- String Lake is an easy hike along the Lake’s eastern shore providing easy access to Leigh Lake, and it's in a forest that is a better alternative for a lunch break than the crowded picnic area.
- The Jenny Lake Trail Loop is a mostly level trail that skirts the shoreline, with views of the Teton Range from the east shore.
Hiking is a favorite past time for many visitors to Grand Teton National Park near Jackson Hole. Many trails are available and no matter if you are young or old, you will enjoy varied levels of hikes venturing in and around the mountains.
The many different Grand Teton hiking trails traverse the valley and mountains covering more than 200 miles. These trails provide access to backcountry lakes, streams, canyons and camping areas. The degree of difficulty ranges from easy to strenuous and the length of time for each hike can vary from just a few minutes to several days.
The following is only a small sample of the many Grand Teton hikes/trails that you can take in Grand Teton National Park.
Jenny Lake/Cascade Canyon
This can be done by most all members of your family, young and old alike. It can be easy or more difficult depending on how far and how high you want to go.
The easier section will take you to Hidden Falls, a 200-foot cascade of pristine water amidst the pines. To go further up to Inspiration Point, will require a little more effort, but it is well worth the climb. Aptly named, Inspiration Point, gives you a bird’s eye view of Jenny Lake and the valley of Grand Teton National Park.
You can start this hike at the south end of Jenny Lake or if you want to shorten your hike, you can start by taking the Jenny Lake Boat Shuttle across the lake to the west shore.
The trail can be broken up into 3 sections and you can do all or part of it.
Jenny Lake Loop
- Distance – 6.5 miles
- Average time of hike – 4 hours
- Difficulty – Easy. Mostly level trail skirts shoreline, with views of the Teton Range from the east shore
- Trail Type – Loop around Jenny Lake Shore
- Distance – 5.0 miles (use the shuttle boat and shorten the distance to 1 mile)
- Average time of hike – 3 hours (use the shuttle boat and shorten the time to 1.5 hours)
- Difficulty - Moderate. Popular trail follows Jenny Lake's south shore, and then climbs to view of 200-foot cascade
- Trail Type – Out and back
- Distance – 5.8 miles (use the shuttle boat and shorten the distance to 2.2 miles)
- Average time of hike – 3 hours (use the shuttle boat and shorten the distance to 1.5 hours)
- Difficulty - Moderate - Strenuous. Follow trail to Hidden Falls, then continue up to Inspiration Point overlooking Jenny Lake and Jackson Hole
- Trail Type – Out and back
Forks of Cascade Canyon
- Distance-13 miles (use the shuttle boat and shorten the distance to 9 miles)
- Average time of hike – 7 hours (use the shuttle boat and shorten the distance to 5 hours)
- Difficulty- Moderate - Strenuous. Popular trail leads into Cascade Canyon trail with views of the Grand Teton, Mt. Owen and Teewinot
- Trail Type – Out and back
- Trail Overview - This easy hike along the eastern shore of String Lake provides easy access to Leigh Lake, and it's in a forest that is a better alternative for a lunch break than the crowded picnic area.
- Trailhead - The trailhead for String Lake and Leigh Lake is in the same area west of Jenny Lake Lodge
- Distance – 3.5 miles
- Average time of hike – 6 hours
- Difficulty – Easy, but well traveled so don’t plan on seeing much wildlife
- Trail Type – Loop
- Trail Overview – Hiking the Teton Crest Trail truly puts you on top of the world. This multiday hike takes you from one end of the Teton Range to the other. You will travel through several canyons and over several divides. This is a trail intended for experienced and conditioned hikers only.
- Trailhead - The Phillips Pass Trailhead off Teton Pass on Highway 22 is the main starting point. The north end of the Teton Crest Trail starts at the String Lake Trailhead in Grand Teton National Park.
- Distance – 40 miles
- Average time of hike – 4-6 days
- Trail Type – One way
- Trail Overview - The trail follows along the densely forested southern shore of Emma Matilda Lake and traverses the open forest of the north shore. Expect to see spectacular views of the Teton Mountains.
- Trailhead – The trailhead can be found on Two Ocean Lake Road. There is plenty of parking right at the trailhead.
- Distance – 9 miles
- Average time of hike – 5 hours
- Trail Type - Loop
Hire a Guide
Guides can take you safely off the beaten path and educate you about the local plants and animals, the geology and the history of the area. Hiking tours are offered for all ages and all abilities.
If you are unfamiliar with the area, it is advisable to hire a guide. When choosing a guide, be sure to be honest with them regarding your experience and physical capabilities.
- Bring a basic first aid kit (with bandages, gauze, disinfectant, surgical tape.)
- Prepare yourself in advance by taking a first aid safety course.
- Make sure a family member or friend has your itinerary and have them contact the park if you don’t return within a reasonable time.
- Check the weather before you go and be prepared for any changes.
- Carry a current park trail map and know how to read it.
- Wear shoes or boots that provide good ankle support. Slick leaves on trails have been known to cause fractured ankles.
- Take adequate water – a minimum of two quarts per person per day. If hiking in arid climates, carry at least four quarts per person per day.
- All water from the backcountry should be treated either by filtering or boiling. Expect backcountry water sources to be unavailable and have a contingency plan in that event.
- Be prepared to send distress signals (with a flashlight or using the sun’s rays with a shiny object)
- Remember there is safety in numbers. Group hikes are a great way to protect yourself from hiking dangers and they are more fun.
- Avoid hypothermia, the dangerous lowering of body temperature, by keeping dry. Dress in layers that can be removed or added as you heat up or cool down.
- Always carry a wind resistant jacket and rain gear. Get out of any wet clothes. Get into your sleeping bag or fill a trash bag with leaves and get into that.
- On warm days, watch for signs of heat exhaustion.
- If you get lost, be sure to keep warm.
- Be aware of possible encounters with wild animals and treat any encounters with extreme caution.
The following maps have been provided by Friends of Pathways in Jackson, Wyoming.