The Best Grand Teton Day Hikes to Explore the Park

Grand Teton National Park has over 100 miles of hiking trails to explore. We share this list of the best Grand Teton day hikes to enjoy mountain views, lakes, waterfalls and wildlife!

Use the information below and our Grand Teton National Park guide to plan your vacation to this scenic park.

10 Grand Teton Day Hikes

Here’s everything you need to know so you can add some Grand Teton hiking trails to your itinerary!

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A Photo Tour of Grand Teton National Park

Take a visual tour through Grand Teton National Park to see the stunning landscape and wildlife you’ll find in the park!

Grand Teton Day Hikes

Always carry and know how to use BEAR SPRAY when visiting Grand Teton National Park, especially if you’ll be exploring the hiking trails in the park.

If you like to photograph Grand Teton National Park as much as we do, these day hikes will take you to amazing views!

We recommend hiking in the morning when the lakes are calm in order to photograph reflections of the mountains in the water. And the sunlight on the mountains in the morning isn’t as harsh as it is during the day.

Hidden Falls at Grand Teton

1. Hidden Falls + Inspiration Point

  • Hike length: 1.3 miles roundtrip 
  • Time required: 1 to 2 hours 
  • Hike difficulty: Easy 
  • Trailhead Location: Jenny Lake

The hike to Hidden Falls begins at the Jenny Lake Trailhead. You can hike the Jenny Lake Trail around the south end of Jenny Lake, or you can take the shuttle boat across the lake to the Cascade Canyon Trailhead. The 12 minute boat ride shortens the hike by 2.4 miles each way. But there is a fee for the Jenny Lake shuttle boat.

From the Cascade Canyon Trailhead, located at the west shore boat dock, the trail begins climbing through a conifer forest. You’ll soon cross over Cascade Canyon Creek. Around three-tenths of a mile, you’ll come to the Valley Trail, which also serves as the western portion of the loop hike around Jenny Lake.

About one half mile from the boat dock you’ll pass the horse trail leading up from Jenny Lake, where you’ll proceed straight ahead at this junction.

Soon after you’ll reach the short side trail that leads to Hidden Falls. Turn left here to enjoy the viewing area of this awesome waterfall that drops one hundred feet along rock steps.

Keep in mind this trail is very popular and gets crowded. We like to hike this trail in the early morning and early evening.

We recommend continuing your hike to visit Inspiration Point for amazing views of Jenny Lake. This section only adds another 200 feet of climbing to your overall roundtrip hike.

Lakeshore Trail at Grand Teton

2. Lakeshore Trail

  • Hike length: 2 miles roundtrip
  • Time required: 1-2 hours 
  • Hike difficulty: Easy
  • Trailhead Location: Colter Bay Visitor Center

The Lakeshore Trails begins on the backside of the Colter Bay Visitor Center. It consists of two connecting loops that circle around the inner and outer portions of the wooded peninsula that forms Colter Bay.

Since the Lakeshore Trail is short and level, it is also recommended for children.

This trail is home to various wildlife including bear, moose, elk, mule deer, beaver, muskrat, river otters, sandhill cranes, trumpeter swans, ospreys, great blue herons, as well as snowshoe hares and martens.

You’ll enjoy picturesque views of the Teton mountains on this hike.

Phelps Lake at Grand Teton

3. Phelps Lake Overlook

  • Hike length: 2 miles roundtrip
  • Time required: 1-2 hours 
  • Hike difficulty: Easy
  • Trailhead Location: Death Canyon Trailhead

To reach the trailhead from Moose Junction, turn left onto Moose-Wilson Road and drive roughly 3 miles south to reach the turn-off for the Death Canyon Trailhead. Turn right and drive another 2 miles to the end of the road. Although the first mile is paved, the last mile travels over a fairly rugged gravel road. The park highly recommends using a 4-wheel drive vehicle to reach the trailhead. At the point where the paved road ends there’s a small parking area that allows people in 2-wheel drive vehicles to park and walk the last mile to the trailhead.

You’ll start the hike with a moderate climb through a forest that then meets with the Valley Trail. Turn left onto the Valley Trail to continue towards the Phelps Lake Overlook.

In one mile you’ll arrive at the Phelps Lake Overlook that’s an elevation of 7200 feet. Take time to enjoy the views!

If you want to explore the area around Phelps Lake, hike another 1.4 miles to reach a small sandy beach area along the lake’s northern shore.

Leigh Lake at Grand Teton

4. String & Leigh Lakes

  • Hike length: 3.7 mile loop trail 
  • Time required: 2-3 hours 
  • Hike difficulty: Easy
  • Trailhead Location: String Lake Trailhead

You can begin the String Lake Loop in either direction, but we recommend going counter-clockwise so you can photograph the mountains above String Lake illuminated by the early morning light.

Morning is the best time to catch calm water so you can photograph the mountains reflected in the lake. And you’ll have a better chance to see moose or mule deer along the trail.

Leigh Lake is a 3.7 mile roundtrip hike that’s also considered an easy trail. It begins at the Leigh Lake Trailhead.

There are only a few spots where you can reach the shoreline of Leigh Lake to see the views of the Tetons. One of the best spots is about 1.8 miles along the trail. This is where we stop to enjoy the view, take photos, eat a snack, then head back.

Jenny Lake at Grand Teton

5. Jenny Lake Loop

  • Hike length: 7.5 mile loop trail 
  • Time required: 3-5 hours 
  • Hike difficulty: Easy 
  • Trailhead Location: Jenny Lake Trailhead

There is a paved path from the parking lot to the Jenny Lake boat dock to access the loop trail.

