The 8 Best Hikes in Grand Teton NP for Spring 2024

The Best Hikes in Grand Teton National Park

Featuring stunning mountain vistas and an abundance of glistening alpine lakes, Grand Teton National Park is a hiker’s paradise. With so many great trails to choose from, however, it can be hard to know precisely which hikes are best for your next trip to the park.

In this article, we’ll introduce you to some of the top hiking trails in Grand Teton National Park so you can make the most of your upcoming adventure.

Here are 8 of the best hiking trails in Grand Teton National Park.

Forks of Cascade Canyon Trail

  • Length : 14.6 miles
  • Difficulty : Moderate to hard
  • Estimated Time : 5 to 8 hours
  • Best Time : June to September

Boasting a massive glacially carved canyon and beautiful mountain passes, this hike into Cascade Canyon offers a great way to see the park’s backcountry without a lot of uphill hiking.

The trail starts off at the Jenny Lake Trailhead and follows a well-trodden path into the alpine. If you depart from Jenny Lake, the trail is about 14.6 miles long. However, you can shorten the hike by taking the shuttle boat, which reduces your overall walking to 8.8 miles roundtrip.

Either way, even though this trail gains only a modest amount of elevation, you’ll still want to pack a good pair of hiking boots. Along the way, keep an eye out for bears, moose, and other notable wildlife, like pikas, which love to forage in the meadows of Cascade Canyon.

Lake Solitude

  • Length : 20 miles
  • Difficulty : Hard
  • Estimated Time : 8 to 12 hours
  • Best Time : July to September

One of the most popular overnights or long day hikes in the park, the strenuous 20 mile round trip trail to Lake Solitude is a must for experienced adventurers. If you want a bit of a shorter hike, taking the shuttle boat from Jenny Lake cuts the mileage down to 14.2 miles round trip.

Starting out from Jenny Lake, the trail is relatively flat until you reach the Forks of Cascade Canyon. From there, you’ll have to work a bit to climb up about 1,500’ until you reach the miraculous Lake Solitude.

Once at Lake Solitude, you can sit back, relax, and take in the view of the Grand Teton, Teewinot Mountain, and Mount Owen reflecting in the lake. For folks that want an even longer hike, you can continue on down the Paintbrush-Cascade Loop up to Paintbrush Divide.

Keep in mind that afternoon thunderstorms are common in the summer, though, so don’t forget your rain jacket!

Static Peak Divide

  • Length : 16.3 miles
  • Difficulty : Very hard
  • Estimated Time : 10 to 12 hours
  • Best Time : August to September

This über-popular and very strenuous hike to the top of Static Peak Divide provides exceptional views of the Tetons. Since this trail is so steep and strenuous, a set of trekking poles and plenty of hiking snacks are essential.

The trail starts out at the Death Canyon Trailhead, which is also where you want to start if you’ve managed to snag campsites at Death Canyon Shelf Camping Zone. Once you leave the trailhead, you’ll start your hike by climbing gently through a lovely lodgepole pine forest before reaching the alpine.

Along the way, you’ll climb up toward the Phelps Lake Overlook (where you can see some old-growth Douglas firs, by the way), and then continue on toward Death Canyon. After passing through Death Canyon and taking in its beautiful views, you’ll climb higher and higher until you reach the Static Peak Divide, which is a saddle between Static Peak and Albright Peak.

At the top of the pass, you can gaze out and see the wide expanse of Jackson Hole as well as the Gros Ventre Range and the rest of the Tetons.

String Lake Loop

  • Length : 3.7 miles
  • Difficulty : Easy
  • Estimated Time : 2 to 3 hours
  • Best Time : June

For a casual walk with plenty of fantastic views, the String Lake Loop is a solid choice. This hiking trail makes for an excellent walk during the spring, summer, and fall, but the month of June brings the best chance to see some wildflowers in bloom.

Over the course of 3.7 miles, the String Lake Loop provides a chance to walk around the edge of String Lake. Along the way, you’ll get views of the rest of the Jackson Hole Valley, as well as of Rockchuck Peak and Mount St. John.

If you’re okay with a bit of cold water, String Lake is also a popular paddling or swimming spot. Just remember to bring your hiking sandals to protect your feet as you swim or paddle around and a towel to dry off at the end!

