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KenD500

Grand Tetons National Park?

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I'm helping my older Scouts plan a back country trip in Grand Teton National Park.  Has anyone been there in the last 5 years?  Any trails you highly recommend?

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Bear protocol BIG TIME!! Check with the rangers regarding the trails. They'll need to learn to hang bear bags in a non Philmont environment.

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Our scouts know all about bear bags.  They have experienced black bears but this will be their first trek in grizzly territory.   Seems the park requires the use of bear canisters unless the campsite you use has bear boxes.  The park will actually provide a loaner bear canister for each crew.  Not sure why bear canisters unless at these altitudes the availability of trees are limited. 

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Good luck getting 5 days food into those canisters. Depending on Crew size you'll need several. You'll also need to account for the added weight. The good ones are not light. :)

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That is exactly what I was thinking. I have never used canisters. From the pictures I have seen they look to small inside and too bulky outside.

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That is exactly what I was thinking. I have never used canisters. From the pictures I have seen they look to small inside and too bulky outside.

Best to ask the rangers what they know works. They have the field stories about canister x getting flattened while canister y was okay. They are small. You'll either need to resupply or repackage all your food. The weight of the good canisters is heavier than I like. I try to go ultra light so any single thing other than my tent heavier than 2.3lbs stays home.

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The problem with bear bags is that above 9,000' the trees aren't so big. Putting up bags for a dozen people tends to be a lot of weight. I've rarely seen it high enough. The bottom of the bag should be 12' off the ground and more than a bear's arms length away from the tree. Let's say the bag hangs down 3 feet, there's a sag of about 3 feet in the rope, and a pully on the rope. So you have to accurately throw a rope up about 18', and more likely 20' up a tree that's not much taller. And then don't get your rope knotted up that high.

 

People get fed up with fighting it and then end up with a bag that's barely 8' off the ground. They're really just hoping the bear doesn't show up.

 

Col. Flagg is correct in that it's hard to get 5 days of food in a canister that claims to easily hold enough food for one person for a week (not to mention other smellables). Hanging bags can be done but it'll take more time than you think. Besides, a lot of national parks will not allow bear bags. At Rocky Mtn NP you can't get your permit until you show them your canister. The bears are getting smarter. There is a bear someone on the PCT that has figured out how to open up the clear canister. I'm just hoping it doesn't use the EDGE method to teach others because I have one of those.

 

One option is to make sure your first two nights are at places with bear boxes. Or put most of your food in a canister and have a lot less you need to hang. This could be a moot point if they don't allow bear bags.

 

I finally gave up and got a canister. One thing that makes it tolerable is I also have an external frame backpack and a place to attach the canister. It will suck the space out of an internal frame backpack.

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Did you go?  Our scouts want to go July 2018.

Nope.  We had it all planned and the parents got cold feet 1 at a time.

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Nope.  We had it all planned and the parents got cold feet 1 at a time.

 

That is too bad.  Not sure if we will go either.  Transportation wise it is a logistical challenge for us.  Their alternate choice is Isle Royale.  They will be making their final decision soon.

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That is too bad.  Not sure if we will go either.  Transportation wise it is a logistical challenge for us.  Their alternate choice is Isle Royale.  They will be making their final decision soon.

We were planning on taking a Greyhound bus.  2 travel days each way.  $200/person.

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That is too bad.  Not sure if we will go either.  Transportation wise it is a logistical challenge for us.  Their alternate choice is Isle Royale.  They will be making their final decision soon.

 

Isle Royale is a great trip too.  We did a week there in 2015 - happy to share info if they make that choice.

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I just finished a Teton Crest trip. Started at Granite Canyon Trailhead and ended at Leigh Lake. I'd be happy to answer any questions! It topped Philmont as the best place I've backpacked so far. 

 

 

Edited by Sentinel947

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I just finished a Teton Crest trip. Started at Granite Canyon Trailhead and ended at Leigh Lake. I'd be happy to answer any questions! It topped Philmont as the best place I've backpacked so far. 

Did you go with a scout group?

How did you manage vehicles between your starting point and ending point?  We plan to use a single van but don't want to make a loop.  Probably cover most of the Teton Crest.  From what I read the Death Canyon Shelf is a must.

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I just finished a Teton Crest trip. Started at Granite Canyon Trailhead and ended at Leigh Lake. I'd be happy to answer any questions! It topped Philmont as the best place I've backpacked so far. 

Any good place nearby for a group to camp?  Being flat-landers we will need to spend a night below 8500 ft to acclimate before ascending.

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