South Leigh Creek, Granite Basin, Green Lakes Loop

HARD 1 reviews

South Leigh Creek, Granite Basin, Green Lakes Loop is a 20.5 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Alta, Wyoming that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until September.

DISTANCE
20.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
4448 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

hiking
1 month ago

My new favorite hike in the Teton range.

This roughly 20 mile loop will take you into some magnificent high mountain basins strewn with lakes and streams. Some of the most gorgeous scenery in the region can be found on these trails.

The first three miles is a gentle slope up through the South Leigh Creek canyon. At roughly four miles in, you'll encounter a rather long set of switchbacks, from which you begin to see the Grand Teton. These switchbacks carry you up the mountainside to a large open meadow (in which we saw several day beds). The trail then takes you to the far end of this meadow, at which point you head up the ridge before dropping into Granite Basin.

The trail only takes you by one of the lakes in Granite Basin. However, it's a great place to stop and take in the scenery, and to filter some water. As lovely as this lake is, it only gets better from here.

After the lake, you'll ascend up another ridge into a large plateau that sits right around 9500 feet. Several streams and lakes dot this plateau, and you'll also have some views of the Grand Teton again.

From here, the trail drops down into the Green Lakes basin. You can either go directly toward Green Lake, or take the side trail that passes by the other lakes as well (highly recommended). I would recommend filtering some water at these lakes, as it will be several miles before you hit another water source.

After passing the lakes, you climb up to the East shoulder of the mountain, and then switchback up to the ridge. The top of the ridge presents good views of the valley below.

After following along the ridge for a way, the trail switchbacks down into Tin Cup Creek. Once you reach the tin cup trail, you turn back uphill for a short distance and cross the South fork of Tin Cup Creek. This is the last good water source, so filter from the stream if you are running low.

The last portion of the route heads up the Beaver Trail and then down Beaver Creek to South Leigh Creek. This trail is not heavily used, and it's possible to lose the trail as you cross over the ridge. Plan on bringing a GPS with tail maps (it helps a lot!).