Garnet Canyon Trail

  • Length : 8.4 miles
  • Difficulty : Hard
  • Estimated Time : 4 to 8 hours
  • Best Time : July to September

Starting out from the Lupine Meadows Trailhead, the Garnet Canyon Trail is an excellent hike for anyone looking to work hard in exchange for panoramic views.

This hike brings you into the heart of the Tetons, and starts out with some steep uphill to remind you that you’re in the mountains. After a lot of elevation gain and even a bit of scrambling across a boulder field, the Garnet Canyon Trail drops hikers off in a massive U-shaped valley with spectacular vistas.

In the canyon, you can see first-hand some of the Tetons’ most notable peaks, including South Teton, Middle Teton, Disappointment Peak, and Nez Perce, as well as the park’s namesake: the Grand Teton.

That being said, the difficulty of the Garnet Canyon Trail can’t be overstated. Anyone looking to hike into Garnet Canyon should be confident in their route finding abilities and should feel comfortable scrambling through rocky terrain at high elevations.

Surprise and Amphitheater Lakes

  • Length : 10.1 miles
  • Difficulty : Moderate to hard
  • Estimated Time : 7 to 8 hours
  • Best Time : August

Another great trail departing from the Lupine Meadows Trailhead, the path to Surprise and Amphitheater Lakes is a great option for people that enjoy alpine scenery.

Once you leave the trailhead behind, this path immediately starts to gain elevation, climbing steadily up a seemingly endless series of switchbacks for 5 miles. All this hard work pays off in the end, however, as the trail tops out at Surprise Lake.

While you can stop at Surprise Lake, an extra 0.25 miles of walking beyond the lake brings you to Amphitheater Lake, which is located just at the base of the summit cone of Disappointment Peak.

Keep in mind that the trail to Surprise and Amphitheater Lakes gains 3,000’ of elevation in just 5 miles of hiking, so come prepared with plenty of water bottles to stay hydrated. Altitude sickness is also a real threat at these elevations, so be sure to check in with your fellow hikers and be willing to turn around if you’re not feeling well.

Taggart Lake Trail

  • Length : 3 miles
  • Difficulty : Easy
  • Estimated Time : 1 to 2 hours
  • Best Time : September

If you’re looking for a nice, casual walk in Grand Teton National Park that you can do at any time of year, this 3 mile out and back hike to Taggart Lake is a nice option.

It starts out at the Taggart Lake Trailhead and follows a mostly level path into an alpine meadow and aspen forest for most of its length. Throughout the hike to Taggart Lake, you’re treated to great views of Grand Teton, which rises high above the meadow below.

Once at Taggart Lake, you can sit back and enjoy the views of Mount Owen, Teewinot Mountain, Middle Teton, and Grand Teton.

You can also opt for a short side trip to Bradley Lake on your way back to the parking lot or you can turn the whole adventure into a 5 mile round trip loop by following the Bradley Lake Loop Trail back to the parking lot.

Jenny Lake Loop

  • Length : 7.6 miles
  • Difficulty : Moderate
  • Estimated Time : 3 to 5 hours
  • Best Time : June

One of the most popular day hikes in the park, the Jenny Lake Loop provides you with a smattering of excellent views that showcases much of what the Tetons have to offer.

The loop trail starts out at the aptly named Jenny Lake Trailhead and heads northeast toward String Lake. During the first section of the trail, you get a chance to see the Cathedral Group of peaks, which includes Teewinot, Grand Teton, and Mount Owen.

Then, as you continue onward, you’ll pass by the various trail junctions for the paths to Cascade Canyon, Inspiration Point, and Hidden Falls. For folks that want to add more mileage their day, these are all worthy side trips.

If you decide to continue on with your loop, you’ll pass by Moose Ponds, where it’s worth taking a short detour up to an overlook to see if you can spot some local moose and beavers. Afterward, you can head back toward the parking lot to round off a nice, moderate day hike in the Tetons.

Gaby Pilson

Gaby is a professional mountain guide with a master’s degree in outdoor education. She works primarily in the polar regions as an expedition guide, though she can be found hiking, climbing, skiing, sailing, or paddling in some of the world’s most amazing places when not at work.