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LOOKING TO HIKE TO HIDDEN FALLS BY JENNY LAKE?
Apparently, Hidden Falls by Jenny Lake is one of the most visited sites in the Tetons. Guess who didn’t know that until right now? This girl. It was our first day in the Tetons and we were set on getting pictures of colorful pebbles in the lakes.
What a mission, right? Without any kind of plan or goal, we parked by String Lake, where we could find room, thank goodness for Smart cars, and set off.
Travel Services I Recommend:
AllTrails – This is my favorite hike tracking app.
America the Beautiful – The national park pass is essential.
Booking.com – This is great for finding and booking hotels.
Get Your Guide – I recommend Get Your Guide for booking tours.
National Park Obsessed – This is the best national park planner.
Skyscanner – Skyscanner is great for finding and booking flights.
Enterprise – This is my rental car recommendation.
See all my resources here.
We followed a trail along string lake, admiring the mountains towering above us and the water glimmering below. People were hanging out along what little shore was hospitable and kayaking and paddle boarding around the little lake.
We continued on this mystery trail until we approached a wonderful view over Jenny Lake. We had no idea what trail this was or what lake we were even at until we started seeing signs.
We saw a sign for Hidden Falls and continued on that way, no idea how far it was, but it was now our destination. We crossed paths with quite a few people on our way there.
It was a pretty busy trail. While we were hiking to the falls, there is also a ferry that takes you across the lake and drastically shortens the hike.
But where’s the adventure in that if you have the time, right? I won’t lie, I was pretty nervous about bears the whole hike. It was my first time in bear country, really.
We didn’t end up seeing any this trip (in Yellowstone, either) and I didn’t see my first bear until the day before we left working up there that winter. Then I saw three at once!
Overall, I enjoyed this hike, until I got hungry and my feet started to hurt on the way back. The falls were pretty cool, but I also loved the lake views. I’ve never been super excited about waterfalls, though, so take that into consideration here.
There are some other hikes to choose from in the Jenny Lake area as well, not just this one. When I was there, I didn’t realize how many trails there really were, which seems silly since I definitely would have had a map, but oh well. Nothing I can do about it now other than go back.
National Park Goodies
- If you’re planning to visit three or more national parks within a year from your trip, definitely get the America the Beautiful pass. It will save you money in the long run if you’re going to more than three parks in a year. Buy the pass here.
- If you’re planning on doing a lot of hiking on your trip, or even at home, check out AllTrails! This is my favorite app to find, keep track of, and track my hiking activity. And it’s FREE! Sign up here.
- This Ultimate National Park Planning Bundle is a must-have. You get two ebooks and a planner, saving 50% by getting them as a bundle! If you want all the details, this is the bundle for you. Buy the Ultimate bundle here.
- This National Park Planner (one of the ebooks from the bundle above) is perfect if you just want some guidance in your planning. Buy the planner here.
- Get yourself a National Park journal for all of the NPS sites (400+!) to keep track of your travels!
- Consider reading some of these books set in national parks before your big trip, on your adventure, or once you get home to take you back to the parks until next time.
Where is the Hidden Falls Trailhead?
The Jenny Lake Trailhead is on Teton Park Road and about 21 miles from Jackson Hole and 7 miles from Moose. It’s about 20 miles from Colter Bay Village.
The String Lake Trailhead is near Jenny Lake Lodge on Teton Park Road (what I have marked on the second map). It’s 25 miles from Jackson Hole, 12 miles from Moose, and 18 miles from Colter Bay Village.
How long is the hike to Hidden Falls by Jenny Lake?
It depends on the route you take! If you take the Jenny Lake boat, it should be less than a mile round-trip.
If you hike to Hidden Falls via String Lake it will be about 4.6 miles round-trip (this is the way we went) and Hidden Falls via Jenny Lake Trail is about 4.9 miles round-trip.
Is the hike to Hidden Falls at Jenny Lake hard?
Nope! Any elevation gain is pretty gradual (470-590ish feet via String Lake Trail and Jenny Lake Trail, respectively) and it didn’t feel particularly difficult but AllTrails does say it’s moderate.
If you take the Jenny Lake shuttle it’s even easier since it’s a lot shorter of a hike overall.
Is the hike to Hidden Falls at Jenny Lake worth it?
Yes! It’s a popular trail for a reason. If you have the extra time and can find a parking spot, I would start it from String Lake so you get a little more solitude before getting to the falls.
Be bear aware!
While you’re visiting Grand Teton National Park you’ll want to be bear aware. There are both black and grizzly bears in the area.
They usually try to avoid people but may behave unpredictably if they, their young, or their food source feels threatened. Grizzlies are often much larger and have a distinct shoulder hump.
While you’re hiking you’ll want to carry bear spray and have it somewhere easy to access, not buried in your backpack. I would avoid bear bells. You’re voice is a more effective way too alert bears to your presence and bells are annoying.
Hotels near Grand Teton National Park
Rustic Inn – I LOVE the Rustic. Like, so much. I’ve stayed there a few times and would 100% stay again. It’s beautiful in a wonderful location not too far from downtown. It’s not particularly budget-friendly, but it is amazing.
The Wort – This is another really fancy, not budget-friendly hotel, but The Wort is even closer to the town square. It has a modern log cabin vibe in a gorgeous building.
Elk Refuge Inn – This little Inn is a couple miles from the town square, but it’s right across from the National Elk Refuge and all the rooms have a view. It’s decently priced and probably totally worth it for the view.
Antler Inn – I haven’t stayed here but know it’s a great budget option right in town. It has rustic-looking cabin themed rooms and it’s perfect for walking around town.
Camping in Grand Teton
There are six campgrounds in Grand Teton National Park varying in size and amenities. They all require reservations now unfortunately and can be made six months in advance.
Have you been to the Tetons? What did you do there? Did you like it? Do you want to go?