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Mud Lake

Aspen trees growing plentifully along the perimeter of Mud Lake. Caribou-Targhee National Forest, Idaho

Mud Lake is a moderate 1.2 mile hike in the western Teton Mountains that brings hikers to a small “muddy” lake nestled in a picturesque aspen grove. It’s a popular year-round hike with locals, but visitors looking for classic hikes in the Tetons may come away a little underwhelmed.

Mud Lake Trail Description

From the trailhead, begin by hiking up the steep incline along the trail, soon leveling off for a bit as you enter a beautiful aspen grove. Another steep section begins as you head up toward a hillside as it smooths out again, heading back in the direction of Mud Lake.

The trail soon begins a more steady ascent up to its destination, varying types of trees arching over the trail on your way up. Over the course of another steep ascent, you emerge at a fantastic viewpoint overlooking Teton Valley to the southwest. It’s a welcome place to stop and catch your breath if necessary.

Continuing the climb up toward Mud Lake, Taylor Mountain will soon pop up over the eastern horizon. Nearing the top, the trail levels out where hillier western foothills of the Teton Mountains become the dominant landscape. It’s shortly after that you’ll pass through a gate where Mud Lake rests among large aspen groves just beyond. Thanks to its placement in the hills, the noise of Teton Valley quickly fades away and a silent landscape awaits in a peaceful and relaxing setting.

Snow criss-crossed with snowmobile tracks covering the location of Mud Lake. Caribou-Targhee National Forest, Idaho

Getting There

From the main intersection in Victor, Idaho, head north on Highway 33 for 0.3 miles, turning right onto Aspen Street. At 0.5 miles, turn left onto Baseline Road and follow that for 0.25 miles. Turn right onto E. 7750 S. and head right for 0.5 miles and look for the trailhead at a small 4-way intersection.

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All content © Copyright Mike Cavaroc, Free Roaming Hiker & Free Roaming Photography