So you're visiting Grand Teton National Park and you don't quite have the stamina or maybe the time to hike the 39-mile Teton Crest Trail. Well, don't worry – there are still plenty of family-friendly and short trails to trek.
The National Forest Service cites these hikes as ½ hour to 4-hour roundtrip trails in Grand Teton National Park:
- Flagg Ranch
- Colter Bay
- Heron Pond & Swan Lake
- Hermitage Point
- Jackson Lake Lodge and Christian Pond Loop
- Two Ocean Lake
- Signal Mountain
- Leigh Lake
- String Lake
- Jenny Lake
- Taggart Lake
- Menors Ferry
- Cunningham Cabin
- Lake Creek-Woodland Trail Loop
- Aspen Boulder Ridge Loops
- Phelps Lake Loop
Colter Bay Trail, off the Northeast side of Jackson Lake, is only 2 flat miles and is a family favorite, offering stunning views of the Teton Range.
Just South of Colter Bay, hikers can access Hermitage Point, near the Colter Bay Visitor Center and Marina. About 4 miles one-way, this is a great, leisurely half-day hike for families that want an easy trail with ample wildlife viewing though forests and meadows.
By the way, remember to STOP and make noise if you see a moose cross the trail in front of you. I saw an adult moose cross in front of me once, and luckily, I was fascinated enough to stop and yell a warning to my friends. About 30 seconds later, two babies followed the adult moose! Trust me, you DO NOT want to get in between a moose and its babies.
Here's a good family debate question: If the plural of goose is “geese,” why is the plural of moose not “meese?” Hmm. Good luck with that one.
Kids will love Menors Ferry ½-hour roundtrip hike if they need to write a school report about a historic homestead and creative businessman. Located at the trailhead North of Moose-Wilson Road, headed toward Taggart Lake, this hike along the Snake River includes a look at William D. Menor's home, built in 1894.
Menor didn't just build a homestead – he also built a ferryboat that turned into a solid and crucial river crossing business that made life a little easier for Jackson-area pioneers.
Jenny Lake is an easy 6-mile roundtrip hike with various 1- and 2-mile trail splits South of String Lake Trailhead and picnic area. Parking lots fill up fast, so get here early. Cascade Canyon can be reached by a short shuttle boat ride taken from Jenny Lake Visitor Center, near Moose Ponds and Lupine Meadows.
Oxbow Bend is home to a variety of wildlife including elk, moose, and beaver. Slow moving river water encourages waterfowl like mallards, trumpeter swans, and canada geese to spend time in the Bend, as well as mosquitoes, so bring your insect repellant.
Located East of Jackson Lake Junction along the Snake River and just South of Emma Matilda Lake, Oxbow Bend is an easy 2-mile hike for families.
More information on Hiking & Backpacking in Grand Teton National Park.