The summer season in Grand Teton National Park is prime hiking season. Most of the snow has melted from the mountains and high altitude trails are opened up and accessible for adventuring and exploring. There’s definitely no shortage of outstanding hikes in the area, but below is a short list of classic must-do hikes in the park.
Inspiration Point and Hidden Falls
Inspiration Point and Hidden Falls are easily the two most popular destinations in the Teton Mountains. The classic hike brings hikers to a 100-foot waterfall before climbing up to a stunning vista overlooking Jenny Lake. The must-do hike is a classic and at the top of any visitors’ lists, and for good reason. Once you’ve climbed up to Inspiration Point, hiking into Cascade Canyon is an easy ascent into a canyon that’s as gorgeous as any mountain canyon anywhere. For an extra pleasant hike, consider taking the Jenny Lake Loop either in or out, and catching the Jenny Lake Shuttle on the opposite way.
Lake Solitude is a classic hike in the Teton Mountains, bringing hikers to a picturesque and isolated glacial lake at the back of the North Fork of Cascade Canyon. The trail is the longest on this list, clocking in at roughly 15 miles round-trip if you catch the Jenny Lake Shuttle to knock off a few extra miles. Without the shuttle you’ll add on roughly 4-5 miles round-trip, depending on your origin. Aside from the distance, the trail is fairly easy-going, containing few strenuous inclines, the primary two only coming in at the beginning to ascend into Cascade Canyon and one more to make the final ascent up to the lake. If you’re looking for a signature day-hike in the Teton Mountains covering double-digit mileage, this one is not to be missed.
Amphitheater Lake is a classic hike to a high-altitude glacial lake in the Teton Mountains. The strenuous trail is 9 miles round trip and climbs the steep eastern face of the Tetons, treating hikers to stunning views of Jackson Hole on the way up. The lake itself is perched atop a high mountain ridge nestled at the base of Disappointment Peak, a close neighbor of the Grand Teton. It’s highly regarded as the go-to high-altitude hike for those wanting a challenging day-hike with unparalleled views.
Phelps Lake Overlook
The hike to the Phelps Lake Overlook is an easy 1 mile hike to a stunning overlook of Phelps Lake. The trail wanders through serene forests and meadows on its way to the overlook, glimpses of the Teton Mountains towering above through the edges of the meadows. Once at the destination, Phelps Lake sprawls out below the vantage point with the Gros Ventre Mountains capping the view above the lake and Jackson Hole. It’s a fantastic hike with a great reward over a short distance, with the option to extend the hike to the Phelps Lake Loop or even Death Canyon.
Holly Lake is a gorgeous lake resting in the higher elevations of Paintbrush Canyon. The strenuous hike is nearly 14 miles round-trip and climbs through one of the lesser visited of the primary canyons of the Teton Mountains, offering a better chance for solitude than any of the previous hikes. The trail wanders through the forest in the lower elevations for the first 3 miles or so, then opens up into a massive glacially carved canyon as it climbs to the higher elevations to reach the lake. It makes for a great escape and features some incredible scenery along the way.
There’s no shortage of incredible hikes in Grand Teton National Park during the summer months. While there are plenty of other options, these are some of the classic must-do hikes of the park, but if you’re wanting to find about another trail or excursion, feel free to ask in the comments!