Granite Falls

Jackson / Bridger Teton National Forest, Wyoming, USA

About Granite Falls


Hiking Distance: 1/2-mile round trip
Suggested Time: about 30-45 minutes

Date first visited: 2020-08-07
Date last visited: 2020-08-07

Waterfall Latitude: 43.3653
Waterfall Longitude: -110.44378

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Granite Falls was a waterfall in the Gros Ventre Mountains near Jackson Hole that surpassed my expectations for an attraction that didn’t require much hiking to experience.

After all, it featured a wide block waterfall with dimensions that I’m estimating to be roughly 40-50ft tall and 125-150ft wide.

Granite_Falls_011_08072020 - Granite Falls
Granite Falls

Perhaps even more surprising was that I noticed a little hidden-in-plain-sight natural thermal pool fed by a hot spring cascade across the rushing Granite Creek.

And on top of all the waterfall’s features, there were some beautiful mountains and formations further adding to the overall scenic allure of this spot.

Of course, a few hundred yards further upstream from the main waterfall was the more developed Granite Falls Hot Springs, which was a small swimming and soaking pool popular with locals and visitors in the know.

Nevertheless, as far as the waterfall itself was concerned, I only had to scramble less than a quarter-mile from the nearest parking area to the base of Granite Falls.

Granite_Falls_drive_013_iPhone_08072020 - The Granite Creek Road may be a bit on the rough and bumpy side (even though it's doable by 2wd passenger vehicles), it was the Gros Ventre Mountains seen during the drive that made it very scenic
The Granite Creek Road may be a bit on the rough and bumpy side (even though it’s doable by 2wd passenger vehicles), it was the Gros Ventre Mountains seen during the drive that made it very scenic

On the late afternoon that I showed up, it seemed to be a pretty popular spot despite the rough and bumpy pothole-ridden dirt road to get here.

I suspected that due to the close proximity of some popular primitive campsites here, it certainly enhanced the popularity of this somewhat locals spot.

During my August 2020 visit, I only wound up spending less than hour away from the car, but I easily could envision spending much longer here due to the this place’s location.

My only fear is that places like this are becoming more rare as time goes on (and more people use the internet to find once-local spots like this).

Granite_Falls_077_08072020 - Approaching the base of Granite Falls
Approaching the base of Granite Falls

In any case, for now, it’s one of the better “play” waterfalls that I’ve been to, and I sure hope it can stay that way.

The Granite Falls Experience

From the nearest parking area (see directions above), I followed one of several use-trails that all descended towards Granite Creek.

I started with the path that went more-or-less downstream of Granite Falls so I was able to get a more contextual look at it.

Given how narrow the “trails” were amongst the lush overgrowth by the banks of Granite Creek, I’m sure none of these trails were official (i.e. just created by random people and followed by others thereafter).

Granite_Falls_019_08072020 - Context of Granite Falls, Granite Creek, and the cliff formations up above (which I think the maps suggest is called 'The Open Door')
Context of Granite Falls, Granite Creek, and the cliff formations up above (which I think the maps suggest is called ‘The Open Door’)

Anyways, the contextual views of Granite Falls were nice because I also noticed an impressive cliff formation towering in the distance and hinting at the beauty of the Gros Ventre Range.

After having my fill of this spot, I then backtracked and followed other use-trails leading further upstream, which then veered back to Granite Creek for slightly closer views.

Some of these closer viewing spots were where I noticed people wading across the creek (likely around knee-deep to thigh-deep from what I saw) to get both unobstructed frontal views as well as access to the natural hot spring.

The use-trails ultimately led right up to the base of Granite Falls, where I managed to get profile views across the full width of the waterfall.

Granite_Falls_137_08072020 - Looking across Granite Creek at an interesting geothermally-heated spring-fed part of the creek just downstream of Granite Falls
Looking across Granite Creek at an interesting geothermally-heated spring-fed part of the creek just downstream of Granite Falls

Some kids use the fallen logs and jumble of rocks here to try to get part way across the creek before going into the water to continue their way to the other side.

I opted not to go to the other side of the creek, but maybe one day if we come back here, I’d like to bring my wife and daughter here so they can experience this place.

On the way back up to the small parking area, I noticed lots of black-headed plants or flowers in bloom, which I wasn’t sure if they were common or not, I definitely noticed lots of them in Western Wyoming and Nothern Utah..

Authorities

Granite resides in the Bridger-Teton National Forest near Jackson in Sublette County, Wyoming. It is administered by the USDA Forest Service. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website.

