Yellowstone Backpacking Tours

Phone Number for Wyoming Hiking Guides

Alaska Basin

Highlights

  • Guides Choice llama trek in the Tetons
  • Visit one of the most stunning views of the Tetons from the high country
  • Explore the wild, stunningly scenic west side of the Tetons
  • Discover alpine wonderlands, glaciers, soaring peaks, and wildlife
  • Basecamp for 2 nights and day hike to spectacular viewpoints
  • Hike in comfort with just a light day pack
  • Enjoy our top-notch service and wonderful llamas!


Description

Alaska Basin is one of the more popular and sought after locations on the west slope of the Tetons. The west slope offers a more gradual ascent into the mountains than the east side. On this particular route we’ll ascend into the high country along the base of Teton Canyon, a u-shaped valley carved by glaciers and lined with eroding sedimentary rock escarpments. Lush meadows and beautiful stands of coniferous forest blanket the canyon. Off and on we’ll hike adjacent to the rushing waters of Teton Creek. Once in the high country we’ll enjoy wandering vast expanses of alpine tundra and the magnificent views of the high peaks of the Teton Range.


 


Tetons Llama Trek Photos

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

Shuttle to Trailhead: 30 minutes
Hiking Mileage: 7.5 miles
Elevation Gain: 2200 feet


After packing the llamas we’ll take our first steps up the trail toward Alaska Basin. It is a long day of consistently uphill hiking but we are rewarded with incredible scenery along the entire length of the route. We’ll stop frequently to enjoy the views and to eat and drink in order to maintain our energy levels. If we are fortunate we may see moose grazing along the creek. As we ascend closer to camp we’ll enjoy bigger views back down the canyon behind us. Soon after we’ll find ourselves in Alaska Basin, a rocky area of small clear alpine lakes and braided creeks that cut through wildflower-filled meadows. The basin is surrounded by the cliffs and peaks of the Teton Range. Once in camp we’ll enjoy some well-deserved rest in one of the most beautiful settings in the Rockies.


Day 2

Hiking Mileage: 6-8 miles
Elevation Gain/Loss: 1400 feet

From base camp we’ll explore the heart of the Tetons. We’ll have two options for day hikes, either Buck Mountain Pass or up the Sheep Steps and along the Death Canyon Shelf. The Death Canyon Shelf is an extraordinary terrace-like feature 2.5 miles in length above the cliffs of Death Canyon, which cuts deeply through the mountains toward Jackson Hole. It also affords spectacular views of the Grand, Middle, and South Teton peaks. Buck Mountain Pass is a strenuous hike to a saddle with a different but equally dramatic perspective on Death Canyon.


Day 3

Hiking Mileage: 6 miles
Elevation Gain/Loss: 1800 feet


The destination from our base camp on day 3 will be the highlight of our expedition: Hurricane Pass. A stunning and majestic view of the Grand Tetons awaits at the crest of Hurricane Pass. The pass also overlooks several basins surrounded by a stark landscape of freshly deposited moraine, snow fields, alpine lakes, and glaciers. It’s another long and full day of hiking and scrambling to over 10,000 feet and covers about 6 miles round trip.


Day 4

Hiking Mileage: 7.5 miles
Elevation Loss: 2200 feet
Shuttle to Jackson: 30 minutes

We’ll break base camp, pack our gear, load the llamas, and begin the careful descent down Teton Canyon. It is a retracing of our steps from day 1 and we’ll usually reach the trailhead by 3:30 or 4:00 p.m. It is a gorgeous hike in both directions and you will have a new appreciation of this unique mountain range as you descend to the trailhead.


Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however it can change occasionally based on temporary park restrictions, campsite availability, weather, road closures, guest ability/injury, and natural events like fires and flooding.

