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Grand Teton National Park truly is a hiker’s paradise. Hike through picturesque canyons, around glacier-fed lakes, and up to the highest peaks. Wildlife sightings from the hiking trails are frequent, with elk, moose, and bear making regular appearances. If you want to add some adventure to your visit to Grand Teton, strap on your hiking shoes and take your pick from this list of unforgettable trails. Here are 15 of the best day hikes in Grand Teton National Park.

This list starts with the easiest trails and progresses to the longer, more challenging hikes. Each of these hikes is a day hike, so they can all be completed in one day. Note: all distances are round-trip.

Many of the shorter hikes can be combined together to form full day adventures. I’ll let you know the best combinations in this post with details on how to do them.

1. Inspiration Point & Hidden Falls

Distance: 2 miles | Time: 1 to 2 hours | Difficulty: Easy to moderate

This is an essential hike for first-timers to Grand Teton National Park. Ride the Jenny Lake boat shuttle across Jenny Lake and then hike up to one of the most famous viewpoints in the park, Inspiration Point. On the way, make the quick detour to Hidden Falls.

Inspiration Point Grand Teton

View from Inspiration Point

 Inspiration Point hike

Trail to Inspiration Point

 

Hidden Falls

Hidden Falls

Shuttles run every 10 to 15 minutes and cost $18 round trip and $10 one-way. Click here for updated pricing and hours of operation.

Once on the west shore of Jenny Lake, it is a 0.5-mile uphill walk to Hidden Falls. To continue to Inspiration Point, it is another 0.5-mile hike, only this time the trail is steeper and more difficult.

Getting Here: Park in the large lot at the Jenny Lake Visitor Center and walk out to the Jenny Lake boat dock. Tickets can be purchased here for the shuttle. The boat shuttle takes visitors to the opposite side of Jenny Lake, eliminating the extra walking distance around the lake. If you do not take the boat shuttle, it is a 2.4-mile walk from the Jenny Lake Visitor Center to the west shore of Jenny Lake.


2. Lakeshore Trail

Distance: 2 miles | Time: 1 hour | Difficulty: Easy

The Lakeshore Trail is a mostly flat trail that offers views across Jackson Lake to the Teton mountain range. This is a great place to get out and stretch your legs when visiting the north side of Grand Teton National Park.

Jackson Lake

Lakeshore Trail

This hike is done as a loop and it starts and ends at the Colter Bay Visitor Center on Jackson Lake.

Location: Colter Bay Visitor Center


3. Phelps Lake Overlook

Distance: 2 miles | Time: 1 hour | Difficulty: Easy

For one of the best lake views in all of Grand Teton National Park, put the short, sweet hike to the Phelps Lake Overlook on your to-do list. At just 2 miles in length with a minimal amount of elevation gain, this is a great hike for all ages and ability levels.

Phelps Lake Overlook

To get to the hiking trail, a 4×4 is recommended, since you will drive on a rough gravel road to get to the trailhead (the Death Canyon Trailhead).

This hike can be combined with Death Canyon. In fact, I highly recommend adding on at least a little bit of Death Canyon onto this hike, if you have the time and the energy. Keep reading to find out how to do this.

Location: The hike to the Phelps Lake Overlook starts at the Death Canyon Trailhead. To get here, turn onto Whitegrass Ranch Road and take this to the end (go 1.6 miles). The road ends at a large parking lot at the Death Canyon Trailhead. The first part of this road is paved but the final .7 miles is a rough, unpaved road with enormous potholes. A 4×4 is highly recommended, although we did see a few standard cars that made it to the parking lot.

Alternate Route to Phelps Lake Overlook

If you don’t have a 4×4, there is an alternate way to get to the overlook. You can get to the overlook from the Phelps Lake Loop Trail. Once you are on far end of the lake, look for trail signs pointing to Death Canyon and the Phelps Lake Overlook. From the lake, this detour to the overlook adds 1.6 miles and 530 feet of elevation gain, round trip. It will be a moderate, uphill walk to get to the overlook, but it’s well worth it for the view, in my opinion.


