Jackson Hole, Wyoming is surrounded by jagged peaks and offers some of most challenging and spectacular hikes in the nation. This area is so beautiful that you could hike for years and still find amazing trails. You’ll find amazing hikes in the valley of Jackson Hole, which includes Jackson, the vibrant western town, Grand Teton National Park and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Teton Village.
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The Gros Ventres Wildlife is located to the east of Jackson and features numerous dog-friendly trails. The heart of Jackson is Snow King mountain which Jackson Hole’s most popular attraction. It features a favorite summit hike.
A word of caution before you set out: There are wildlife such as moose and black bears that share these trails. Be sure to keep your distance and bring bear spray. Grand Teton National Park prohibits pets from hiking on its trails. You should also remember that the weather can change quickly in this area of the woods. Snow can fall at any time of the year. It is a good idea for you to wear layers and to check the current conditions before you set out on the trails.
Jackson Hole offers a variety of hiking options, including flat, family-friendly loops along the lakeside, wildflower meadows, dog-friendly trails, and epic multi-day treks. Check out our top Jackson Hole hiking trails to plan your adventure.
Paintbrush Divide to Cascade Canyon
Paintbrush Divide is one the most rewarding and difficult day hikes in Grand Teton National Park. This 19.3 mile loop requires a difficult climb up the north-facing, snow-covered slopes of Paintbrush Divide at 10,700 feet. It passes through some of the park’s most beautiful mountain lakes, and stunning scenery.
Start the trail at Leigh Lake Trailhead by taking a scenic walk along the eastern shores of String Lake and enjoying beautiful views of Mount Moran. You’ll be surrounded by colorful wildflowers as you climb Paintbrush Canyon.
Paintbrush Canyon includes a side trip to beautiful Holly Lake , small glacial lake at Mt. Woodring and Lake Solitude. You will be able to see Grand Teton from the descent towards Cascade Canyon. This hike can also be done in reverse. Other highlights include Inspiration point with its spectacular views of Jenny Lake and the charming cascades at Hidden Falls.
Before you leave for Paintbrush Divide, it is important to verify the conditions. This trail can be best tackled from late summer to early September due to the snow that clings on to the north-facing slopes. You may need crampons to climb the snow-covered slopes of Paintbrush Divide if you are hiking it in July or June. You can take your time and make it an overnighter by camping in Paintbrush Canyon or Cascade Canyon.
The Sleeping Indian
Jackson Hole’s favorite hike, the 12- to 14-mile long climb up Sleeping Indian in the Gros Ventres Wilderness offers spectacular views of the entire Teton Mountain Range .
This peak is known as “Sleeping Indian” by locals because it looks like a Native American wearing a full headdress and sleeping on his back. However, Sheep Mountain is its official name due to the large number of bighorn sheep that frequent the area.
The unique peak is a spectacular hike that takes you up through thickly cloaked pine forests and lush meadows filled with wildflowers. The trail climbs between 4,100 to 4,300 feet. You will eventually reach the “belly”, or Sleeping Indian. From here, it is 1,300 feet to the top. Here you can take in spectacular views of Jackson Hole and the majestic Tetons.
The trail is not marked so it might be necessary to do some bush bashing in the beginning. It takes approximately eight to nine hours. The trail is dog-friendly. However, you should bring plenty of water as there are very few natural resources along the route.
Flat Creek Trailhead is located off National Elk Refuge Road. It is approximately 15 miles from downtown Jackson.
The 10.3-mile summit trail from Jackson Peak is another dog-friendly trail that can be accessed via the National Elk Refuge road. You will pass the beautiful, pine-fringed Goodwin Lake where you can stop and take a refreshing dip. You might need 4WD depending on the conditions to get to the trailhead.
Jenny Lake Loop: Hidden Falls & Inspiration Point
This moderate hike, which is part of the Paintbrush Divide hiking and the Teton Crest Trail is a tourist favourite. You can enjoy the stunning Teton views without having to climb up steep slopes or be a mountaineer. This hike offers something for everyone, with a beautiful waterfall and a shimmering lake. There are also stunning views from the overlook above the lake. This trail is not difficult to navigate at peak times.
Named after Richard Leigh, the Shoshone wife and trapper of Jenny Lake, Jenny Lake is the focal point of Grand Teton National Park. It is located at the foot of Cascade Canyon.
Start the adventure by hiking a portion of Jenny Lake’s loop. You can also take the ferry from South Jenny Lake, to the west-shore dock. This is a wonderful way to enjoy the stunning scenery surrounding the mountain-ringed lake, and also save energy for the hike uphill later.
Follow the narrow 0.8-mile trail from the boat dock up through pine forests to the beautiful Hidden Falls and on to Inspiration point where you can stop for snacks and take in the stunning views of the lake below.
