12 Best Day Hikes in Grand Teton National Park

12 Best Day Hikes in Grand Teton National Park. Bridge over the String Lake outlet along the Jenny Lake Trail, Wyoming

Bridge over the String Lake outlet along the Jenny Lake Trail

Grand Teton has to be one of my favorite national parks in the US (along with North Cascades and a whole lot of others!)  Those Alp-like jagged peaks, snow-flecked even in August, alpine lakes, lovely meadows, the unique meadows and cliffs of its western side… so totally beautiful!

 


 

So I’d like to share my favorite day hikes in Grand Teton National Park and its vicinity (in no particular order – I simply can’t choose one to be the best!)  Enjoy!

 

Best Day Hikes in Grand Teton National Park

Hidden Falls in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Hidden Falls

Hidden Falls / Inspiration Point (2.2 miles RT).  Probably one of the most iconic trails in Grand Teton, the route is easily accessed from the Jenny Lake West Boat Dock and offers views over Jenny Lake and up toward the Cathedral Group, as well as impressive Hidden Falls.  Don’t want to take the boat?  Access the trail via the Jenny Lake Trail from String Lake for very impressive views of the Tetons en route (5.6-5.8 miles RT).

 

Mt. Moran from the Lakeside Trail, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Mt. Moran from the Lakeside Trail

Lakesshore Trail (Colter Bay) (2.75 miles RT).  This short double loop is totally packed with views!  Mt. Moran is featured across Jackson Lake, but Eagles Rest Peak, Traverse Peak, Mount Woodring, Rockshuk Peak, Grand Teton, and Teewinot Mountain also stand out in spectacular clarity.

 

“Sudden killer views” of Middle Teton in Garnet Canyon

Garnet Canyon (8.4 miles RT).  Love cliffs and rugged scenery?  Head up to Garnet Canyon for some of the best views of Middle Teton in the park.  You might have to scramble a bit over a rock slide to get to the meadows proper, but it’s worth the trek.  For even more adventure, continue up the trail near the falls to the Upper Saddle, some 5,000ft. above the parking area on a 12.6 mile trek.

 

Housetop Mountain from near Fossil Mountain Pass above Upper Darby Canyon, Grand Teton National Park / Jedediah Smith Wilderness, Wyoming

Housetop Mountain from near Fossil Mountain Pass above Upper Darby Canyon

Upper Darby Canyon (10-14 miles RT).  Located on the western “non-tourist” side of the Tetons, Upper Darby Canyon is a good place to get away from the crowds, especially after leaving behind the official trail to the cave and waterfall.  Hiking up to Fossil Mountain Pass will reward hikers with views of Fox Creek Pass, Housetop Mountain, the Teton Crest Trail, and more.

 

Peaks over Leigh Lake, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. Photo courtesy of Allen Harris

Peaks over Leigh Lake. Photo courtesy of Allen Harris

Leigh Lake (3.2-7.6 miles RT).  There are a couple great things about this hike.  First, the views of the Tetons (especially Mount St. John, Rockshuk Peak, Mount Woodring, and Mt. Moran) are excellent.  Second, the trail is extremely accommodating in length – go to the first viewpoint for a 3.2 mile round trip stroll, hike all the way to the northern end of the lake and the Leigh Lake Ranger Patrol Cabin to extend the hike to 7.6 miles round trip, or end your hike at any of several beaches and viewpoints along way.

 

Hiking Cascade Canyon in 1995 in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Hiking Cascade Canyon in 1995. The views are no less spectacular today!

Cascade Canyon (10 miles RT).  If you really like the Tetons, you’ll just have to check out Cascade Canyon.  Waterfalls, marshes, moose sightings, little ponds, craggy peaks and cliffs, it’s all here.  Best yet, you can visit Inspiration Point and Hidden Falls along the way.  Don’t want to take the boat across Jenny Lake?  Take the Jenny Lake Trail from String Lake to the Horse Trail, turn right, and access the Cascade Canyon Trail about a half mile above Inspiration Point for a spectacular 11.5 mile trek.

