Includes Hidden Falls, Inspiration Point, Cascade Canyon Trail
Jenny Lake, Grand Teton National Park.
Jenny Lake Area
Jenny Lake is the heart of Grand Teton National Park. Not only is Jenny Lake beautiful, but it is where the most popular hike in the park begins. This acclaimed hike to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point begins right in front of the Jenny Lake Visitor Center, and it's definitely a "must do" on your Grand Teton National Park Vacation.
The "Jenny Lake Area" in Grand Teton National Park is located at the South Jenny Lake Junction, just off the Teton Park Road about three miles south of the North Jenny Lake Junction. This area includes a grocery/gift store, ranger station, visitor center, bathrooms, campground (tents only), and a boat dock/shuttle.
Jenny Lake Boat Shuttle
The Jenny Lake Boat shuttle cuts off 4 miles (round trip) from your hike to Hidden Falls in Grand Teton National Park.
Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park is a world-famous lake that sits directly at the base of the Teton Mountain Range near the great Cascade Canyon. It was formed by glaciation only about 60,000 years ago and is 260 feet deep. Jenny Lake is great for fishing, canoeing and boating. And speaking of boating, there is a wonderful Boat Shuttle that takes you across Jenny Lake (and back) throughout the summer and fall, and this service is offered each and every day. The Jenny Lake Boat Dock is located along a paved walk-way just about a hundred yards southwest of the Jenny Lake Visitor Center.
The mountain behind the Jenny Lake Boat Dock is Teewinot Mountain, not Grand Teton, though it's commonly mistaken for it.
As we have said before, The trail along Jenny Lake to Hidden Falls is without a doubt the most popular hike in the park, and you will definitely enjoy it.
The trailhead is called the Cascade Canyon Trailhead, and it begins directly in front of the Jenny Lake Visitor Center. The trail wraps around the shore of Jenny Lake beginning on it's south shore and then covering most of Jenny Lake's west shore before you head northwest up Cascade Creek for about a mile before actually reaching Hidden Falls.The hike to the falls is about 2.5 miles one-way, and it's relatively flat.
Hidden Falls is approximately 180 feet tall and is definitely worth the hike. But even if there weren't any falls, this hike would still be worth it because of the beautiful scenery the entire way along the shore of Jenny Lake and the ease of the hike.
Trailhead: Cascade Canyon Trailhead
Trailhead: Jenny Lake Visitor Center
Distance: 2.5 miles (one way)
Distance w/ Boat: 0.5 miles (one way)
As you get closer to Hidden Falls in Grand Teton National Park you will cross over Cascade Creek on a well built bridge. In late spring/early summer, you would not believe the amount of water gushing down this creek bed. The water is pure white-water, and it's absolutely breathtaking to see and feel the energy of this raging water. The "roar" is deafening. And of course when you get to Hidden Falls, all of this water is pouring over the top of them. This is the best time to see these falls because of the shear volume of water pouring down, but they are beautiful all summer long so don't worry.
Inspiration Point in Grand Teton National Park provides you with a great view of Jenny Lake and beyond.
Once visitors enjoy Hidden Falls, they usually continue their hike to Inspiration Point (7,200 feet), which is only about a half a mile further. The trail steepens quite a bit as it works it's way up to the point, so they classify it as "moderate to strenuous". Use your judgment, but if you're in decent shape you shouldn't have any trouble.
Inspiration Point is an outcropping that looks upon Jenny Lake hundreds of feet directly below you, and also the eastern landscape beyond the lake. Inspiration Point provides a great view and a "must do" if you like to hike and like terrific views. This is a good place to have a nice lunch and relax while enjoying the scenery and watching the Jenny Lake Shuttle Boat make it's way back and forth across Jenny Lake far below you.
Cascade Canyon Trail
This is a view of Cascade Canyon in Grand Teton National Park from just north of the Hidden Falls boat dock on Jenny Lake. The large peak to the left is Teewinot Mountain. The peak to the right covered in clouds is Mount Owen. Grand Teton is directly behind Mount Owen.
Inspiration Point marks the beginning of the mighty Cascade Canyon, and if you keep going up the trail, it will take you all the way to the continental divide and beyond! Cascade Canyon is a major point of access (and exit) to many backcountry sights and adventures, such as the Paintbrush-Cascade Canyon Loop, Lake Solitude, Paintbrush Divide, Hurricane Pass and more...
Cascade Canyon, Grand Teton National Park.
On your way to Hidden Falls on the Jenny Lake Trail, you will see a small sign that says "Moose Ponds" after only hiking about a mile or so. As you keep going on the Hidden Falls trail several hundred yards, you can see one of the ponds below you to your left. This is good moose habitat, and occasionally we see moose there. So as you top the ridge on the main trail, make sure to take a look down at the pond to see if there are any moose hanging out.
In addition to moose, we've seen plenty of black bears along the Jenny Lake Trail to Hidden Falls as well. Keep an eye out for them- it's really exciting seeing these amazing animals!
Lupine Meadows Trailhead
(Amphitheater Lake, Garnet Canyon)
The turn-off to the Lupine Meadows Trailhead is just south of South Jenny Lake Junction on the Teton Park Road. The gravel road is only about a mile long which ends at a large parking lot where the Lupine Meadows Trailhead is located. Lupine Meadows is a great place to view elk in the mornings and evenings in Grand Teton National Park.
The Lupine Meadows Trailhead is the gateway to many of the major climbing routes of the giants such as Grand Teton, Middle Teton, South Teton, Nez Perce, Cloudveil Dome, and many others. The trail takes you up Garnet Canyon and eventually to what is known as "The Meadows" which is where the first of a series of mountain climber's base camps is located.
Lupine Meadows Trailhead also marks the beginning of a great hike up to the awe-inspiring Amphitheater Lake. This is a very popular trail for visitors who are in good physical condition. It's just under five miles to Amphitheater Lake, and you will climb nearly 3,000 vertical feet. To learn more about this popular yet physically demanding hike, click here.
Jenny Lake Overlook
This is an early morning photo of Jenny Lake and Teewinot Mountain from the Jenny Lake Overlook in Grand Teton National Park. The sun is just beginning to touch the top of Teewinot Mountain.
The Jenny Lake Overlook is probably the best vantage point to see the Teton Mountain Range directly behind Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park. It's a fantastic view, and the only way to get there is to take the North Jenny Lake Junction road off of the Teton Park Road, and take the Jenny Lake Scenic Drive (one-way) just before you reach String Lake.
This is an excellent view of Cascade Canyon from the Jenny Lake Overlook in Grand Teton National Park. Inspiration Point is located at the opening of this famous canyon.