Springtime in Grand Teton National Park is an absolutely beautiful time to visit the area. For hikers however, it’s bittersweet as they notice lush green foliage and colorful wildflowers popping up all over the valley, while they can only look up at the Teton Mountains, still buried in snow from the previous winter. Rest assured though, there are still plenty of fun and rewarding hikes to be had before the snow melts! Below is a short list of some classic hikes in the park that are great regardless if the mountains are still cutoff or not.
Taggart and Bradley Lakes
The Taggart Lake hike is a classic trail in Grand Teton National Park, and pairing it with the nearby Bradley Lake creates a fantastic day-hike past two unique glacial lakes. Beginning up the main trail, you’ll have an opportunity to take a fork off to Bradley Lake. From there, you can loop back around the Valley Trail to skirt the shores of Taggart Lake after cresting a moraine between the two lakes. Numerous vantage points offer you the chance to experience the peaceful shores of Taggart Lake. At the next junction, you’ll have the opportunity to either head back to the trailhead or lengthen your hike by heading out via Beaver Creek.
The hike to Phelps Lake is a remarkably peaceful one that allows you five different routes to get there. Four originate from the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve (LSR), while the fifth descends from the Phelps Lake Overlook. Heading out from the LSR, one trail from the Visitor Center will divide into four, becoming the Woodland and Lake Creek Trails initially, then the Aspen and Boulder Ridge trails splitting off from those. The latter two will add a little bit more mileage, but all will bring you to the serene shores of Phelps Lake.
String Lake Loop
The String Lake Loop is a wonderful option for the spring season. At about 4 miles, this loop winds around the picturesque String Lake, gaining a slight bit of elevation, while also exploring both the evergreen forests and aspen groves found along the lake, yielding some great opportunities with wildlife around a remarkably picturesque lake.
While the hike to Trapper Lake is an easy 10 mile round trip hike, this trail can also be cut short by simply going to Leigh Lake. In either case, this particular hike is probably the easiest hike with the greatest rewards. In its entirety, the trail will bring you past four stunning glacial lakes, each as unique as the previous. Leigh Lake is easily the largest along the route, so once on the other side a relatively short distance remains to Trapper Lake.
Looking to get a longer distance backpacking trip in but discouraged about all the snow in the mountains? The Valley Trail runs along the base of the Teton Mountains for over 25 miles, bringing hikers from its southern terminus in Teton Village to the northern terminus near String Lake. Along the way it passes one glacial lake after another, while escaping the crowds in between. You can also hike a segment of the trail for a lengthy day-hike or the whole trail to get an epic backpacking fix while the mountains are still inaccessible.
Though this is just a brief list, there are also still plenty of options. Still have questions or concerns about any particular hike? Feel free to ask in the comments!