2 Sep 2019
While summer may be winding down, there are still plenty of opportunities to fit a few great hikes in! There are tons of activities to do in the Jackson area, but hiking is one of my favorite past times. With Teton Village and the Grand Teton National Park right at our fingertips there are hundreds to choose from, so I’ve narrowed it down to my 5 favorites.
- Phelps lake
Phelps lake was one of the first hikes I did in the park and has remained one of my favorites. You start the hike at Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve, which you can access by the taking the Moose Wilson road from Teton Village. You hike in about 2.5 miles along the edge of the lake which has beautiful clear water before you reach the famous jumping rock. There will most likely be other groups there who came out to jump, but it’s always a fun time. If you plan to jump off the rock, make sure to pack a bathing suit and a dry pair of clothes to change into after. Simply hike back out the way you came once you’re done swimming and relaxing.
- Table Mountain
Table mountain is probably the most difficult hike on this list, but totally worth it. To access the trail head you’ll drive to Driggs, ID (about an hour away). To climb Table Mountain you begin at the Teton Canyon Trailhead. There are two ways to reach 11,106 ft.The first option, named Huckleberry, is about 7 miles long and is considered easier as you build elevation slowly. You will see this trail almost immediately after pulling into the parking lot. The second option, called The Face, is only 4 miles long, but considered difficult because it’s extremely steep. Most people do the steep way up and the long way down. The entire hike is packed with wildflowers and scenic views. Once you reach the top you will see breathtaking views of the back of the Grand Teton, which you are directly behind.
- Lake Solitude/Cascade Canyon
I had always been daunted by the idea of Lake Solitude because it’s about 17 miles. However it was not as bad as I thought, and there are lots of different options in that area for all levels of hikers. To do solitude you start at Jenny Lake, but you have the option to take the boat across the lake to cut down on time and save you about 4 miles if you take it there and back. From the boat you will continue into Cascade Canyon which has stunning views of several of the Tetons once you get about 4 miles in. If you keep going, you will eventually get to Lake Solitude. While the lake is over 16 miles in, it is relatively flat the entire way. If 16 is too much, you can always go about 4 miles in and still enjoy the beautiful views and wildflowers. You also have a great chance of seeing moose - last time I did this hike I saw a grand total of 8.
- Wildflower Trail
If you’re staying in Teton Village and want to do a hike close to home, the Wildflower trail is a great option. Starting at the base of the mountain, you should prepare for four miles of uphill hiking to reach the beautiful Casper area of the mountain. You’ll see stunning views of the valley from this. If you want to go further up the mountain, you have the option of linking to the Summit Trail and going to the top of the Bridger Gondola or continuing all the way to the top of the mountain and the Tram. If you time it right, you can take the Tram or Gondola back down to the base of the mountain.
- Snow King
For a quick hike that boasts incredible views of the town of Jackson as well as the Tetons, hiking up Snow King mountain is a great option. This is a fairly steep hike with numerous switch backs, but it isn’t very long. If you’re feeling tired, you can always take the gondola down once you’re finished at the top. You start directly at the base of Snow King mountain and follow the clear path all the way to the top where you can see the entire town of Jackson, the Elk Refuge, and the Teton Range. When you’re done, it’s always fun to grab some food and drinks at Still West right across the street.
It’s hard to narrow it down to five hikes, but these all offer a variety of views, elevation gain, and difficulty level. Definitely worth it to tackle at least one of these during a visit to the Jackson Hole area. Don’t forget to make reservations with Jackson Hole Resort Lodging for your stay, fall is a beautiful time to visit.
-Isabel Herring, Vacation Specialist