By Michael Lanza

The Tetons stand out for many reasons, most of all that iconic skyline of jagged peaks and spires that invites comparisons to cathedrals—although these cathedrals reach over 12,000 and 13,000 feet high. But while backpackers flock to the Teton Range for multi-day hikes and these peaks offer numerous five-star dayhikes of “normal” length, they also harbor some of the best long dayhikes in the country.

Thanks to a unique combination of the trail network and trailhead access, hikers capable of knocking off 15 to 20 or more miles and 3,000 to over 4,000 vertical feet in a day can explore virtually the entire range on one-day outings—holding enormous appeal for hikers and trail runners seeking that level of challenge or fit backpackers who fail to obtain a highly coveted backcountry permit for a multi-day hike in the park.

This list of the 10 best big dayhikes in the Teton Range includes popular spots like Garnet Canyon, Lake Solitude, and the Paintbrush Canyon-Cascade Canyon loop, as well as some trails and peaks you may not have heard of—some of which see little traffic.

These picks draw from my numerous trips dayhiking, backpacking, and climbing all over the Tetons over more than three decades, including 10 years I spent as a field editor for Backpacker magazine and even longer running this blog. Use this story as your guide and you will see the best scenery in the Teton Range that’s accessible on one very big day of hiking.


Hi, I’m Michael Lanza, creator of The Big Outside. Click here to sign up for my FREE email newsletter. Join The Big Outside to get full access to all of my blog’s stories. Click here for my e-guides to classic backpacking trips. Click here to learn how I can help you plan your next trip.

Several hikes described below are free for anyone to read, but reading the entire story—like most stories about trips at The Big Outside—requires a paid subscription (which costs as little as five bucks).

Please share your thoughts or questions about any of these hikes or your own favorites in the Tetons in the comments section at the bottom of this story. I try to respond to all comments.

A backpacker on the Teton Crest Trail in Grand Teton National Park.
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