Distance: 1 mile (one way)
Best time of year: Summer, Fall
Last hiked: 2016 June
Tip: Bring bear spray. Seriously. It’s not just for the safety of you, but also the bear. Even if you’re at fault, the park will put down the bear for attacking. The Grand View Point Trail and the surrounding area is dense with bears and bear spray cannot be recommended enough on any hike in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
For those looking for a quick, but rewarding hike as you head north to (or from) Yellowstone, Grand View Point makes an excellent stop. The short trail brings you through a dense forest before topping out at excellent views of Jackson Lake and the Teton Mountains to the southwest, and Two Ocean Lake to the northeast.
At the trailhead, look for the trail just to the right of a service road, and proceed up. It doesn’t take long before the trail starts climbing rather steeply. The trail will continue at a steady ascent up, but some areas are steeper than others. The early stretch of the trail is heavily forested with limited views, but patience does ultimately get rewarded here.
At .2 miles, the trail will fork with a trail coming from the right, connecting hikers with an option to head to Emma Matilda Lake, and/or Jackson Lake Lodge. Those with more time on your hands may want to consider this as an option, or also from starting at Jackson Lake Lodge.
The trail continues to ascend through the forest and at about .7 miles, will begin to reveal some views. Initially, you’re treated to a view of Jackson Lake from a meadow before winding around back into the forest. Just through a small stretch of the forest, you come to a small knoll treating you to a view of the other direction, consisting of Two Ocean Lake and the Teton Wilderness. You’ll notice that many people walk right over the knoll, but please use the trail that winds around it to the left to minimize your impact on fragile vegetation.
After another short stretch through a forest, you’ll reach another small knoll with a tremendous view of Jackson Lake and the Teton Mountains. Just a short distance back up the trail is the actual Grand View Point at 7823 feet, high above Two Ocean Lake and Emma Matilda Lake below, with the Teton Wilderness and Absoraka Mountains stretching into the distance.
Enjoy the view, and head out the same way you came in whenever you’re ready. For those with more time on their hands, you can also continue on the trail to be brought down to Two Ocean Lake just 1.3 miles farther. For those with all day to spare, a trail continues around both Two Ocean Lake and Emma Matilda Lake, winding you through a plethora of grand views in a more remote area of Grand Teton National Park.
From Jackson, drive north on Highway 89 for 30 miles, before turning left at the Moran Junction to pass through the toll for Grand Teton National Park. Either show your pass or purchase a pass to access this area of the park, and proceed ahead for just under six miles, passing Jackson Lake Lodge on your left, then making the next available right onto an unsigned, unpaved dirt road. The dirt road will fork after a short distance. Continue straight (right) and continue for about .8 miles where the road will dead-end at the trailhead.