Yellowstone Backpacking Tours

Phone Number for Wyoming Hiking Guides

Granite Basin Loop

Highlights

  • Soak up majestic views of the Teton Range at over 10,700 feet
  • Enjoy hiking with llama companions that help carry your gear into the alpine wonderland
  • Earn stunning views of the Grand Teton
  • See wonderful trout populations in the many lakes and rivers we hike past
  • Embark on a challenge and fulfilling day hike up to Little’s Peak and Saddle Horse Point
  • Bring along your swim trunks, book, sketch pad and/or fishing rod for a relaxing layover day on Day 3
  • See wildlife, alpine lakes, granite basins, and towering summits all in one trip


Description

This is a 5 day trek with two base camps along our llama-assisted mountain journey. It is a loop hike so we experience all new scenery every day of the trip. It features 25+ miles of hiking, which includes day hikes on days 2 and 4. Day 4 we have the option to challenge ourselves and climb 2,600+ feet to see some of the Teton’s best views, or enjoy a more moderate, scenic route packed with stunning views and beautiful mountain basins.

We will cross the divide on two occasions and sneak a peak into Teton National Park from the top. Our camps are wonderful, our day hikes are challenging, the views are stunning, and the food is spectacular. The llamas truly earn their keep on this trip. Our well trained llamas help make a trip like this possible and do so in style as they each carry 80 pounds of food and gear in their panniers (saddle bags). Guests also have the opportunity to fish, swim, and choose from multiple day hike options. The views of The Grand Teton are breathtaking and make for outstanding photographs so be sure to bring your camera along!

Give us a call at 800-715-HIKE (4453) to learn more!


 


Tetons Llama Trek Photos

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

Shuttle to Trailhead: 1.25 hours
Hiking Mileage: 8 miles
Elevation Gain: 2150 feet


We start around 7:00 am and will travel from your hotel in Jackson Hole, Wyoming then up and over Jackson Pass to our trailhead (elevation 7011 feet) in the Jedediah Smith Wilderness. Prepare for a long, but stunning day of hiking, with about seven and a half miles and over two thousand feet of elevation gain to the Green Lakes region. We will parallel a beautiful creek for almost 6 miles on our journey to camp. We eat lunch about half way at a beautiful boulder field opening right next to the creek bed. After lunch we hike another 4 miles to camp and as we pass the mouth of North Leigh Creek the basin begins to open up and the views you worked for all day begin to appear. We'll set up camp tonight near a majestic mountain lake near 9,200 feet. We will settle into camp and relax after a phenomenal day of hiking. We'll watch the llamas enjoy some lush grass and your guide one of our famous backcountry feasts around a roaring campfire.


Day 2

Hiking Mileage: 5-6 miles
Elevation Gain: 680+ feet

Today we'll wake up to a steaming hot drink and a hearty breakfast. We have two options for today's hike. The first is a breath taking 6 mile round trip day hike from to a summit called Crow's Nest. This hike is a fun scramble with only moderate elevation gain, and offers amazing 360 degree views of the surrounding mountain ranges and three different states: Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. At a wonderful spot on a high ridge we'll enjoy a freshly prepared lunch with amazing Tetons views as our backdrop.

The other optional day hike is to Popsicle Lake which is right on the divide and one of the highest lakes in the Teton’s. This hike is about 5 miles round trip. The hike tops out on an open ridgeline at about 10,000 feet. Popsicle Lake straddles the high divide, separating the Jedediah Smith Wilderness from Grand Teton National Park. From the divide, looking east, Moran Canyon plummets towards Jackson Lake. This is one of our favorite day hikes in the Jedediah Smith. The views simply can’t be beat, and with llama companions to help carry refreshing beverages and our lunch menu there isn’t a better place to be in the summer season.

After our hike we'll return to camp and relax around another campfire and amazing backcountry dinner as the alpenglow fades over the Tetons.


Day 3

Hiking Mileage: 4-5 miles
Elevation Gain: 875 feet


Today we move camp to Granite Basin Lakes which is about 3.75 miles and 590 feet of elevation gain from our first two nights' camp. Because of today's short distance, we will a relaxing morning and then some free time this afternoon to lake fish, swim, relax, read a book, or explore around camp. Today's hike highlights the rocky geographical divide (at 10,000 feet) between Green Lakes and Granite Basin Lakes. This second base camp is one of our llamas' all time favorites as it is extremely secluded and has long lush grass in every direction. Don’t be surprised if you see elk or deer as well out enjoying the grass forage in Granite Basin!

This evening we'll settle into our new camp and dine on more fantastic backcountry cuisine prepared by your guide(s).


Day 4

Hiking Mileage: 6+ miles
Elevation Gain/Loss: 1700-2600 feet

Today, like on Day 2, we have two options for day hikes. One is a fantastic, rugged ascent of Little's Peak where we will gain access to astounding views of the Tetons Range. This option is for those looking for a challenge and who are willing to earn a world class view of the Tetons. With over 2400 feet of elevation gain you and your llama companions will merit a hearty lunch and a filling last super.

The other possible hike for today is to Saddle Horse Point, also known as "Benchmark," at 10,065 feet. It is less rugged and requires less elevation gain, but is still a significant hike that ends at an amazing destination and our favorite lunch spot in the Tetons. Our route takes us from camp up an old horse path to a high, open ridge above 10,000 feet. From the top we'll enjoy a truly majestic overlook into Grand Teton National Park and far down into Leigh Canyon.