 

Grand and Middle Teton from Table Mountain, Grand Teton National Park / Jedediah Smith Wilderness, Wyoming

Grand and Middle Teton from Table Mountain

Table Mountain (Face Trail or Huckleberry Trail) (9.2-11.3 miles RT).  If there’s one trail on the western “non-tourist” side of the Tetons you absolutely must take, it’s one of the two trails to Table Mountain.  The trails are no joke, rising more than 4,000ft. in as little as 4.6 miles, but the views are out-of-this-world spectacular.  Grand Teton, Middle Teton, South Teton, Cascade Canyon, Schoolroom Glacier, Battleship Mountain, the plains of Idaho, more peaks, canyons, and cliffs than I could possibly name – it’s all here.  Tired of the view?  Turn a little and it’s totally new.

 

Views from near Grand View Point in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Views from near Grand View Point

Grand View Point (2.2 miles RT).  Views over Jackson Lake of most of the Teton Range make this trail stand out from others within the park boundary.  The short and sweet trail with epic views just before the point proper is sure to satisfy your cravings for views.

 

The Tetons from Mt. Leidy, Gros Venture Range, Wyoming

The Tetons from Mt. Leidy

Mount Leidy (about 2 miles RT).  Really in the mood for views of the entire Teton Range?  Mount Leidy is a rough road to get to, then a scramble through the forest, but the views are absolutely epic.

 

Mt. Owen, Grand Teton, Middle Teton, and South Teton from the West Tetons Overlook, Wyoming

Mt. Owen, Grand Teton, Middle Teton, and South Teton from the West Tetons Overlook

West Tetons Overlook (less than 0.1 miles RT).  If you really want a short hike, try the West Tetons Overlook.  It’s nothing fancy, but the views of Table Mountain and the Tetons are both impressive and beautiful.

 

Cascade Canyon from the Jenny Lake Trail, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. Photo courtesy of Ken Lund

Cascade Canyon from the Jenny Lake Trail. Photo courtesy of Ken Lund

Jenny Lake Loop (7.5 miles RT).  I’ve never actually hiked this entire loop, but I’ve hiked most of it in sections over the years.  The views of the Tetons over Jenny Lake are truly impressive, as are the views of the Cathedral Group between String Lake and the West Boat Dock.  Add Hidden Falls as a side-jaunt if desired.

 

Views from the Alaska Basin Overlook, Grand Teton National Park and Jedediah Smith Wilderness, Wyoming

Views from the Alaska Basin Overlook

Stairway to Heaven / Alaska Basin Overlook (8.6-11 miles RT).  Although not as classic “Teton” scenery as other trails, the Stairway to Heaven (aka Teton Shelf) Trail to the Alaska Basin Overlook is breathtaking in terms of views.  High cliffs, alpine meadows, and Alaska Basin down below would drop your jaw even if Grand Teton didn’t poke its head up around the shoulder of Battleship Mountain.

 

Bonus Trails!

Want even more hikes in the greater Grand Teton area?  Check out:

 

Bonneville Pass, Shoshone National Forest - Bridger Teton National Forest, Wyoming

Bonneville Pass

Bonneville Pass (5.4 miles RT)

 

Lava Mountain, Bridger-Teton National Forest, Wyoming

Lava Mountain

Lava Mountain (about 8 miles RT)

 

Do you have another favorite trail in Grand Teton?  I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

 

Fees: $30 per week to enter or hike in Grand Teton National Park (waived with Grand Teton Annual & Interagency Passes).  No fee is charge for trails on the western side of the range or Mt. Leidy.

 

This Week’s Featured Product!

For even more hiking opportunities in Grand Teton National Park, check out this book about hiking long and short trails in the Tetons.

 

Hiking Grand Teton National Park: A Guide To The Park’s Greatest Hiking Adventures (Regional Hiking Series) (Paperback)


List Price: $19.95 USD
New From: $12.88 USD In Stock
Used from: $12.73 USD In Stock

 

 

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2 thoughts on “12 Best Day Hikes in Grand Teton National Park

  1. Jeff D.

    Anne – great list! I really regret not being able to do Table Mountain, as we simply couldn’t fit it in. You just reinforced my need to check it out someday. Oh yea, thanks for the links as well!!

    Happy Trails!

  2. Anne Post author

    Thanks Jeff! Love your site, too – every time I go over there, I start dreaming about a new Teton adventure…