You can either return to the boat dock and take the return ferry or go further into Cascade Canyon for more stunning scenery. To learn more about the ecology of Jenny Lake, you can stop by the Jenny Lake visitor centre before setting out on the hike. This hike can also be started from the String Lake Trailhead.
Death Canyon and Static Peak Divide
Although it sounds dark, Death Canyon in Grand Teton National Park offers beautiful scenery including mountains, pine-clad canyons and wildflowers. This area is prime habitat for both black bears as well as grizzlies. Make sure you have your bear spray.
For the Death Canyon Trailhead (also known as Whitegrass Trailhead), you will need to drive the shortest distance possible on the rugged dirt road. This will save you a mile of hiking. For the final mile, a high-clearance vehicle would be recommended. However, a two-wheel-drive can be parked at the end on the paved road to allow for hiking.
The trail climbs up to the stunning Phelps Lake Overlook. This is a great place to grab a snack or take some photos. You will then reach the junction of the Death Canyon Trail and Phelps Lake via switchbacks. To reach Phelps Lake, you can either turn left or go straight up to Death Canyon.
You climb steeply up Death Canyon Creek to reach the Alaska Basin trail. Then, continue climbing to Static Peak Divide, which is 10,790-foot. Stop at the top to admire the stunning views of Jackson Hole and the Wind River Range, Rimrock lake, Death Canyon, Buck Mountain, Static Peak, and the Rimrock Lake.
It’s a 16.3-mile hike that is difficult, but the first 1.2 mile to Phelps Lake Overlook can be done easily. This is an ideal turnaround point for younger children.
Taggart Lake-Bradley Lake Loop Editor’s Choice
The popular Taggart Lake-Bradley Lake Loop, which is accessible from May to October, is a flat and easy hike through beautiful mountain scenery. It’s suitable for all ages. You can modify the route and mileage to fit your time constraints.
Three-mile return hike to Taggart Lake is the easiest. The trail winds through mountain meadows with wildflowers and gushing streams. Pine forests are a common backdrop, with the majestic Tetons as a backdrop. You should keep an eye out for chipmunks, marmots and moose.
You will be rewarded with stunning views of Avalanche Canyon, the surrounding peaks and, depending on your angle, the Tetons. You can rest here on the lakeshore and enjoy a picnic or take photos.
You can either return the same way, or go another mile and a quarter to Bradley Lake. Here you will find more stunning views of the Tetons, mirrored in the lake. There are fewer people. The Taggart Lake-Bradley Lake Loop measures 5.9 mi and climbs 800 feet. The parking lot is used by several trails so it can get busy in summer.
Phelps Lake Loop
The 7.2-mile Phelps Lake Loop hike is one of Grand Teton National Park’s most popular. It is a family-friendly hike at a low elevation with beautiful lake views, and sprinklings wildflowers. The trailhead is located in the stunning Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve a 1,106-acre refuge in the national park, which Rockefeller donated in 2001.
This hike is best done earlier in the morning to avoid congestion. You will start at the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve Center with its imaginative sensory exhibits. Then you’ll continue through sagebrush meadows, aspen, and pine forests. You may see black bears in this area. Make sure you have bear spray.
The Woodland Trail leads to Phelps Lake. You can stop for a picnic or continue hiking around the perimeter. Or, you can return the same way you came. If you want to continue around the lake, Huckleberry Point offers beautiful views and a rest stop. You can also hike the 1.6-mile easy trail to Phelps Lake Overlook from the Death Canyon Trailhead. This is 700 feet above the lake.
Phelps Lake Loop is an moderate to easy hike that can be enjoyed by all levels of hikers.
Teton Crest Trail
The most popular multi-day hikes in valley is the difficult 35-mile Teton Crest Trail. It visits many of the most iconic sights in Grand Teton National Park and incorporates some of our shorter day hikes.
This trail is for those who want to camp out for three or four nights at scenic spots and spend four days exploring them. This hike is a one-way trek. You’ll need to park at Leigh Lake Trailhead in String Lake’s parking lot. Then, catch a shuttle to Teton Village or arrange for someone else to pick you up.
You can avoid the 4,139 foot uphill climb by taking the Jackson Hole Aerial Tram. The trail ends at Rendezvous Mountain at 10,450ft. You’ll pass three of the most iconic high-elevation lakes in the park: Marion Lake and Holly Lake. The trail ends at 10,450 feet.
Hurricane Pass offers stunning views of Mount Moran and the Tetons. The stunning Alaska Basin, Death Canyon Shelf, and the picturesque Cascade Canyonitself are all highlights.
This hike can be done from late July through mid September . However, it is important to check the snow conditions before you go, especially Paintbrush Divide. You should have a detailed map, as there are many branches along the trail. You can also start the hike at Phillip’s Pass Trailhead, Teton Pass.
This hike requires advanced preparation, as well as a good level of fitness. Before you set out, make sure to thoroughly research the Jackson Hole hiking maps and guides.
