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Munger Mountain North Loop

The Teton Mountains rising high above the southern portion of Jackson Hole below the Wally World Trail. Bridger-Teton National Forest, Wyoming

The north loop on Munger Mountain is a 5.9 mile moderate loop in southern Jackson Hole. While there are several trails in the area, this loop explores the greatest amount of terrain through the wilderness, allowing for a couple of options to return sooner, if desired.

Also, if you’re looking for a remarkable fall color hike, this one is not to be missed. With the majority of this trail winding through lush and vibrant aspen groves, the fall colors will delight anyone.

Also note that the trail system in this area is open to single-track motorcycles from July 1-September 9.

Munger Mountain North Loop Trail Description

From the trailhead, cross the road and ascend through a small meadow to a quick crossing. The trail continues up through a lush forest along the creek, forested with mostly aspens, which will become common throughout the duration of the hike. At 0.25 miles in, you’ll reach the junction with the Wally World Trail, beginning the loop. While you’re welcome to hike clockwise or counterclockwise, hiking clockwise will save the best of the hike for last, ending in a spectacular climax! Continue straight to remain on the Poison Creek Trail.

The Cosmic Carols Trail ascending a hillside toward aspen trees as the Teton Mountains rise in the distance. Bridger-Teton National Forest, Wyoming

You’ll easily meander through the aspens which will become a more mixed forest filled with occasional evergreens. An easy descent accompanies the forest which levels out at a small creek crossing. The consistent mixed woods are dotted with occasional meadows. Along the way you’ll begin an easy ascent before reaching a junction. To continue along the main loop, you’ll make a left on the Cosmic Carols Trail. If you’re short on time or resources, you can head left to close out the loop early.

From the junction, you’ll cross another small creek where you’ll begin to emerge from the forest onto an exposed hillside. Just ahead, the southern Teton Mountains come into view as well. You’ll make a slightly steeper climb through another aspen grove, where you’ll reach another junction at 1.1 miles in. Again, if you’d like to make the hike a little shorter, head right to shorten the loop. Otherwise, head left onto the Tusky Ridge Trail.

You’ll experience easy hiking through thick aspens where the only sounds you’ll hear are the chirping of birds and the rustling of the aspen leaves. With sparse evergreens decorating the aspen forest, the vegetation and bushes will thicken, creating a denser forest. Through the consistent and subtle descent, you’ll bottom out above a small valley with Munger Mountain rising ahead. You’ll soon cross the meadow, quickly entering another aspen forest.

Bending back around along the meadow, you’ll make an easy serene descent toward another creek, paralleling the creek, then crossing it. You’ll head into a mixed forest to a junction with the Big Munger Trail at 2.3 miles in. Head right onto the needs-to-be-renamed, Squaw Creek Trail.

A vast aspen forest rising above a meadow lining the Squaw Creek Trail. Bridger-Teton National Forest, Wyoming

You’ll ascend briefly as evergreens soon give way to aspens once again, passing a seasonal pond on the right. The quick ups and downs above the creek guide you through the aspens, once again crossing the creek. You’ll then wind up through more mixed forest as you begin a lengthy ascent up a hillside.

With the creek occasionally making its presence known down to the left, you’ll maintain a steady ascent up mountain bike-friendly switchbacks. Along the way the forest transitions to predominately aspen trees. After a longer-than-expected ascent, you’ll level out as the trail begins to straighten out as well. You’ll then reach the Rock Creek Trail at 3.25 miles in. Veer right to remain on the loop.

As you continue making the easy climb through meadows and forest, you’ll pop out of the aspens for a stunning view of Munger Mountain. Along the exposed hillside, you’ll maintain an easy ascent, heading back into the mixed forest, broken up with a sporadic meadow. Ahead further, you’ll reach a 4-way junction at 4 miles in. Head left to begin down the Wally World Trail, and where your reward awaits.

A vast landscape of the Snake River Mountains stretching out beyond the Wally World Trail. Bridger-Teton National Forest, Wyoming

The serene aspens on the top of the hill quickly open up with dramatic panoramic views of the Snake River Mountains rising ahead in every direction. Continuing around the open and expansive hillside, you’re treated to inspiring views all around. Soon the Teton Mountains rising above the valley of Jackson Hole becomes visible through the trees as you wind around the hilltop still. Just ahead, you’ll reach a small summit with unparalleled views of Jackson Hole, the Snake River Mountains, and the Teton Mountains. Such a remarkable view is even accompanied by a bench for those who want to stop and take it all in.

The Wally World Trail winding down a hillside high above the Valley of Jackson Hole. Bridger-Teton National Forest, Wyoming

As you move ahead, you’ll notice homes below and to the left, removing a bit of the sense of wild you’ve likely been feeling for a few miles now. Just beyond, you’ll begin the main descent back down, where you’ll rejoin the aspen forest, quickly becoming mixed once again as the trail meanders downward. Passing an occasional meadow, you’ll reconnect with the original junction at 5.7 miles in. Head left to close out the loop and head back to the trailhead.

Getting There

From Wilson, Wyoming, head south on Fall Creek Road for 10.6 miles. Prior to reaching the trailhead, you’ll see a sign welcoming you to the Bridger-Teton National Forest. At that point, look for the large parking area on your right.

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Mike@FreeRoamingPhotography.com