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At the end of July, we went on a road trip up to the Tetons and Yellowstone. Day one was spent at Jenny Lake and hiking to Hidden Falls, Jackson Lake was day two, followed by a day and a half in Yellowstone. This was my first time in this area and I loved it! I loved it so much I went to work there that winter.
After seeing pictures of Jackson Lake on Pinterest, I knew this was the one part of the park I really wanted to see. We were camping in the Gros Ventre Campground at the other end of the park and set off early (for us) that morning to do some hiking around Jackson Lake. We didn’t actually know what trails were near the lake, so we just started walking around the shore, which I really enjoyed. There are so many great short trails in the Tetons, I know that now.
We parked by Coulter Bay and set off past the boat rental place along a mystery trail by the lakeshore. Eventually, we veered off to continue along the rocky shore and over a beaver dam. We found a little cove to hang out in for a bit in the shade since it was getting pretty toasty. The best part of this hike was the number of people we didn’t see compared to the hike around Jenny Lake. Granted, I don’t think we were on an official trail.
I really enjoyed this hike, even though it wasn’t super tough or long. The views of the lake and mountains are unbeatable, and the lack of crowds also are. If (when) I go back, I’d love to go kayaking on Jackson Lake to see it from a new perspective. I also just really enjoy kayaking. I would also like to do more hiking on real trails.
There are three hiking trails at Jackson Lake on the official brochure for Grand Teton National Park hiking. The first is the two-mile Lakeshore Trail, which is perfect if you’re looking for an easy hike. For a slightly more challenging hike, but still mostly flat, try the Heron Pond and Swan Lake Loop. This three-mile hike will take a couple of hours and is great for spotting birds. Finally, for a longer hike, there is the Hermitage Point hike clocking in at 9.7 miles taking you through forests, meadows, and wetlands over rolling hills.
From Jackson Lake Lodge there are two hiking trails: Lunch Tree Hill and Christian Pond Loop. Both are on the shorter side at .5 miles and 3.3 miles. Lunch Tree Hill overlooks Willow Flats and the Teton range. The Christian Pond Loop takes you through a marshy habitat and up a ridge for stunning Teton views.
Finally, there is the Signal Mountain hike from Signal Mountain Lodge. This 6.8-mile loop takes you through the forest to viewpoints. To start this hike, park at the Signal Mountain Lodge near the south end of Jackson Lake.
- As always, bring water. It gets pretty hot in the summer. As always, I recommend the Hydro Flask insulated water bottle.
- Go early to beat the heat and the crowds, especially if you’re going out on the lake on kayaks or paddle boards or something.
- Don’t forget, you’re at a higher elevation here, so don’t push yourself to do too difficult of hikes. If you’re feeling out of breath, take a break and drink some water. Brink salty snacks, too.
- Bring bear spray with you. This is bear country and like all the signs say, be bear aware!
- Also, bring layers in your daypack, like a raincoat or light jacket. The weather can change quickly.
Have you been to the Tetons? What did you do there? Did you like it there? Do you want to go?