Leigh Lake, located in Grand Teton National Park is a flat and family-friendly hike that leads to a stunning lake with a white sand beach. You can also lure your children with the promise to swim and sandplay on the lakeshore.
The easy, 5.4-mile out and back trail begins at the Leigh Lake Trailhead located in the northwest corner the popular String Lake Picnic Area. To see the stunning mountains surrounding the lake in the morning light, start the hike early. You’ll pass the shores of String Lake and Leigh Lake, which is the third largest lake in the Tetons, as well as beautiful mountain scenery. Rockchuck Peak, Mount Woodring and Mount Moran offer stunning scenery.
You can have a picnic and gaze at the mountains from the white-sand beaches. Then, cool off with refreshing swim. Leigh Lake is an excellent choice for an easy hike in the early season, since snow melts faster at lower elevations. You can also camp overnight at this spot with your family.
The String Lake Loop (part of the Valley Trail), is also accessible from the same lot. It’s a great place to spend a summer day relaxing and swimming in the beautiful scenery. In August, look for huckleberries on the trail.
Tram to Gondola Hike – The Summit Trail
This trail is perfect for anyone who doesn’t want to be a hard hiker. You can take the tram to the gondola hike and enjoy stunning high-alpine views as you go downhill with a refreshing reward at the end.
Zoom up Rendezvous Mountain to 10,450 feet in just 12 minutes using the Jackson Hole Aerial Tram. You can then hike down the Summit Trail until you reach the summit of the gondola. Here you can enjoy a refreshing drink or a hearty snack and stunning views of the valley.
The trail follows the ridgeline from the moment you get off the tram. Look out for marmots among the rocks as you go. This hike has another benefit: you will see some species of animals and plants that are not found in high elevations like the black rose finch, which is a mountain bird that nests high above the treeline. The trails are dotted with colorful wildflowers. You will also pass Corbet’s Couloir which is a famous chute that turns into a thrilling expert ski run in winter.
This trail, unlike most hikes in Jackson Hole is best done in afternoon so you can arrive at the gondola summit just as the outdoor patio opens. You will have a front row seat to the stunning view. It is a good idea first to verify that the gondola summit is not closed for private functions.
After enjoying mouthwatering truffle fries or huckleberry concoctions as a snack, you can either download the gondola (free after 2) or hike down to Teton Village. It’s a moderate hike, which takes between one and two hours. And it’s all downhill. You will need to purchase a ticket to ride the tram up.
The 11-mile Granite Canyon trail, which takes you past Marion Lake, through cool pine forests, and ends in Teton Village, is a more difficult hike than the tram. This strenuous hike takes approximately seven hours.
Official site: http://www.jacksonhole.com/hiking.html
Snow King Summit
Snow King, located in the heart of Jackson, is a popular hike that locals love to do after work or during lunch. This is the town’s ski hill. It has some of the most steeply-facing north-facing slopes in the US. In the summer, a hike up to the top can be a great way to tone your calves and increase your heart rate.
Through fragrant pine forests, the 1.8-mile trail climbs 1,500 feet vertically to reach the summit. The Tetons can be seen from the summit. Also, there is the distinctive peak at Sleeping Indian. There are also the Elk Refuge and the Gros Ventres. Jackson is nestled in the valley below.
You can return on the Trapper Trail or by taking the chairlift. It’s easily accessible at Snow King Mountain’s base and is visible from anywhere. However, beginners may need to stop frequently.
Josie’s Ridge is an alternative to Snow King’s summit hike. It offers the same stunning views, but has a more private feel than the long service trail that leads up Snow King’s summit via the chairlifts. This trailhead is the easiest to reach.
The Snow King trail system connects to the Cache Creek trail network . All of these trails are dog-friendly. These trails are great for winter hiking in Jackson Hole .
Official site: http://snowkingmountain.com/mountain/terrain-statistics/
Amphitheater Lake Trail
If steep switchbacks and seemingly endless climbs are not too daunting for you, the 10-mile Amphitheater Lake trail offers breathtaking views of glacial lakes and Jackson Hole below. You might also be able to see wildflowers and vibrant fall colors depending on the season.
Begin at Grand Teton National Park’s Lupine Meadows trailhead. You’ll start your hike from here along a flat forest trail, before you reach the serpentine switchbacks. You’ll see Taggart Lake and Bradley from several points along the trail. Then, at some point, you will be able to see Sheep Mountain (known as “Sleeping Indian” in the locals). For those looking to extend their adventure, you’ll pass Surprise lake.
There are many places to enjoy a picnic once you get to Amphitheater Lake. Only the bravest souls will attempt to take a dip in its freezing waters. This out-and-back hike climbs nearly 3,000 feet up to 9,690 feet. It is not recommended for the faint-hearted.
You can do some boulder climbing if you are up for it. However, this trail leads to the stunning Delta Lake. This trail is not maintained and can prove treacherous depending on the conditions.