Moose Ponds

Storm clouds in the distance lit with sunset light passing over the Moose Ponds. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Distance: 1.8 miles

Type: Loop

Difficulty: Easy

Water: Yes

Kid-friendly: Yes

Dog-friendly: No

The Moose Ponds Trail is an easy 1.8 mile loop found at the base of Teewinot Mountain in Grand Teton National Park. It’s most easily accessed along Lupine Meadows Road and shares a small segment of the trail with the Jenny Lake Loop, providing an option to merge the two into a longer hike.

Moose Ponds Trail Description

The trailhead for the Moose Ponds Loop sits about a mile into the Lupine Meadows Road and continues heading straight toward the base of the mountains while the main road bends southward.

The loop can be traveled clockwise or counterclockwise, and direction is completely optional. For this particular write-up, I opted to go clockwise, so that’s what this will reflect.

From the trailhead, the trail heads south through a small forest that opens up into a portion of the expansive Lupine Meadows. With a sprawling view to your left, Teewinot rises dramatically out of the landscape to the left. It makes for a stunning scene that most people take for granted as they drive by to the Lupine Meadows Trailhead. From every crevice on Teewinot waterfalls cascade down the rocky cliffs into dazzling meadows.

A waterfall pouring over cliffs at the base of Teewinot above a grove of willows along the Moose Ponds Trail. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

The flat trail continues through the meadow as willows border the right side. Ahead the Teton Mountains rise in the distance as the Lupine Meadows Road parallels the trail for a short section.

The Moose Ponds Trail soon enters into the forest again before making a U-turn, winding back through the woods toward Teewinot. Shortly after, you’ll reach an old avalanche area where evergreens are just beginning to gain some height again at the base of Teewinot. Looking up the mountain, dwarfing views of meadows, forests, cliffs, and waterfalls cover the side of the mountain below the rocky peak high above. A forest of willow bushes guards the trail on the right as they quickly recede, revealing a small pond in the back of a meadow.

As you continue wrapping around the base of the mountain, there’s a small elevation gain as you enter back into a more mature forest. The trail will twist through the old woods and will cross a creek after a short distance.

You’ll then emerge into a large meadow still at the base of Teewinot into lush willows and aspens with ponds visible to the right. Please stay on the trail – better views are up ahead. The trail wraps around the ponds, crossing creeks and navigating through the thick willows offering increasingly spectacular and tranquil views of the Moose Ponds.

A mule deer buck emerging through aspen trees and sagebrush along the Moose Ponds Trail. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Once on the other side of the ponds, the trail drops along the shore for a peaceful rest opportunity, then climbs up the moraine on the opposite side of the trail to connect with the Jenny Lake Loop.

Optionally, you can continue around the Jenny Lake Loop for extra mileage and scenery, or you can head right to close out the Moose Ponds Loop at the next junction, 0.15 miles ahead. From that junction, it’s an easy 0.1 miles back to the trailhead after heading right one more time.

Getting There

From the Moose Entrance Station, head north on the Teton Park Road for 6.2 miles, and turn left at the Lupine Meadows junction. After crossing the one-lane bridge, head left at the fork and then take an immediate right and head to Moose Ponds Trailhead at the end of the long straightaway.

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