Granite Canyon-Valley Trail Loop
Grand Teton National Park
Drive north on Hwy 390 (Moose-Wilson Road) past Teton Village, to the south entrance of Grand Teton National Park (GTNP). Continue 1 mile north to the Granite Canyon Trailhead parking lot, where the plowed road ends. Park responsibly due to the popularity of the area.
Granite Canyon Trail is an easily accessible skier tracked trail at the southern end of Grand Teton National Park, and offers a convenient way to ski into the Park wilderness, with lower alpine forests, meadows, and crosses several creeks via wooden bridges. One spring ski day in March, we even heard the thumping of sage grouse, and saw the male in its full feather display only 8 feet from the trail.
The trailhead begins on the west side of the parking area, near the GTNP wood sign/trail map. Follow the established trail uphill through open groves of aspens and across a level snow-covered sagebrush meadow for .7 miles, crossing the footbridge over Granite Creek.
At 1.5 miles, the trail intersects the Valley Trail ( which runs north-south). Head right (north) and the trail climbs gently and progressively up the shoulder of the Teton range. At 1.6 miles, cross a wood footbridge over Granite Creek. The bridge is usually well covered in snow. 100 yards further, at 1.7 miles, the Valley Trail (which you are now on) meets up with the summer Granite Canyon Trail proper. This trail heads west up into Granite Canyon, and is not recommended for Nordic skiing due to avalanche exposure from the steep canyons walls on both sides of Granite Canyon.
Stay on Valley Trail (north) for 2.5 miles, cross over a small drainage. Continue along the Valley Trail for another 0.15 miles. From here you can turn southeast and connect with the Moose-Wilson Road in about 0.9 miles. This trail may be hard to locate, but it is not hard to find a path through the trees. Within a few days of the last snowfall, there is likely to be a skier track east to the main road /skier trail. Once you hit the snow-covered Moose-Wilson Road, turn right and ski about 0.75 miles back to the Granite Canyon Parking lot.