5.4 miles, Full day
This is an all day very strenuous hike up through Garnet Canyon and up to the Lower Saddle below the Grand Teton. This is the route most climbs of the Grand take, stopping over at the Lower Saddle for rest until the next morning's climb. This hike has an elevation gain of almost 6,000 ft. so should not be attempted by anyone not in top fitness and form.
A good alternate destination would be to just hike into Garnet Canyon with only about 2,500 ft. of elevation gain. The views in Garnet Canyon are spectacular with the huge Teton peaks rising on three sides. A cool stream flows along much of the canyon making a great place to eat lunch and cool your feet.
Heading up to the lower saddle requires good route finding skills and even a little climbing using a fixed rope at one point. The variety of rock both large and small makes this canyon a rock lovers paradise.
The Lower Saddle is a very fragile alpine environment and every precaution should be taken to not step on the flowers and grasses that are hanging on in these harsh and high conditions. Walk on the rock and look down!
Pack light and bring a headlamp in case you need to hike in the dark on the way back.
Calories: Bring a good lunch and plenty of snacks for fueling up on the trail.
Sunscreen: You are high in the tetons and the sun in Garnet Canyon is unobstructed most of the day.
Water: there are some good streams to get water from, so bring a couple liters of water at the start and fill up along the way. Bring some sort of filter or purifying system.