Grand Teton National Park: Mount Hunt-Static Peak Loop

Ramble an unknown portion of Teton backcountry on a partly off-trail tour.
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Ramble an unknown portion of Teton backcountry on a partly off-trail tour.

This 29.5-mile loop, mostly above treeline with glorious Teton vistas, features lonely trails, a cross-country traverse amid secluded alpine-lake basins and meadows, high summits, and big canyons. It's also the most difficult route described here, with miles of steep, off-trail hiking, tricky routefinding, and a technical descent of a 25-foot cliff. A strong party can do it as a two-day trip, but taking three to four days allows a moderate pace and lets you enjoy some of the park's best backcountry campsites (the plums are Indian Lake, Death Canyon Shelf, and Alaska Basin).

Hike the trail up Open Canyon to just west of Mt. Hunt Divide; then head off-trail up Hunt's east ridge to its summit. Continue west (look for goat trails) to a 10,500-foot saddle north of Indian Lake, where you'll hit the cliff; experienced climbers might downclimb it unroped, but a 70-foot static line and harnesses are recommended for a rappel. (The rock is poor; be careful setting up an anchor.) Continue west to Fox Creek Pass, then follow the Teton Crest Trail north across the shelf to Alaska Basin. Loop back via Static Peak Divide—drop your pack for the quarter-mile, 500-foot hike up Static Peak—and lower Death Canyon Trail.

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/

-Mapped by Michael Lanza

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 47.5

Waypoints

WPT001

Location: 43.655787, -110.781106

Death Canyon Trailhead

WPT002

Location: 43.654949, -110.805069

Bear left @ Y-junction. Hike south toward Phelps Lake.

WPT003

Location: 43.643017, -110.806196

Turn hard right, heading north-northwest.

WPT004

Location: 43.642333, -110.81435

Turn right (west).

WPT005

Location: 43.636967, -110.837051

Tentsite

WPT006

Location: 43.629234, -110.850677

Mount Hunt Divide (9,710 ft.)

WPT007

Location: 43.627216, -110.853867

Leave trail and head northwest for uphill climb to Mount Hunt.

WPT008

Location: 43.630852, -110.861099

Mount Hunt (10,783 ft.)

WPT009

Location: 43.635235, -110.870499

Head west through scenic meadow; no water.

WPT010

Location: 43.635052, -110.875748

Tentsite; no water. Continue west.

WPT011

Location: 43.637432, -110.883316

Crux Notch. Descend to the north.

WPT012

Location: 43.641216, -110.893166

Stream

WPT013

Location: 43.644066, -110.908287

Camp on tarn near Pass Lake.

WPT014

Location: 43.654034, -110.900314

Nice campsites.

WPT015

Location: 43.656151, -110.898453

Campsite

WPT016

Location: 43.657585, -110.898697

Spring

WPT017

Location: 43.672367, -110.88752

Water. Continue heading northeast along Death Canyon Shelf.

WPT018

Location: 43.684086, -110.874763

Mount Meek Pass

WPT019

Location: 43.698317, -110.85072

Turn right, heading south. Pass Basin Lakes.

WPT020

Location: 43.689701, -110.830429

Turn right (south).

WPT021

Location: 43.679558, -110.818598

Turn left and leave trail for climb to Static Peak.

WPT022

Location: 43.682606, -110.816055

Static Peak (11,303 ft.)

WPT023

Location: 43.664239, -110.831237

Turn left, heading southeast.