Trip Details

What's Included

  • Pack llamas to transport the majority of gear and food and a dedicated llama handler
  • One or more professional, knowledgeable, certified Wyoming hiking guides (max guest to guide ratio is 6:1, not including the llama handler)
  • Top-of-the-line tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, and technical backpack
  • Use of trekking poles
  • All meals are included from breakfast the first day through lunch on the last day
  • Roundtrip transportation from your hotel in Jackson, Wyoming to the trailhead and back
  • Bear safety equipment including bear spray cannisters and food-hanging gear
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and satellite phone
  • You will receive a Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and your kids to a lifetime discount of 10% off any Wildland Trekking hiking trip after your first one!

What's Not Included

  • Clothes, raingear, and footwear
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Waterbottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • Guide gratuity (industry recommendation is 10-15% of trip cost)
See the Packing List page for more information.


Meals: What To Expect

All of our hiking and backpacking tours include a diversity of tasty meals packed full of critical carbohydrates, proteins and fats. We carry foods that travel well in the backcountry – rice, pastas, lentils, beans, couscous, packaged meats, nuts, breads, oatmeal, granola, and more.

For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, and fruits and vegetables (fresh and dried). In addition, we provide you with with an assortment of trail mix, snacks, and dried fruits to eat at your own discretion.

We regularly accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and will make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee.


Gear We Provide

We provide all group gear which includes the following:
  • Deuter or Osprey backpacks
  • Sierra Designs or Mountain Hardware tents
  • Sierra Designs sleeping bags
  • Thermarest or Big Agnes sleeping pads
  • Leki trekking poles
  • Mountain Safety Research cooking stoves
  • Mountain Safety Research cookware
  • Bear spray cannisters and food-hanging gear
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Satellite phone


What Gear To Bring

We ask that you supply a couple of gear items on your hiking tour. These items are two 1-liter waterbottles per person, either a headlamp or flashlight per person, and a lightweight waterproof stuff sac for your clothes and belongings. Basic items like sunscreen, bug repellent (where and when applicable), lip balm, and toiletries are also important. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.


What Clothes to Bring

Please refer to the trip packet for a recommended clothing list (we email you a detailed trip packet when you inquire and when you register). All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots (reliable brands include Montrail, Lowa, Merrell, Vasque, and Salomon), rain gear, and non-cotton clothing layers. A minimum of three pairs of wool or synthetic hiking socks are also required. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.

NOTE: See the Packing Lists page for more detailed information on what clothes and gear to bring on your hiking tour. The trip packet you receive when you contact us will have the most accurate clothing and gear list for the tour you're interested in.

Trip Logistics

Where Do We Meet?

You'll meet your hiking guide and group at predetermined hotel in Jackson, Wyoming for an orientation meeting at 5:00 PM the evening before the trip begins. The next morning we'll pick you up at your hotel for transport to the trailhead. For private trips, you also have the option to originate your trip in Pinedale, Wyoming.

Check out our Travel Resources page for information on flights, shuttles, discounted lodging and more.

Safety Considerations

Your safety is our top priority. Our hiking tours are led by professional Wyoming hiking guides, all of whom are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT's, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. We've developed comprehensive risk management protocols that our guides adhere to in case of an emergency, and most tours carry a satellite phone. If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) for more information.


Guides

Your tour will be led by a trained, experienced professional with a solid guiding background, years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, training in llama-handling, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. Check out our Meet Our Team page for staff bios.


Group Size

Every llama trip has a dedicated llama handler/wilderness guide. The standard ratio of guests to guides/handlers on llama trips is 1 guide/handler for 1-4 guests; 2 guides/handlers for 5-9 guests; and 3 guides/handlers for 10+ guests. If you have more questions about group size, please give us a call at 800-715-HIKE (4453) and we'll answer all your questions.


Weather in Northern Wyoming

Being a Northern mountain environment, the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is prone to sudden temperature and weather shifts. This is an exciting aspect of being in Wyoming's mountains. On trips in June, snow is a slight possibility, and the rest of the summer you're likely to get rained on at least once during your trip. To be fully prepared, please follow the recommended clothing list closely (this list comes as part of your trip packet when you register). See below for average summer temperatures around Yellowstone:
     
Average Temperatures (Fahrenheit)
     
 
Month
High
Low
 
June
70°
42°
 
July
80°
47°
 
August
78°
45°
 
September
68°
37°