Backcountry Camping

a hiker with a backpack walks along a narrow trail in a mountain canyon

Planning Your Backcountry Trip

The most successful backcountry trips are a combination of the right trail, doable mileage, camp spots, and the right gear. In Grand Teton, there are many things to consider, from late season snow, to permit availability, to bear safety. With all the moving parts, use this planner to prepare for your trip into the backcountry.

Permits are required for all overnight stays in the backcountry, whether the destination is a lakeshore site on Jackson Lake or Leigh Lake, a camping zone along the Teton Crest Trail, a Technical Climbing/Garnet Canyon area site, or a site in the remote Northern Canyons.

Planning tools

  • Topographical maps and books describing the trails are available for purchase at the Grand Teton Association website.

Steps laid out on a trail: Know before you go, know your limits, map out your trip, get your permit, get on the trail

NPS Illustration

Steps for planning your trip

  • Know before you go
    Learn the lay of Grand Teton’s backcountry. Find out when the snow melts and what the trail is like.
  • Know your limits
    Decide what kind of trip you’re looking for. There is a trip for every level.
  • Map out your trip
    Find your route and decide where to camp.
  • Get your permit
    Use your plan A (or B) to get a permit from or at a permit office.
  • Get on the trail
    Learn best backcountry camping practices and enjoy your trip!


Find Your Way

Pick the best route and camping spots for you and your group.

Hikers descend Static Peak
Know Before You Go

Learn when the snow melts and what the trail will be like.

Screenshot of a map showing the camping zones and sites
Backcountry Zones and Sites

Map out your route and find a place to camp.

A hiker walks down a trail towards mountains.
Hike in Grand Teton

Explore hikes throughout Grand Teton National Park.


Get Your Permit

After you've made your plan A (and B...and maybe C), the next step is to get a permit. Backcountry camping permits are in high demand, especially in the summer months. Be flexible with your plan and dates.

Garnet Canyon with snow
Get Your Permit

Current pricing and tips for getting a permit


Get on the trail

Get the gear, it's time to go backcountry camping! Learn how to backcountry camp in bear country and how to travel safely in the mountains. Watch the park's video to help plan your adventure to the high country in Grand Teton National Park. Learn about safe travel, camping in bear country, clean camping practices and summer weather.

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On the Trail

Learn the best practices for backcountry camping.

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Leave No Trace

Minimize your impact and Leave No Trace of your visit to wilderness.

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7 minutes, 38 seconds

This video will help prepare you for backcountry travel in Grand Teton National Park.


For Your Safety

  • Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return.

  • Solo hiking and off-trail hiking are not recommended. Check with a ranger for current information on trail conditions.

  • Be prepared for rapid weather changes; bring rain gear and extra clothing. Thunderstorms occur frequently during the summer, even when not forecasted. Please watch our "Summer Weather" video for more information.

  • High elevation may cause breathing difficulties; pace yourself. The best cure for altitude sickness is retreating to a lower elevation.

  • Snow melts gradually, leaving valley trails by mid-June and canyon trails by late July. Be careful crossing snowfields and streams. Do not attempt crossing steep snow without previous experience and the proper equipment.

  • Carry drinking water. Water sources are found throughout the park, but water should be treated. Bring tablets or water filtration devices to purify water in the backcountry.

  • This is bear country. Make bears aware of your presence and avoid surprising them by making loud noises like shouting or singing. Please watch our "Which Bear Did I See?" and "Protect Wildlife, Keep Your Food Safe" videos.


Things to Know

Help protect resources and ensure the backcountry experience. By signing the backcountry permit, you agree to respect the backcountry. Read and abide by the backcountry regulations printed on the back of your permit as well as park regulations and safety advisories. Failure to comply may result in fines and revocation of the permit.

  • Your permit is valid only for the dates, locations, and number of persons indicated.

  • Wood and charcoal fires are permitted only at Jackson, Leigh, Bearpaw, and Trapper lakes within established metal rings. Creating a fire ring is prohibited. Fires must be kept small. Fires must never be left unattended. Dead and downed wood may be collected. Fires must be fully extinguished, and ashes must be cool to the touch upon departure. Fuel stoves are permitted.

  • Pets, bikes, wheeled vehicles (wheelbarrows, kayak carts, etc.), and motorized equipment (generators, chainsaws, drones, etc.) are not permitted in the backcountry.

  • All garbage and food scraps must be carried out. Never bury or burn trash. Your campsite must be left clean after your stay.

  • Human waste must be disposed of at least 200 feet from water, the trail, and/or the campsite. Dig a 6 inch cathole for solid waste. Pack out used tissue paper and hygiene products. On Jackson Lake, all solid human waste must be packed out from the site and shoreline. Permit offices may provide WAG (waste-and-garbage) bags.

  • Short-cutting trails is prohibited. When hiking off-trail, stay on rock, snow, or bare ground. Avoid hiking on vegetation.

  • Camping is not permitted within 200 feet of water and the trail.

  • Drinking water must be treated.

  • Lakes and streams must be kept free of soap, suds, food scraps, etc.

  • Scented items (food, toiletries, trash, etc.) must be stored in an Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee approved, bear-resistant canister. Food must not be left unattended.

  • Grand Teton's bear-canister loan program is a complimentary service. Canisters must be clean upon return. Failure to return a canister is a federal violation and may require a mandatory court appearance.

  • Horse and stock use is limited to established trails and stock camps. Where provided, the of use of hitchrails is encouraged. Stock may not be tied to trees. Grazing is not permitted. Stock feed must be carried.

Have more questions?

Visit the backcountry FAQs page to learn more about permits and route finding.

Find an answer

Additional Grand Teton Information

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Permits and Reservations

Find out what you need a permit for.

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Visit the Jenny Lake Ranger Station

Visit the Jenny Lake Ranger Station for climbing and backcountry information.

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Talk to a Park Ranger

Find a visitor center in Grand Teton.

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Plan Your Visit

Learn more about Grand Teton and plan your trip here.

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We Have an App for That

Download the NPS App before you get here! Explore Grand Teton and discover places to visit, find a bite to eat, and a place to stay.


Last updated: November 28, 2023

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 170
Moose, WY 83012


Talk to a Ranger? To speak to a Grand Teton National Park ranger call 307–739–3399 for visitor information Monday-Friday during business hours.

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