Granite_Falls_drive_006_iPhone_08072020 - A large part of the Granite Falls experience was the drive on the bumpy Granite Creek Road
Granite_Falls_drive_007_iPhone_08072020 - Context of the Granite Creek Road and the Gros Ventre Mountains, which really made this bumpy drive scenic
Granite_Falls_drive_016_iPhone_08072020 - Getting closer to the end of the long bumpy drive on Granite Creek Road en route to Granite Falls
Granite_Falls_002_iPhone_08072020 - Finally making it to the nearest parking area for Granite Falls after the pretty long bumpy drive to get here
Granite_Falls_003_08072020 - Following one of the narrow use-trails leading closer to Granite Creek and the Granite Falls
Granite_Falls_006_08072020 - Looking towards an interesting cliff formation high above the other side of Granite Creek
Granite_Falls_008_08072020 - Context of the narrow use-trails leading closer to Granite Falls with the interesting cliff formation towering above the scene
Granite_Falls_015_08072020 - Looking upstream towards Granite Falls with some people standing in front of it for a sense of scale
Granite_Falls_020_08072020 - Looking back towards the nearest parking area for Granite Falls from somewhere along the short scramble to the waterfall's base
Granite_Falls_024_08072020 - Looking across the Granite Creek towards the context of Granite Falls with the cliff formation above it that I think is called 'The Open Door'
Granite_Falls_026_08072020 - Looking upstream along the narrow use-trail leading closer to the base of Granite Falls
Granite_Falls_028_08072020 - From a slightly closer spot along the banks of Granite Creek, I got this view of Granite Falls where some people were about to cross the creek
Granite_Falls_035_08072020 - The afternoon sun was briefly hiding behind some patchy thunderclouds so I tried to sneak in a long-exposure shot of Granite Falls
Granite_Falls_038_08072020 - Just as quickly, the sun came back out which made the long exposure shots of Granite Falls difficult again
Granite_Falls_048_08072020 - Long exposed shot of Granite Falls when most of the people had already crossed Granite Creek
Granite_Falls_050_08072020 - Contextual view of Granite Falls and The Open Door from the closer spot along Granite Creek
Granite_Falls_063_08072020 - Looking across Granite Creek towards some people chilling out on the other side of the creek in front of Granite Falls
Granite_Falls_067_08072020 - Still scrambling closer to the base of Granite Falls
Granite_Falls_070_08072020 - Context of people playing in Granite Creek in front of Granite Falls while the mom watches on
Granite_Falls_072_08072020 - Frontal look at Granite Falls with afternoon shadows starting to creep in
Granite_Falls_093_08072020 - Long exposure look at the front of Granite Falls with some kids playing in front of it
Granite_Falls_107_08072020 - Looking across the profile of Granite Falls after having scrambled right up to its base
Granite_Falls_115_08072020 - Looking more to the left at the far left side of Granite Falls from its base
Granite_Falls_120_08072020 - Broad contextual look across the width of Granite Falls as seen from near its base
Granite_Falls_121_08072020 - Partial look back at Granite Falls as I started to scramble back downstream
Granite_Falls_127_08072020 - Contextual look across Granite Creek towards the natural hot spring backed by the Open Door and part of Granite Falls
Granite_Falls_129_08072020 - Focused look at the hot spring by Granite Falls with some people chilling out there after having waded across Granite Creek
Granite_Falls_130_08072020 - Contextual look at part of The Open Door formation and the natural hot spring near Granite Falls
Granite_Falls_133_08072020 - Another contextual look at part of Granite Falls with the occupied natural hot spring to its right
Granite_Falls_140_08072020 - Closeup look at one of the black-headed flowers by the use-trails around Granite Falls during my August 2020 visit
Granite_Falls_141_08072020 - Looking back at the context of the extent of the growth of those black-headed flowers blooming near Granite Falls
Granite_Falls_148_08072020 - Last look along Granite Creek towards Granite Falls and The Open Door on my August 2020 visit
Granite_Falls_151_08072020 - My final look back at The Open Door formation and Granite Falls as I headed back up to the car

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Granite Falls resides in the Bridger-Teton National Forest near the Hoback River east of the Hoback Junction.

Since the nearest city of note was Jackson Hole, I’ll describe the driving directions from there.

Granite_Falls_drive_004_iPhone_08072020 - Driving on the unpaved Granite Creek Road towards Granite Falls
Driving on the unpaved Granite Creek Road towards Granite Falls

So from downtown Jackson, I’d drive follow the US191 for about 13 miles to the roundabout at the Hoback Junction.

Then, I’d take the second exit to go east on the US189/US191 for another 11 miles or so before leaving the highway to turn left onto the unpaved Granite Creek Road.

I then followed this unpaved road for just under 9 miles continuing straight on the main road and ignoring the spur roads on either side.

Eventually, I reached a somewhat rough parking area on the right, where I could already notice Granite Falls.

Granite_Falls_001_08072020 - The parking area closest to Granite Falls
The parking area closest to Granite Falls

The developed Granite Falls Hot Springs was another half-mile or so further up this road.

Overall, it took me a little over 60 minutes to do this drive 34-mile drive (though there were some construction delays so it could take less time).

For context, Jackson was 86 miles (over 90 minutes drive) west of Dubois, 160 miles (under 3 hours drive) west of Lander, 89 miles (under 2 hours drive) east of Idaho Falls, Idaho, 127 miles (2.5 hours drive) south of West Yellowstone, Montana, and 275 miles (over 4.5 hours drive) north of Salt Lake City, Utah.

Sweep showing the surroundings of Granite Falls before panning across the waterfall


Simple downstream to upstream sweep of the stream before examining more thoroughly the waterfall


Back and forth sweep starting across the main waterfall then looking downstream before panning back to the falls


Sweep with a partial view of Granite Falls but shows in good detail the thermal spring across the river

Trip Planning Resources


Tagged with: jackson, jackson hole, wyoming, sublette county, bridger teton national forest, granite creek, hot springs



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Johnny Cheng

About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
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