Grand Teton National Park: Jenny Lake and Hidden Falls
This 8-mile loop around Jenny Lake visits two of Grand Teton's most popular viewpoints: Hidden Falls (an 80-foot cascading waterfall) and nearby Inspiration Point.
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Jenny Lake can draw scores of visitors on summer days, but this 8-mile loop leaves the crowds behind, passing postcard-worthy views from every direction, including Hidden Falls. From the flagpole at the Jenny Lake Visitor Center, take the paved trail toward the lakeshore. Turn left to start the clockwise loop.
In .25 miles, cross the bridge and pass the boat docks to leave the crowds behind. Continue around the south end of the lake, where there are chances for short side hikes to Bradley Lake and Moose Pond. From there, hike one mile along the lakeshore.
At 2.3 miles, start the first climb, following signs for Hidden Falls. From the viewpoint at 2.7 miles, enjoy the sight of the 80-foot Hidden Falls, nestled in the high, rocky grove.
Next, start the 400-ft. climb to Inspiration Point. From the top, enjoy sweeping views across Jenny Lake and of the towering peaks behind. Continue west on the trail to the Cascade Canyon trail junction, which takes a quick, .6-mile descent toward the lakeshore.
At mile 4, head left at the junction and continue for one mile around Jenny Lake. Hike through a burn area and, at the inlet, turn north and hike .5-miles toward String Lake trailhead.
To complete the Jenny Lake loop, head right over the bridge onto a shaded path that runs along the shoreline for the last 2 miles. Catch glimpses of Cascade Canyon, Teewinot Peak, Mt. St. John, and Rockchuck Peak along the way. Also, keep your eye out for moose and deer roaming small wooded meadows on this last stretch.
INFO For information on permits, current trail and camp conditions, and wilderness guidelines, go to nps.gov/grte/planyourvisit/things2know.htm.
PERMIT A wilderness permit is required for all overnight camping in the backcountry. Reservations accepted ($20 administrative fee for permits during peak season). nps.gov/grte/planyourvisit/back.htm
CONTACT Grand Teton National Park, (307) 739-3300; nps.gov/grte/
-Mapped by Eli Boschetto, Bosco Mountain Photo
- Distance: 13.6
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Start the Jenny Lake loop at the flagpole near the ranger station. Pick up an illustrated map at the sign board, and take in the view of Teewinot Mountain from the trailhead.
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Fork left at this paved junction (right leads to Jenny Lake Campground). Enjoy the view of Cascade Canyon, Mt. St. John and Rockchuck Peak over Jenny Lake.
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Turn left to begin the clockwise loop. Take in more big views of Teewinot Mountain and Mt. St. John.
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Cross the bridge at the boat dock. Many visitors take boats across Jenny Lake to view Hidden Falls.
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Pass the drive-in boat ramp. Look northward over Jenny Lake to catch a view of Rockchuck Peak and Mt. St. John.
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Keep straight on the main trail at the Bradley Lake trail junction.
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Continue straight. Side trip: Turn left onto the Moose Ponds trail for a short side loop around marshy ponds. Keep an eye out for moose at the viewpoint over the pond.
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At the horse trail junction, head right to continue along the shoreline.
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Take a quick side trail to an overlook above Cascade Creek.
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Bear left and start a gentle climb along Cascade Creek. The trail on the right leads to the boat dock.
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Bear left for the quick trip to see Hidden Falls.
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Hidden Falls: This popular 200-foot cascade is visited by scores of tourists who arrive by boat. Return to JEN011 and turn left across the bridge.
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Rocky switchbacks lead to this perch on Inspiration Point. Look eastward across Jenny Lake toward the Snake River Valley. From here, follow the trail west for half a mile to the three-way junction.
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Turn right. The trail on the left leads into Cascade Canyon.
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Back at the lakeshore, bear left to continue around Jenny Lake. The trail on the right runs back to the boat dock.
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At the String Lake trail junction, head right to continue around Jenny Lake. Head left to loop around String Lake, or to Paintbrush Canyon.
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From the bridge, enjoy a view of Rockchuck Peak towering overhead. After crossing String Lake outlet, head right to continue around Jenny Lake. The left fork loops around String Lake, and leads to Leigh Lake and Paintbrush Canyon.
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Pass the junction with the horse trail and the route to Jenny Lake Lodge.
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Stop at this point for views across Jenny Lake to Cascade Canyon, Mt. St. John and Teewinot Mountain.
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Continue straight at the 4-way junction to complete the loop back at the ranger station.
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View north across Jenny Lake.
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View up the steep walls of Cascade Canyon.
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View south from String Lake inlet.
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Short inlet creek between String and Jenny Lakes.
String Lake Crossing
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