Location: 43.726863, -110.792495

Rest stop and reliable water a third of the way up steepest section

GCT007

Location: 43.731213, -110.797707

Jackson Hole Mtn. Guides camp; say hey, follow cairns W across boulders towards Lower Saddle

GCT008

Location: 43.734608, -110.806217

Head of lateral moraine; Middle Teton Glacier to L; stay R, use fixed rope to ascend cliff band

GCT009

Location: 43.732996, -110.809522

Lower Saddle (11,692 ft.): Sterling views of jagged peaks; summit requires ropes/rock-climbing expertise; retrace steps to car