Tonight we'll celebrate our backcountry adventure with one last feast around a final, roaring campfire.


Day 5

Hiking Mileage: 7.5 miles
Elevation Loss: 2450 feet
Shuttle to Jackson Hole: 1.25 hours


Today our journey comes to an end but not without some more breathtaking views, llama hugs, great hiking, and a wonderful breakfast feast before our descent. Watching the sun come up over the Tetons and observing trout poke the surface of the lake nabbing insects, one can truly reflect on the beautify of these mountains. Once we are loaded up and ready to hike it's all downhill as they say. But that's not necessarily accurate on this adventure. There are the 14 switchbacks up to "Blister Ridge" that we must tackle before our real downhill begins. We also get to cross the divide and soak up one of the most spectacular vies of The Grand Teton. We usually arrive at the trailhead by mid afternoon and from there will unload and shuttle back to Jackson Hole for our goodbyes.


Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however it can change occasionally based on temporary park restrictions, campsite availability, weather, road closures, guest ability/injury, and natural events like fires and flooding.

Trip Details

What's Included

  • Pack llamas to transport the majority of gear and food and a dedicated llama handler
  • One or more professional, knowledgeable, certified Wyoming hiking guides (max guest to guide ratio is 6:1, not including the llama handler)
  • Top-of-the-line tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, and technical backpack
  • Use of trekking poles
  • All meals are included from breakfast the first day through lunch on the last day
  • Roundtrip transportation from your hotel in Jackson, Wyoming to the trailhead and back
  • Bear safety equipment including bear spray cannisters and food-hanging gear
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and satellite phone
  • You will receive a Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and your kids to a lifetime discount of 10% off any Wildland Trekking hiking trip after your first one!

What's Not Included

  • Clothes, raingear, and footwear
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Waterbottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • Guide gratuity (industry recommendation is 10-15% of trip cost)
See the Packing List page for more information.


Meals: What To Expect

All of our hiking and backpacking tours include a diversity of tasty meals packed full of critical carbohydrates, proteins and fats. We carry foods that travel well in the backcountry – rice, pastas, lentils, beans, couscous, packaged meats, nuts, breads, oatmeal, granola, and more.

For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, and fruits and vegetables (fresh and dried). In addition, we provide you with with an assortment of trail mix, snacks, and dried fruits to eat at your own discretion.

We regularly accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and will make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee.


Gear We Provide

We provide all group gear which includes the following:
  • Deuter or Osprey backpacks
  • Sierra Designs or Mountain Hardware tents
  • Sierra Designs sleeping bags
  • Thermarest or Big Agnes sleeping pads
  • Leki trekking poles
  • Mountain Safety Research cooking stoves
  • Mountain Safety Research cookware
  • Bear spray cannisters and food-hanging gear
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Satellite phone


What Gear To Bring

We ask that you supply a couple of gear items on your hiking tour. These items are two 1-liter waterbottles per person, either a headlamp or flashlight per person, and a lightweight waterproof stuff sac for your clothes and belongings. Basic items like sunscreen, bug repellent (where and when applicable), lip balm, and toiletries are also important. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.


What Clothes to Bring

Please refer to the trip packet for a recommended clothing list (we email you a detailed trip packet when you inquire and when you register). All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots (reliable brands include Montrail, Lowa, Merrell, Vasque, and Salomon), rain gear, and non-cotton clothing layers. A minimum of three pairs of wool or synthetic hiking socks are also required. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.

NOTE: See the Packing Lists page for more detailed information on what clothes and gear to bring on your hiking tour. The trip packet you receive when you contact us will have the most accurate clothing and gear list for the tour you're interested in.

Trip Logistics

Where Do We Meet?

You'll meet your hiking guide and group at predetermined hotel in Jackson, Wyoming for an orientation meeting at 5:00 PM the evening before the trip begins. The next morning we'll pick you up at your hotel for transport to the trailhead. For private trips, you also have the option to originate your trip in Pinedale, Wyoming.

Check out our Travel Resources page for information on flights, shuttles, discounted lodging and more.

Safety Considerations

Your safety is our top priority. Our hiking tours are led by professional Wyoming hiking guides, all of whom are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT's, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. We've developed comprehensive risk management protocols that our guides adhere to in case of an emergency, and most tours carry a satellite phone. If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) for more information.


Guides

Your tour will be led by a trained, experienced professional with a solid guiding background, years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, training in llama-handling, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. Check out our Meet Our Team page for staff bios.


Group Size

Every llama trip has a dedicated llama handler/wilderness guide. The standard ratio of guests to guides/handlers on llama trips is 1 guide/handler for 1-4 guests; 2 guides/handlers for 5-9 guests; and 3 guides/handlers for 10+ guests. If you have more questions about group size, please give us a call at 800-715-HIKE (4453) and we'll answer all your questions.


Weather in Northern Wyoming

Being a Northern mountain environment, the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is prone to sudden temperature and weather shifts. This is an exciting aspect of being in Wyoming's mountains. On trips in June, snow is a slight possibility, and the rest of the summer you're likely to get rained on at least once during your trip. To be fully prepared, please follow the recommended clothing list closely (this list comes as part of your trip packet when you register). See below for average summer temperatures around Yellowstone:
     
Average Temperatures (Fahrenheit)
     
 
Month
High
Low
 
June
70°
42°
 
July
80°
47°
 
August
78°
45°
 
September
68°
37°