Garnet Canyon – 8.3mi / 13.4km
While this trail is primarily used by climbers to access the craggy summits, it’s a great hike that takes you through the heart of a beautiful canyon lined with granite boulder fields and tall peaks. The trail begins level through the trees in a nice, airy forest. You start to gain elevation with a few great views of the rocky summits, before crossing a creek.
The trail now alternates between open hillsides and forest. It turns uphill and steeply follows the ridge straight up until it comes to a junction with the trail that breaks south towards Taggart and Bradley Lakes.
Stay right at the junction where the trail begins to switchback up the slope. More open hillsides reveal better views down to Taggart and Bradley Lakes as well as views across Jackson Hole. It alternates between open hillsides and forests as it approaches the junction with the Garnet Canyon Trail. Take a left at the junction.
The trail takes you to the best view yet of Taggart and Bradley Lakes while you look south towards the town of Moose. The trail gains a little bit of elevation before wrapping around the ridge and heading up the canyon. It stays level as it heads through the trees with ample views towards Nez Perce and Middle Teton.
The roar of the creek cascading below fills the canyon. The trail begins to climb through large, granite boulders with a variety of amazing designs and colors. You gain elevation as the trail makes two switchbacks. The creek comes into view and you are greeted by a waterfall. Pikas chirp and, with patience, they can easily be spotted amongst the rocks. Follow the trail as trees give way to epic cliffs and unobstructed views as you head towards Middle Teton. The trail officially ends once it meets the creek. Climbers continue on from here to their summits.
Trailhead: Just south of the Jenny Lake area, take the road heading west at a sign for the Lupine Meadows Trailhead. The trail starts from the parking lot at the end of the dirt road.
Elevation Gain: 2,300ft / 690m – Elevation Loss: 2,300ft / 690m