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For most of us, when someone mentions epic hiking in America, our minds think of wandering through the towering spires of Utah’s Arches National Park or catching a picture perfect view while climbing the Colorado Rocky Mountains.
Sadly, Wyoming is not usually at the forefront of our minds. After reading this post that might change because the Cowboy State has some of the best hiking spots in the nation.
Let's take a look at some of the epic hiking trails in Wyoming.
Grand Teton has it all. The park is teeming with wildlife, rugged ridges, alpine terrain, and even glaciers. It is no wonder why Grand Teton is such a hotspot for hikers in Wyoming. The park has dozens of trails, lakes, and viewpoints to discover. Grand Teton is one of the most remarkable national parks in the country.
With so many trails to choose from, picking the right one can be tough. However, here are a few you shouldn't ignore. These trails show Grand Teton at its finest:
The Amphitheater Lake Trail -This is a long and steep hike that both challenges and rewards hikers. At one point of the walk, you climb 3,000 feet in a handful of miles. The Amphitheater Lake Trail takes hikers through thick forests, across rickety bridges, and beside mammoth glaciers. Almost everywhere you look is an impressive, epic view, although perhaps the most majestic site is the open view of the peaks of the Tetons.
Teton Crest -The Teton Crest Trail is something that needs to be experienced firsthand to fully understand the size, scope, and beauty it holds. This is a 45-mile long trail that leads up craggy peaks, beside still lakes, and through vibrant meadows. Teton Crest takes you past some of the most iconic sites in Grand Teton National Park such as Cascade Canyon, Alaska Basin, and Hurricane Pass. The hike takes three to four days and is packed will incredible nature along the entire way.
Alaska Basin - Freedom camping, fantastic views, and brilliant colored wildflowers are just a few things that make the Alaska Basin so special. A perk of hiking in the basin is that it is just outside of Grand Teton Park in Jedidiah Smith Wilderness, which means you don't need any permits when planning your visit.
The hikes in Jackson Hole are best attempted by skilled hikers as they are challenging and unforgiving. However, if you have the experience, then Jackson will reward you with some of the most incredible epic vistas.
The trails can seem overwhelming as you silently transverse through this rocky and hilly land step by step. Most people do not even mind having to stop to catch their breath every couple of yards; but beware, the grandeur of this shockingly beautiful landscape is filled with wildlife including grizzlies.
There are multiple different types of trails to hike in Jackson Hole such as summit and high elevation hikes, which are reachable by an aerial tram. There are also day hikes and multi-day hikes.
A few of the popular hikes in Jackson Hole include:
Paintbrush Divide – As the name suggests, the subtle curves, blue lakes, and gorgeous colors of this trail gives you the feeling of stepping into a painting. Unlike some of the other hikes, this one is possible to hike in a day. The best time of the year is in the summer. This is when you can take your time; the weather is nice and the days are long and you will get the most out of the landscape.
Death Canyon - Contrary to the name, Death Canyon arguably has some of the best landscape and wildlife in the park. This trek has many good spots for a nice picnic overlooking a mountain lake. However, this part of the park is also bear country so make sure to pack your food wisely and bring some bear spray. The entire hike is over 16 miles, but trekking just a couple will give you stunning views.
Lizard Head Peak
Lizard Head is one of the highest peaks in the Wind River Range of Wyoming. At its tallest, it stands at an impressive 12,000 ft.
Lizard Head Peak trail is a multi-day trek that takes you past secluded and stunning scenery. It covers three ascents, and takes you over the Continental Divide a couple of times.
It is vital to plan your trip to be sure you are visiting when there is good weather. If you get caught in a terrible storm, the route can be long and strenuous. However, when it is bright and sunny, the scenery is gorgeous with lookouts that feature some of the most breathtaking landscape in Wyoming.
Cloud Peak Trail boasts the highest peak in the impressive Big Horn Mountains. It offers dramatic views all throughout the 24-mile hike. The peak itself is over 13,000 feet tall. As you imagine, you need proper gear and supplies as both, the terrain and elevation are difficult. However, the views make it all worth it.
Wyoming is the land of expansive wilderness. It is a land where the western cowboys of old once roamed. A place both trailblazers and pioneers called home. The state is full of unspoiled nature, winding trails, and epic hikes just begging to be explored. Make this vacation one that will stand out among all others. Let's get hiking!
Note: Available plans and coverages may have changed since this blog was published.
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Stephen Schreck is a world traveler, nomad, and adventure backpacker. Knowing a life of aimlessly wandering the globe in search of adventures was the only life for him he set out to make his dream his reality. Currently he is trying to conquer his fears and tackle his bucket list. Follow Stephen's adventures at A Backpacker's Tale or on social media on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.
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