4. String and Leigh Lakes

Distance: 3.7 miles | Time: 1.5 to 3 hours | Difficulty: Easy

This lovely little hike takes you to String Lake and Leigh Lake. It’s flat, it’s easy, and it’s great for all ages and ability levels.

String Lake

Kara and I loved this hike. The view across String Lake, with the reflections of the mountains, is beautiful. Even during peak season, this trail doesn’t get that busy, so it feels more peaceful than many other hikes on this list.

Getting Here: Park in the parking lot at the end of String Lake Road. From Leigh Lake Trailhead, follow the String Lake Trail north along String Lake and Leigh Lake.


5. Jenny Lake Loop

Distance: 7.6 miles | Time: 3 to 5 hours | Difficulty: Easy

This is another extremely popular hike in Grand Teton National Park. Jenny Lake is one of the iconic sights in the park, so it attracts many first-time visitors.

This is a long hike, almost 8 miles in length, but since it’s mostly flat, it’s a relatively easy trail.

Jenny Lake

If you walk the trail in a clockwise direction, you save the best views for the end of the hike…the iconic views across Jenny Lake to the jagged Teton mountains.

This hike is perfect if you want great views of the Teton mountains without a lot of effort.

If you don’t want to hike the entire loop, take the Jenny Lake boat shuttle across the lake, and then hike the loop in a clockwise direction back to the Jenny Lake Visitor Center. The hike will be 5 miles long.

Getting Here: Park at the Jenny Lake Visitor Center and walk the perimeter of the lake from here.

Jenny Lake Loop + Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point

Park at the Jenny Lake Visitor Center and hike the Jenny Lake Loop in a counter-clockwise direction. The views across the lake, particularly from the Jenny Lake Overlook, is very nice in the morning hours. Once you arrive at the west shore boat dock, hike to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point. Have a picnic lunch in the shade of the trees near Hidden Falls before catching the Jenny Lake shuttle back to the Visitor Center. This hike is 7 miles long and the entire experience will take approximately 5 hours.


6. Taggart and Bradley Lakes

Distance: 5.5 miles | Time: 2 to 3 hours | Difficulty: Easy to moderate

Taggart and Bradley Lakes are two beautiful lakes with spectacular views of the Teton Range. Because of stunning views and the easy nature of this hike, this is an extremely popular hike in Grand Teton National Park. Start early or go late in the day to avoid the large crowds.

From the trailhead, it is an easy, uphill walk through a forest of evergreen trees and past horse corrals. Hike to Bradley Lake first and enjoy the view of Grand Teton, Middle Teton, and Teewinot Mountain from across the lake. On the hike back to the parking lot, take the trail to Taggart Lake, where similar views await.

Taggart Lake

Taggart Lake

Getting Here: The Taggart Lake Trailhead is located on Teton Park Road south of Jenny Lake. There is a fairly large parking lot here but it typically fills by mid-morning.


7. Phelps Lake Loop

Distance: 7 miles | Time: 3 to 4 hours | Difficulty: Moderate

This is yet another lovely lake hike in Grand Teton National Park. What makes this one special is that, for part of the hike, you walk through the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve.

The Rockefellers once owned over 3,000 acres of land near the southern end of the park. Over the years, this land was donated to the national park service. In 2001, the final 1,106 acres was donated to the park and became the Preserve.

Limited parking at the Preserve helps keep crowds low. It’s still possible to hike to Phelps Lake from other parts of the park, but for a lake hike, the traffic on this trail is relatively low.

To do this as a loop, I recommend taking the Woodland Trail to the lake, walking counter-clockwise around the lake, and coming back to the Visitor Center on the Lake Creek Trail. Along the way, don’t miss the huge boulder that serves as a diving board in the summer months (on the east side of the lake) and Huckleberry Point (on the west side of the lake). There is even a beach at the far end of the hike.

We did this hike at the very end of the day and only saw a handful of people on the trail.

