Grand Teton National Park, just a 30 minute drive from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, is a hiking and mountaineering paradise. We spent 3 days in the park and while it’s enough time to get a good sense of the place, you could easily spend much more time. Our favorite hike of the trip is one that you wont find in any guide books but came from a friend whose parents have a place in town.
The hike starts from Lupine Meadows trailhead and shares the same path as if you were headed to Amphitheater Lake. If you’d like to stick to a maintained trail, Amphitheater Lake is highly recommended. The hike we took though drops off the main trail and becomes unmaintained. There are a number of trees to climb over, two boulder fields to transverse, and a very steep ascent toward the end. At times the trail is very difficult to find, especially so at the boulder fields, so route finding skills will come in handy. The reward is a beautiful tucked away mountain lake with far fewer folks around to enjoy it.
The trail is strenuous, but that’s the thing we found most appealing about it. We spent a little time eating walnut butter sandwiches by the lakeside taking it all in before heading back down the way we had come elated by what we had accomplished.
There are plenty of other hiking options a bit more on the beaten path. We throughly enjoyed the hike through Cascade Canyon, a 9 mile out and back hike that starts off with a fun boat shuttle across Jenny Lake. The hike around String Lake is also beautiful and is great if you’re looking to fill a few hours. We did that prior to our float down the Snake River with Barker-Ewing float trips which I would also highly recommend.
Whatever hikes you decide to do, one really can’t go wrong. The fresh air, mountain views, and animal spotting are supurb. I found Teton Hiking Trails a great resource when planning our trip and are quite happy with what we ended up exploring. I can’t wait to go back though as we barely scrathed the surface of all that’s available.
I’d recommend packing in lunch so you can eat on the go but if your schedule allows, we did really like the Trapper Grill at Signal Mountain Lodge for lunch and Dornan’s Chuckwagon. After a nice long walk in the wild sometimes there’s nothing better than bubbly water and good food cooked by someone else while you kick back and enjoy the views.