There are plenty of opportunities to see the grandeur of Grand Teton National Park on a day hike. Keep in mind that these popular hikes are...well, really popular, especially during the peak tourist season. If you're looking to experience the quiet solitude of nature, you're going to have to head a bit deeper into the back country. But for a quick journey to stunning vistas, here are some of your best bets:
- Jenny Lake – Scenic Jenny Lake is ringed by hiking trails. It runs 2.5 miles (4.02 meters) around the shorter side of the lake, so you can see beautiful Hidden Falls. The other side of the lake is a bit longer, if you do the full loop, but you'll still be back in time for lunch. Alternately, you can take the shuttle boat across the lake directly to Hidden Falls.
- Cascade Canyon – This is a longer trail that you can take as part of a Jenny Lake excursion. Take the boat across Jenny Lake, then head down the Cascade Canyon trail, which goes right down the middle of the canyon and offers long views of the scenery. It eventually leads to another, smaller lake, Lake Solitude.
- Paintbrush Canyon – The trailhead for Paintbrush Canyon is at the northern tip of Lake Jenny. This trail also leads, eventually, to Lake Solitude, although there are some elevation changes to get there. This means that you can combine Paintbrush and Cascade canyons in a single, large loop that will make for a memorable day hike (it will be a long and tiring day, to be sure).
- Phelps Lake – From the Death Canyon trailhead, it's only a mile to an overlook with a great view of the lake, then another mile down to the shore. From there, you can extend your day playing in the water or on the trails that ring the lake itself, with plenty of views and pleasant shoreline locations to discover along the way.
- Granite Canyon – From the Granite Canyon trailhead, you'll hike along the canyon, then loop around and come down Open Canyon, arriving at Phelps Lake. Another option is to take the aerial tramway from Teton Village to Rendezvous Mountain. A downhill hike will carry you to Granite Canyon, ending at the Granite Canyon Trailhead.
Up next, some tips for hiking and camping in Grand Teton National Park.