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Alaska Basin Trail is a 15 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Alta, Wyoming that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and backpacking and is best used from June until September.

Distance: 15.0 miles Elevation Gain: 3,100 feet Route Type: Loop

backpacking

hiking

nature trips

forest

lake

river

views

wildlife

no dogs

Trail leaves from the parking lot just above Treasure Mtn Scout Camp and is just off the road to Grand Targhee Ski Area East of Driggs, Idaho. From the parking lot/trailhead it is about 9 miles to the Alaska Basin area. The trail is generally very good - wide and not too rocky.

hiking
38 minutes ago

My husband, two daughters of seven and nine, and myself did this trail on July 1 Wednesday of 2020. We had to modify the trail into a wishbone instead of a lollipop due to snow covered trails. Yes, that meant two up and downs instead of one up and one down, with AllTrails saying we did maybe 15 but my phone saying we did a 18 miles. However, it was so wonderful, challenging, and majestic. We started out going the opposite way of devil’s staircase and made it up to 6 1/2 miles. The last mile I would say was snow covered completely – yes, not just patchy. We used all trails to march through the snow to get up to the Alaska basin shelf. At the Alaska basin you can see the U we were supposed to hike into the rim around and to devil staircase to descend. It was quite a challenge, fun, and frustrating for one of our Littles. Actually, we would have tried to continue if we had had snow glasses for all. We started at around eight in the morning from the trail head and were eating lunch up at the Alaska basin somewhere around 1215. We then retraced down to the devil staircase junction and started at the devils staircase and had plans of a good break at the lake at the top. The second of three sleet storms hit at that point. I will have to say, it did make a great story for the hike. In 30 minutes it was clear and we picked a good spot on Devil’s staircase for a dessert/treat break. We ended at around 6 PM. We saw eight people total the entire day. ...Two of which we’re going to make an overnight up at the Alaska basin. One of which was coming down and had been stuck up there for two nights. My guess is that the trail will not be clear until late July, but who knows! Without a doubt, I would definitely say do it. Do not get frustrated if you have to do a wishbone instead of a lollipop - the scenery is gorgeous and inspiring! Really what a day!!!

hiking
muddy
snow
20 days ago

I wouldn't try this unless you 1) are an experienced hiker or 2) have done the trail before. The best would be 1 and 2. For me, especially considering I live in California with no prior experience of Teton Pass, it made things a little more difficult. I found a majority of the trail I ended up following moose tracks....I did make it 7.7 miles and then an addition 7.7 miles back, but it was hard. I couldn't find where it actually looped so I just followed the river most of the time. Definitely be prepared for bears, moose, wildlife, etc. It was terribly marked, but I learned a lot. I'll be back to explore more later in the summer or the next. Bring sunscreen, bug repellent, and 2.5-3 litres of water with additional snacks.

hiking
1 month ago

Will be better later in the summer. Still lots of snow starting from about a mile into the trail, with water running under in places so didn’t go the whole way. Saw a cinnamon black bear and two cubs along the way.

hiking
blowdown
muddy
snow
1 month ago

hiking
9 months ago

No better way to take in the full grandeur of the Tetons than by immersing yourself into the mountains on foot! Start early in the morning on the Alaska Basin trailhead and follow it all the way up to summit at Hurricane Pass, then swoop back down through Cascade Canyon and finish at Jenny Lake. You can catch the ferry across the lake or hike the last three miles around the Jenny Lake Trail to get to the Visitor's Center. The trail is very well marked the entire 25 miles. Great potential for wildlife sightings (three moose crossed my path), which makes it imperative to carry bear spray and stay acutely aware. A headlamp is also imperative to carry if you start before sunrise or end after sunset. Be prepared for all kinds of weather (including snow at the summit) as well as several water crossings. Most of them you can do without removing your shoes, but it's a good idea to have sandals on hand if you have to use them. This hike is an all-day adventure in one of the most beautiful places on Earth. You won't ever forget it!

backpacking
10 months ago

Absolutely the best combination of trails I have ever backpacked. We hiked up to the basin and camped and the took the Teton Crest trail up to Hurricane pass. Trail was well maintained, easy water crossings. Wildflowers were amazing.

hiking
10 months ago

Pretty easy trail. Gradual and not extremely steep anywhere in particular. We went down devil’s staircase and I found it very doable. We started at 7:15 and ended at 5:20. Lots of other hikers and campers. Very few bugs. I wore no spray and got 3 bites. Beautiful views.