You can hike Jenny Lake Loop in either direction, but we like hiking counter-clockwise in the morning to catch the light on the Tetons. And hiking in the morning you’ll avoid the crowds since this is a popular area in the park!

Most of the trail is close to the shoreline and there are many spots to see and photograph the mountains.

In 5.1 miles you’ll reach a junction where the trail to the right goes to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point. To continue the loop, turn left and cross the footbridge over Cascade Canyon Creek.

Taggart Lake at Grand Teton

6. Taggart Lake – Bradley Lake Loop

  • Hike length: 5.5 miles roundtrip 
  • Time required: 3-4 hours 
  • Hike difficulty: Moderate
  • Trailhead Location: Taggart Lake Trailhead, 2.3 miles north of the Moose Entrance Station

The Taggart Lake – Bradley Lake Loop is a heavily trafficked trail so we recommend hiking in the morning. Do the trail counter-clockwise for the best views and photo opportunities.

About one mile from the trailhead you’ll reach an area that was burned during the 1985 Beaver Creek Fire. As a result, you’ll have a good chance to see birds, owls, marmots, elk, mule deer and bears. Moose are often seen on the trail and near the lakes!

Just beyond you’ll reach the Bradley Lake Trail junction. The trail to the left leads directly up to Taggart Lake. In order to visit both lakes, stay to the right to see Bradley Lake first. The eastern shore of the lake provides a stunning reflection and view of the mountains.

Return back to the junction and hike to the right to head south along the Valley Trail. The trail climbs and passes through a fairly long stretch of huckleberries. Be sure to make a lot of noise to warn any bears that might be in the area, and have your bear spray ready!

grizzly bear at Grand Teton

7. Phelps Lake Loop

  • Hike length: 7.2 miles roundtrip 
  • Time required: 3-4 hours 
  • Hike difficulty: Moderate
  • Trailhead Location: Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve Visitor Center

Park in the lot and walk across a sagebrush flat to the Visitor Center where the trail begins. About 1.3 miles you will reach the Phelps Lake Trail junction where the lake is only a short walk from this point.

We recommend hiking the loop counter-clockwise since the most scenic part is along the eastern shore, and you’ll get the best photos in the morning.

Around the 5 mile mark, you’ll find a side trail that leads to Huckleberry Point. It’s only one-tenth of a mile to see amazing views of Death Canyon and Albright Peak.

Keep in mind the entire Phelps Lake Loop trail runs through prime bear habitat so make lots of noise and carry your bear spray!

Death Canyon at Grand Teton

8. Death Canyon to the Patrol Cabin

  • Hike length: 8 miles roundtrip
  • Time required: 4-6 hours 
  • Hike difficulty: Strenuous 
  • Trailhead Location: Death Canyon Trailhead

From Moose Junction turn left onto Moose-Wilson Road and drive roughly 3 miles south to reach the turn-off for the Death Canyon Trailhead. Turn right and drive another 2 miles to the end of the road. The first mile is paved and the last mile is a fairly rugged gravel road. The park highly recommends using a 4-wheel drive vehicle to reach the trailhead. At the point where the paved road ends there’s a small parking area that allows people in 2-wheel drive vehicles to park and walk the last mile to the trailhead.

Around mile 1, you’ll reach Phelps Lake Overlook. From there the trail descends to the valley floor where you’ll have access to the lake.

At 1.7 miles you’ll reach the Death Canyon Trail junction. The path on the left leads down to a small sandy beach on the shore of the lake. The trail straight ahead will take you to the Death Canyon Patrol Cabin.

Keep an eye out for black and grizzly bears and look for moose near the creek.

Cascade Canyon at Grand Teton

9. Cascade Canyon

  • Hike length: 10 miles roundtrip
  • Time required: 5-7 hours 
  • Hike difficulty: Strenuous
  • Trailhead Location: Jenny Lake Trailhead

To access the Cascade Canyon Trail, you either hike the Jenny Lake Trail around the south end of the lake, or take the shuttle boat across the lake. The boat takes off 2.4 miles of walking each way, but there is a fee for the boat ride.

Be sure to take the side trail to Hidden Falls, then return back to the trail to continue on to Inspiration Point.

The trail passes through quite a few berry patches so make noise, especially near the creek where bears may not be able to hear you coming. Due to the black and grizzly bears along this trail, it’s recommended to hike in groups of three or more. And for sure have your bear spray ready!

At the 5 mile mark you’ll reach the Forks of Cascade Canyon where you will return the way you came.

10. Amphitheater and Surprise Lake

  • Hike length: 11.5 miles 
  • Time required: 5 to 7 hours 
  • Hike difficulty: Strenuous 
  • Trailhead Location: Lupine Meadows Trailhead

To reach the trailhead turn west off Teton Park Road at Lupine Meadows junction, 7 miles north of Moose Junction. The trailhead is located at the end of the gravel road about 1.6 miles from the junction.

It’s best to start your hike early in the morning to avoid climbing the steep mountain trail when the sun is blazing high in the sky.

Due to numerous black bear sightings along the Amphitheater Lake trail, the park recommends hiking in groups of three or more, making lots of noise and carrying bear spray!

Close to the 5 mile mark beyond a meadow, you’ll find a short side trail that leads to Surprise Lake. After that it’s only 1/4 mile to the shores of Amphitheater Lake.

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