Phelps Lake

Phelps Lake Rock

Phelps Lake Huckleberry Point

Huckleberry Point

Getting Here: Park at the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve. There is very limited parking here and it tends to fill up early, so plan on arriving early (before 8 am) or late (4 to 5 pm) for your best chance to get a parking space. It is a .1-mile walk to the Visitor Center, where this hike begins.


8. Death Canyon to the Patrol Cabin

Distance: 8 miles | Time: 4 to 6 hours | Difficulty: Strenuous

Death Canyon is similar to Cascade Canyon and Paintbrush Canyon, with its scenic views and chance to see moose and bear. However, with fewer visitors, this trail feels much quieter. When we hiked this trail (on the way to the Static Peak Divide), we saw four moose and not one single person, making this one of our favorite hiking experiences in Grand Teton National Park. We didn’t even start all that early, with our feet hitting the trail at 8 am (late in September).

Starting at the Death Canyon Trailhead, you will first come to the Phelps Lake Overlook, then drop down towards Phelps Lake. However, you won’t see the lake from the shore, unless you add this short detour onto the hike. Once past Phelps Lake, the trail turns to the right and heads up into the canyon.

Once in Death Canyon, it becomes a moderate to strenuous hike on a rugged, rocky trail. You can turn around at the Patrol Cabin (4 miles from the trailhead) or continue all the way to the Teton Crest Trail (9.5 miles from the trailhead).

Death Canyon Hike

Death Canyon

Moose Grand Teton

Getting Here: To get here, turn onto Whitegrass Ranch Road and take this to the end (go 1.6 miles). The road ends at a large parking lot at the Death Canyon Trailhead. The first part of this road is paved but the final .7 miles is a rough, unpaved road with enormous potholes. A 4×4 is highly recommended, although we did see a few standard cars that made it to the parking lot.


9. Cascade Canyon

Distance: 10 miles | Time: 5 to 7 hours | Difficulty: Moderate

Cascade Canyon is one of the best hikes in Grand Teton National Park. Not only do you get to walk through one of the most scenic canyons in the park, but you also get to see Inspiration Point, Hidden Falls, and Jenny Lake.

To do this hike, ride the Jenny Lake shuttle across Jenny Lake. Hike past Hidden Falls and enjoy the view from Inspiration Point, before heading into Cascade Canyon.

It’s a slightly uphill walk through the canyon but nothing too strenuous. Most likely, you won’t even notice that you are walking uphill, since you are treated to gorgeous views of the Cascade Canyon Creek, where moose and black bears are frequently spotted.

Cascade Canyon Hike

Cascade Canyon

The canyon ends at the Forks of Cascade Canyon, where the trail splits. From here, you have the option to extend your hike, either going to Lake Solitude or Hurricane Pass and the Alaska Basin.

However, you don’t have to hike all of the way to the end of Cascade Canyon. If you just hike two miles past Inspiration Point, you get to see some of the best views of the Canyon, with Cascade Canyon Creek and craggy Tetons as a backdrop.

Getting Here: Park at the Jenny Lake Visitor Center and ride the shuttle to the West Shore Boat Dock.


10. Surprise, Amphitheater & Delta Lakes

Distance: 11.5 miles | Time: 5 to 7 hours | Difficulty: Strenuous

The hike to Surprise, Amphitheater and Delta Lakes is a popular hike to do in Grand Teton National Park. It’s a tough hike but your reward is a visit to three stunning alpine lakes.

To get to the lakes, it is a tiring, uphill walk but along the way you will have a nice view out over Bradley and Taggart Lakes.

Surprise and Amphitheater Lakes sit almost next to one another. You’ll hike 5 miles to get here, and it’s uphill pretty much the entire way. But what a beautiful place!

