Horseback Riding and Stock Use

 
 
A horse by a fence with a saddle on its back.
Go for a horse ride in Grand Teton.

NPS Photo/P. Sasnett

 

Stock Use

Horses and other stock have been historically used in the park and parkway. "Stock" is defined as horses, burros, mules, and llamas. Goats are not permitted due to the sensitivity of the local bighorn sheep population.

Safety and Etiquette

  • Many trails are rocky and traverse steep terrain. High country trails may remain blocked by snow and impassable to stock until late July. Please refrain from accessing trails that are overly muddy. Talk to a ranger at the backcountry permits desk at the Colter Bay Visitor Center, the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center, or the Jenny Lake Ranger Station for updates on trail conditions prior to setting out.
  • Stock users share trails with hikers please be considerate of other trail users.
  • Keep stock animals at a slow walk when passing near people on foot or bicycle.
  • Stock animals have the right-of-way. Hikers should step off the trail and remain quiet while stock animals pass.
  • Llama trekkers should yield the right-of-way to other stock. Give a verbal warning regarding the presence of llamas to those on horseback as soon as the riders are in hearing range. Llama trekkers should leave the trail and remain stationary until horses have passed.

Authorized Horseback Ride Concessioners

Headwaters Lodge at Flagg Ranch

Grand Teton Lodge Company

Triangle X Ranch (dude ranch stays)

General Regulations

  • The use of animals other than those designated as stock to transport equipment is prohibited.
  • No party may have more than 12 head of stock for day use or 12 people or 10 head of stock for overnight trips.
  • For safety reasons, only well-broken, properly shod (except llamas), gentle stock in good condition may be used.
  • Grazing is prohibited. Processed feed must be packed in and used for all stock trips. No hay may be packed in. Where allowed, all hay transported and/or used in the park must be certified as weed free in compliance with Teton County Conservation District standards. All stock used in the park must only be fed certified hay/feed for the 24 hours that precede entering the park. Both processed and unprocessed stock feed and hay is subject to food storage conditions.
  • Stock manure shall be physically removed (and/or disposed of in refuse dumpsters) from the following locations: all developed areas (including parking lots) and Grassy Lake Road primitive campsites.
  • The construction of corrals, picketing, hobbling, or tying stock to natural features, such as trees, is prohibited. If hitch rails are not available, tie a rope between two trees away from water sources.
  • Free-trailing or loose-herding of stock animals is not allowed except where hazardous topography exists and loose-herding for short distances is for safety of stock and riders.
  • The use of stock animals on a park road is prohibited except where travel is necessary to access designated trails, areas of private propterty where no alternative trails or routes have been designated, or when the road has been closed to motor vehicles.
  • For a full list of regulations, please refer to the Superintendent's Compendium.
 
 

Open Trails

Stock use is allowed on most designated trails within the park. Please see the closed trails section and map for exceptions.

Primary Trailheads for Day Use

  • Cathedral Group Turnout

  • Poker Flats Horse Trailer Parking (CLOSED 2022)

  • Taggart Lake Trailhead

Closed Trails

  • All trails within the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve except the Kaufmann Creek Trail and the Wister Draw Trail.

  • Phelps Lake Loop Trail except along the northeast and north portions of the lake.

  • Grand Teton Pathways except for bridges over the Snake River, Cottonwood Creek, and Ditch Creek.

  • Rendezvous Mountain Trail from the park boundary to the Middle Fork cutoff of Granite Canyon Trail.

  • Surprise and Amphitheater Lakes Trail and Garnet Canyon Trail from the Valley Trail.

  • Hidden Falls trails between the Jenny Lake West Shore Boat Dock and the junction of the designated horse trail west of Inspiration Point except for the section between the southwest shore horse trail, east to the Lower Cascade Creek Bridge (Chasm Bridge), and directly north to the Cascade Canyon horse trail bypass junction.

  • The trail on the east shore of Jenny Lake between the outlet of Jenny Lake and the junction of the designated horse trail north of Jenny Lake Overlook.

  • The trail on the west shore of Jenny Lake between the west shore boat dock and the horse trail junction near Moose Ponds Overlook.

  • Holly Lake Trail from the Holly Lake hitch rail, past Holly Lake, to the Paintbrush Canyon Trail.

  • The String Lake Trail and east lakeshore between the String Lake Trailhead and Leigh Lake Trailhead except adjacent to the String Lake footbridge to faciliate safe backcountry access.

Areas Open to Stock Use

Horses and other stock may be ridden off trail in the following locations:

  • South of the RKO Road, north of the Chapel of the Transfiguration Road, east of the Teton Park Road, and west of the Snake River.

  • South of the Buffalo Fork, north of the south park boundary / Gros Ventre River, and east of the Snake River to the east park boundary.

  • Between Moose Basin Divide and Forellen Divide and between Horsethief Pass and the Moose Basin patrol cabin.
  • The John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway.
  • Stock are permitted for hunting and game retrieval during the Elk Reduction Program in open areas of hunt areas 75 and 79.

Camping

Backcountry Camping with Stock

Backcountry camping with stock is allowed only at the five designated stock sites in the park. All backcountry stock camps are signed and hitch rails are provided. Fires are not allowed, and a backcountry camping permit is required. Requests for advance backcountry reservations for the summer season are accepted January through May. All requests must be submitted on recreation.gov. A $45 non-refundable processing fee is charged for each trip upon completion of your reservation.

First-come, first-serve backcountry permits can be picked up in-person one day before the start of a backcountry trip. There is a $35 fee for each walk-in backcountry permit. Permits are available at the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center, Colter Bay Visitor Center, and the Jenny Lake Ranger Station.

Backcountry Stock Camp Locations:

  • North Fork of Granite Canyon
  • Death Canyon
  • South Fork of Cascade Canyon
  • Paintbrush Canyon below Holly Lake
  • Berry Creek near Hechtman Creek

Stock Campsites Accessible by Vehicle

Park campgrounds prohibit stock. There are eight camping areas with a total of 14 sites that allow stock in the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway along the unpaved road between Flagg Ranch and Grassy Lake. The road is closed until June 1 for grizzly bear activity. Camping with stock animals is allowed in adjacent Bridger-Teton National Forest and Caribou-Targhee National Forest.

Additional Grand Teton Information

 
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Hike in Grand Teton

Explore hikes throughout Grand Teton National Park.

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Explore the Backcountry

Travel into the Teton backcountry for an overnight stay.

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Talk to a Park Ranger

Find a visitor center in Grand Teton.

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Plan Your Visit

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Last updated: September 14, 2022

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 170
Moose , WY 83012

Phone:

307-739-3399
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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