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The 5 Best Hikes in Grand Teton National Park

North Fork of Cascade Canyon Trail
The North Fork of Cascade Canyon Trail passing by fireweed and Engelmann aster in a rocky scree field below the Cathedral Group of Teton Peaks. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Grand Teton National Park has no shortage of incredible hiking opportunities. With over 200 miles of trails within the park boundaries, it can keep mountain lovers always thirsting for more. From short and easy to the long and strenuous, below is a list of the best hikes that Grand Teton National Park has to offer.

Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point

Easily the most popular hike in the park, Inspiration Point sits atop a large rocky outcropping at the mouth of Cascade Canyon, Jenny Lake sprawling out below. Beyond the lake the valley of Jackson Hole reaches out toward the Gros Ventre Mountains on the other side of the valley. Along the way, a short spur leads to an overlook for Hidden Falls, a gushing waterfall cascading over 70 feet of rock in the evergreen forest. Accessible via the Jenny Lake Loop or the Jenny Lake Shuttle, it’s the must-do for those with limited time looking for a taste of the Tetons.

Amphitheater Lake

The Amphitheater Lake Trail is another popular option, this one bringing hikers up nearly 3,000 vertical feet over a 5.5 mile hike to a gorgeous alpine lake. Peaceful alpine solitude awaits those who make the trip up, as well as crystal clear waters in the lake calmly splashing the shores below some of Grand Teton National Park’s highest peaks. Along the way you’ll also pass Surprise Lake, another smaller glacial lake resting a short distance below Amphitheater Lake. With significant elevation gain and roughly 11 miles round trip, this one makes for a great day-hike option.

Phelps Lake

Phelps Lake and Autumn Colors
A clearing storm revealing golden aspens beyond red and yellow ground brush leaves along Phelps Lake. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Phelps Lake, though popular, is also the least crowded on this list. This is primarily thanks to the deliberately limited parking at the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve (LSR). With limited parking spaces, you’re practically guaranteed to experience an extra layer of wildness on your way to Phelps Lake. In addition four different trails provide access to the serene lake, all originating from the LSR. Each converge within a half-mile of each other along the Phelps Lake Loop. This gives you the opportunity to make your hike as short or as long as you’d like, all while experiencing the tranquility of the area.

Lake Solitude

The longest hike on this list, Lake Solitude is one of Grand Teton National Park’s most captivating features. Situated at the back of the North Fork of Cascade Canyon, its seclusion lives up to its name. Though rarely steep along the way, the trail climbs over 2,000 feet over the course of 7.25 beautiful miles. Given the round trip distance, many will opt to poke into the North Fork of Cascade Canyon and enjoy the breathtaking vistas from lower in the canyon rather than heading all the way to the lake. In either case, this one can also be combined with the Inspiration Point Trail, giving you a freebie hike along the way!

Taggart Lake

Taggart Lake is one of the park’s most popular trails, and not just because it’s the only trailhead on this list accessible year-round. From the rustic footbridges over cascading creeks to the enjoyable aspen groves along the way, the Taggart Lake Trail proves the journey is just as exciting as the destination. The lake itself is a beautiful jewel of a glacial lake with the Grand Teton rising high above in the distance. The trail can be as short as just over 3 miles round trip, or can be lengthened to include nearby Bradley Lake as well. In either case, there’s a reason this trail’s so loved!

Taggart Lake Trail in Young Forest
The Taggart Lake Trail descending into a young evergreen forest in front of the Teton Mountains. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Conclusion

With over 200 miles of trail in Grand Teton National Park, this small sampling is enough to whet anyone’s appetite for more. In any case, the Tetons provide plenty of new opportunities and beg even locals to return to many of the same hikes.

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Mike@FreeRoamingPhotography.com