Surprise Lake

Surprise Lake

 

Amphitheater Lake

Amphitheater Lake

On the way down, you can add on Delta Lake. Delta Lake was once a hidden gem in Grand Teton National Park, but the secret is out. It’s now one of the most popular hiking destinations in the park. To get to the lake, you will hike an unmaintained trail, across boulder fields, and up a very steep, dirt trail. So, expect big crowds and a tough hike to get to Delta Lake.

Delta Lake

Delta Lake

Getting Here: The trail starts at the Lupine Meadows trailhead, which is located at the end of Lupine Meadows Road. Lupine Meadows Road is a gravel road that is suitable for standard cars.


11. Lake Solitude

Distance: 15 miles | Time: 8 to 12 hours | Difficulty: Strenuous

Surrounded by some of the grandest mountain scenery in Grand Teton National Park, Lake Solitude is well worth the effort it takes to get here.

The most common route to Lake Solitude is through Cascade Canyon. Ride the Jenny Lake boat shuttle, hike past Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point, and then hike up Cascade Canyon to the Forks of Cascade Canyon. Take the trail to the right and continue on the moderate, uphill trail until you reach Lake Solitude.

Lake Solitude

During peak season, this lake can be a busy place, so don’t let the name fool you. In fact, we were surprised to see so many people here, especially since it is a hefty hike to get here.

As you hike back towards Jenny Lake, enjoy the view of Grand Teton, which will be smack in front of you, before you make the turn down Cascade Canyon.

Getting Here: Park at the Jenny Lake Visitor Center and ride the shuttle to the West Shore Boat Dock.


12. Paintbrush Canyon and Paintbrush Divide

Distance: 16.8 miles | Time: 8 to 10 hours | Difficulty: Strenuous

At 10,700 feet, Paintbrush Divide is one of the best viewpoints in Grand Teton National Park. The views from here are simply spectacular.

To get to the Paintbrush Divide, it is a strenuous, uphill walk through Paintbrush Canyon.

This hike starts at the String Lake Trailhead. At first, you get to enjoy the view over String and Leigh Lakes, before the trail takes a turn to the left and begins its ascent into Paintbrush Canyon.

Paintbrush Canyon is a beautiful canyon, especially in the fall months, when the trees and shrubs turn various shades of yellows, oranges and reds. On the way to the divide, you will pass lovely Holly Lake, and then it’s one last steep, strenuous ascent onto Paintbrush Divide.

Paintbrush Canyon

 

From Paintbrush Divide, you will have views of Rockchuck Peak, Mt. Moran, Leigh Lake and Jackson Lake.

Paintbrush Divide

Extend This Hike: Turn this hike into an epic loop hike by adding on Solitude Lake and Cascade Canyon. Keep reading for the full details on how to do this (it’s our favorite hike in the park!).

Note: Snow can linger on this trail through mid-July, so if you plan to hike this trail in the early summer, you will need to bring special gear.

Getting Here: Park in the small lot at the String Lake Trailhead. This hike starts and ends at this trailhead. I recommend getting here no later than 7:30 am to ensure that you get a parking space.


13. Static Peak Divide

Distance: 16 miles | Time: 8 to 10 hours | Difficulty: Very Strenuous

Panoramic views, wildlife, stunning canyon scenery, and the viewpoint over Phelps Lake makes this one of the best day hikes in Grand Teton National Park.

This is one of the longest, most difficult hikes on this list, but it includes several of the shorter hikes already mentioned.

First, you’ll hike past Phelps Lake Overlook and then hike through Death Canyon until you reach the Patrol Cabin. This is the halfway point. From here, it’s a long, strenuous climb up to the Static Peak Divide. It can be a thigh burning, monotonous climb, but once on the Divide, you’ll be standing at 10,790 feet with spectacular views of the park, Jackson Hole, and the Wind River Range off in the distance.

Grand Teton Hike

Static Peak Divide View

Static Peak Divide Hike

Grand Teton September

Getting Here: This hike starts at the Death Canyon Trailhead. To get here, turn onto Whitegrass Ranch Road and take this to the end (go 1.6 miles). The road ends at a large parking lot at the Death Canyon Trailhead. The first part of this road is paved but the final .7 miles is a rough, unpaved road with enormous potholes. A 4×4 is highly recommended, although we did see a few standard cars that made it to the parking lot.