Day 2 - We left Alaska basin for a day hike up Hurricane Pass. Being able to do it with all of our gear was nice, but the up and back is still challenging. The especially nice part about the hike was that there were no bugs. The climb up to the pass is challenging with lots of steep switchbacks, but the payoff is well worth it. The view of the Tetons is spectacular and to see the glacier and lake was pretty cool.

hiking
bugs
11 months ago

We backpacked up to Alaska Basin for one night. All water crossings were good. They’re working on one bridge repair currently. Be prepared, the flies and mosquitos are relentless. I had tons of bug spray and even put my buff on my ears. Finally used my bug head net. They were going for our eyes, nose and ears. All that aside, the wildflowers are prime and it’s such a beautiful area. We were here 2 yrs ago when there was a lot more snow so it was nice to see a new land scape.

hiking
bugs
muddy
11 months ago

Absolutely wonderful views! But definitely not for the faint of heart. We went up Devil’s Staircase first then down Alaska Basin. Our feet were pretty sore by the end of it. And saw a black bear on opposite side of the river in last 1.5 miles, so keep a lookout!

hiking
muddy
11 months ago

hiking
muddy
11 months ago

hiking
11 months ago

Hiked the loop again ... it’s amazing..... it’s a long day but worth every step .... started at 10am (I recommend starting early) we finished at a little after 6.... we went up Alaska and down devils stair case .... devils was definitely a killer , steep coming down especially after already walking 12 ish miles .... water crossing are easy now , ran into a little snow nothing to worry about ... The wild flowers are spectacularly, you don’t see them like this often ... and the view of the Tetons on top wow ... we highly recommended this hike but be ready!!! It’s 16 - 17 miles

hiking
snow
11 months ago

I completed this loop in mid-July 2019. It took about 12 hours, and it is definitely strenuous but anyone who is looking for something long and/or dog-friendly will enjoy this hike. We went up the Devil’s Staircase (to the right at the fork) and looped around that way, which is the way I would definitely recommend. The staircase is super steep and strenuous, but I would much rather go up it when my legs are fresh than down it when my legs are worn out. The top part is beautiful with great views of the Tetons. Once you drop down into the basin, there is some sketchy snow to traverse through, but you can see the trail ahead so it would be hard to get lost. The Alaska Basin portion is mind-blowingly beautiful, but be prepared for many, many river crossings. I’d recommend bringing sandals to avoid having to constantly take shoes off/having to hike the remainder of the trail in soaking boots like I did. Enjoy!

hiking
snow
11 months ago

hiking
11 months ago

July 11th 2019. Hiking from Death Canyon towards Hurricane Pass. Alaska basin was 100% covered in snow. For first time hikers on this area it will be extremely difficult to follow the trail since are no visible trails to follow. For the Sheep Steps area Ice axe is a must, crampons optional. Be prepared to cross multiple streams knee high. Happy tails!

backpacking
muddy
snow
Fri Jul 05 2019

Too much snow to do the full loop right now, but you can go up a little past devils steps on one side of the lollipop and ~3-4 miles up the other side with little to no snow. Backpacked for two nights on each side. Mosquitoes weren't bad and it was plenty warm.

hiking
Tue Jul 02 2019

We only hiked up 2.7 miles to the junction with Devil's Staircase and this part of the trail was a delight. Dogs are allowed along this stretch and the trail was not too difficult and had great views. Many waterfalls and the trail followed the stream for most of it. We were camping at the Teton Canyon cg and walked along this trail in the evenings too and every time we were on it we saw a moose! Highly recommend this short hike for families or people just wanting a gentle stroll.

hiking
Fri Jun 21 2019

Beautiful hike , towering canyon walls both sides, lower trail parallels the river, 3 ribbon water falls , wildflowers. Quiet beautiful forest, no bugs. Started snowing .

backpacking
Tue Nov 20 2018

Simply wonderful

Thu Oct 04 2018

This is one of our all time favorite!! We did the loop down devils staircase..this is a long day but worth everything mike of it ...FYI we try and hike at least once a week and usually 12t Miles so if you have not been hiking maybe hike a bit before you go ...

hiking
Thu Sep 06 2018

we hiked this the first of July and got snowed out near the top. creek was running super high and made it difficult to cross.

hiking
Sun Aug 19 2018

I hiked the Alaska Basin Trail in the 1st week of August and the wildflowers were in full bloom, a really gorgeous variety of colors and shapes. Instead of doing the loop I went north on the Teton Crest Trail to the junction with the Cascade Canyon Trail for really spectacular panoramic views of the Tetons. For the return to camp I tried to go down the 3.3-mile trail shown on Alltrails as connecting that junction with a point at the 1-mile mark on the Alaska Basin Trail. I learned the hard way that any trail that may have been there decades ago is no longer maintained or used after the 1st 500' of elevation drop from the high point. This trail should be removed from Alltrails to save others from making the same mistake I made.

hiking
Fri Aug 03 2018

backpacking
Mon Jul 30 2018

We completed the loop this weekend going clockwise. We had a party of 9 (6 adults and 3 kids--11, 9, and 5yo). Going up the canyon, there were frequent stream crossings, but not too difficult. The trail went up at a steady, but moderate clip until just before the basin, when our legs were tired and the switchbacks were a little more difficult. The basin lakes were unbelievable and great for soaking your feet after a good hike. There were alot of other backpackers in the basin (2 dozen?), but there were plenty of secluded sites, so we didn't feel crowded. We didn't encounter any wildlife, other than a few chirping marmots. On the second day, we came across a couple of small patches of snow on the trail, but neither was difficult or dangerous to cross. Likewise, descending the Devil's Stairs was an intimidating endeavor with an energetic 5yo, but not too bad. The trail description says 15 miles, but our recorded track came up to 18.5 (we did some walking around the lakes so maybe that makes up part of the difference). All in all, this was a challenging, but enjoyable two-day trip for our group.

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