14. Alaska Basin

Distance: 16 miles | Time: 10 to 12 hours | Difficulty: Strenuous

This is one of the best day hikes in Grand Teton National Park, but due to its location, is often skipped by many visitors. In fact, this is only hike on this list that we did not do, but I have heard so many amazing things about it that I could not leave it off of this list.

The Alaska Basin is located on the west side of the Teton Range. On this trail, you will hike through evergreen forests and fields of wildflowers in the summer months. The trail climbs up to the Alaska Basin, were alpine lakes and the granite peaks of the Tetons create one of the most picturesque scenes in Grand Teton National Park.

Getting Here: From Alta, Wyoming, take Teton Canyon Road to the very end and park in the parking lot. This hike starts at the Teton Canyon Trailhead and heads east into the park.


15. Paintbrush Canyon – Cascade Canyon Loop

Distance: 20 miles | Time: 8 to 12 hours | Difficulty: Extremely strenuous

The Paintbrush Canyon – Cascade Canyon Loop is one of the best hikes to do in Grand Teton National Park. In just one hike, you can visit a handful of the park’s top spots: Jenny Lake, Inspiration Point, Lake Solitude, Cascade Canyon, and Paintbrush Canyon. Throw in panoramic views across the Teton mountain range and a few moose, and you have an unforgettable hike in Grand Teton National Park.

This hike is a big undertaking. At 20 miles, with over 4,000 feet of elevation gain, it’s a massive hike. Many people do this as a 2 or 3-day backpacking trip, but if you are fit and fast, the Paintbrush Canyon – Cascade Canyon Loop can be done as a day hike.

We LOVED this hike. Sure, it’s a big day, but this trail is gorgeous every step of the way. Since it is a loop, you never repeat any part of the trail twice. Every few miles the views and the terrain changes, so there is never a boring moment on this trail.

Best hikes in Grand Tetons

Hike Grand Tetons

Getting Here: Park in the small lot at the String Lake Trailhead. This hike starts and ends at this trailhead. I recommend getting here no later than 7:30 am to ensure that you get a parking space.

For the full details on how to do this hike, read our post How to Hike the Paintbrush Canyon – Cascade Canyon Loop

Best Day Hikes in Grand Teton: On a Map

How to Use This Map: Click the icons on the map to get more information about each point of interest. Click the star next to the title of the map to add this map to your Google Maps account. To view it on your phone or computer, open Google Maps, click the menu button, go to “Your Places,” click Maps, and you will see this map on your list.

Our Recommendations

Our favorite hikes are the Paintbrush Canyon – Cascade Canyon Loop (unbeatable alpine views, two canyons, Lake Solitude, Jenny Lake, Inspiration Point, and the chance to see wildlife…this is one of the best experiences in the park if you can handle the distance), Taggart and Bradley Lakes (two lovely lakes with amazing views of the Tetons), and Static Peak Divide (more awesome alpine views with the chance to see wildlife in Death Canyon).

The classic hikes for first-timers are the Hidden Falls + Inspiration Point hike, the Jenny Lake Loop, Taggart and Bradley Lakes, and Cascade Canyon.

If you want a short, easy hike, we recommend String and Leigh Lakes, Hidden Falls with Inspiration Point, Phelps Lake Overlook, or the Lakeshore Trail. Taggart and Bradley Lakes are also very nice, especially at the end of the day, when crowds are lower.

If you want to leave the crowds behind, put Death Canyon, Static Peak Divide, Alaska Basin, or the Phelps Lake Loop on your to-do list.

For the ultimate day hiking experience, hike the Paintbrush Canyon – Cascade Canyon Loop.

Before you go, get updated trail conditions on the national park service website.


What do you think are the best day hikes in Grand Teton National Park? Let us know in the comment section below.

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Grand Teton Day Hikes

 

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