Grab Your Boots and Go on the Best Hikes in Grand Teton
With jagged peaks rising abruptly from the valley floor, extraordinary wildlife, shimmering lakes, and majestic views that seem surreal, Grand Teton National Park is a true hiker’s paradise. Whether you’re a novice or seasoned hiker, lace up your hiking boots and check out these best hikes in Grand Teton.
There are 250 miles of maintained hiking trails in the park, catering to hikers of all skill levels. You’ll find gentle walks for your kids and even grueling treks for the experienced ramblers, each one exposing the stunning beauty of Grand Teton.
Want to explore the park in the comfort of a wheeled home? Rent an RV near Grand Teton and let the fun get started.
An Overview of the Grand Tetons
Grand Teton National Park is located in Northwestern Wyoming, just north of Jackson. It’s also just south of Yellowstone National Park. The park was established in 1929 and now sprawls across 310,000 acres. In 2021, it received 3.9 million visitors, making it the 7th most visited US national park.
For hikers, May to September is the best time to visit the park as the days are sunny, and the snow has typically melted by then. Note that this is also the busiest time to visit, but there are plenty of places to escape the crowds.
Grand Teton hiking trails aren’t the only things to look forward to. The park also appeals to rock climbers, bikers, Kayakers, rafters, paddle boarders, history buffs, backpackers, anglers, stargazers, and RVers. Must-see gems include the Snake River, alpine lakes, waterfalls, historic sites, wildlife, and, of course, the breathtaking views of the Tetons.
5 Best Hikes in Grand Teton National Park
These 5 best Grand Teton hikes will leave you breathless and in awe of the majesty of nature.
Cascade Canyon Trail
Distance: 10 miles
Elevation Gain: 1,100 ft.
One of the most scenic day hikes in Grand Teton is the Cascade Canyon trail. This dazzling slice of alpine magic offers plenty of options in terms of views and difficulty. The adventure starts with a lovely boat ride across Jenny Lake.
When you dock, this popular hike will take you up to the 200-foot tall Hidden Falls. From there, enjoy the view from Inspiration Point, which offers gorgeous views of both Jenny Lake and the peaks. Further uphill, you’ll be treated to phenomenal views of the Cascade Canyon Creek, where moose and foxes are often sighted.
Jenny Lake Loop
Distance: 7.5 miles
Elevation Gain: 623 ft.
If you’re looking for the best lake hikes in all of Grand Teton National Park, add Jenny Lake Loop to your to-do list. But instead of boating across it, lace up your boots and walk around the second largest lake in the park. The loop starts at the Jenny Lake Visitor Center, and you can approach it in either direction.
Indeed, the hike offers rich views all the way around, from the magnificent Teton Range to beautiful views of the glacially carved lake. The hike weaves along the shores and takes you through open brush and dense woodland. Remember, the lake is a centerpiece of the park, so start early to avoid the crowds.
Distance: 9.1 miles
Elevation Gain: 2,100 ft.
Taking about four to six hours to complete, Death Canyon is one of the hardest hikes in Grand Teton. But don’t let the name dissuade you. The hike is more stunning than it’s scary and leads to some of the most impressive overlooks in the park. The trailhead begins on Moose-Wilson Road, but you’ll need a 4-wheel drive to get there.
It offers intimate views of dramatic cliff faces, abundant wildlife sightings, and seasonal wildflowers. It also overlooks the picturesque Phelps Lake. Unlike other trails, this one has fewer visitors, rewarding hikers with a peaceful time in the wilderness. Patrol Cabin is an excellent turnaround point.
Taggart Lake Loop
Distance: 4.1 miles
Elevation Gain: 429 ft.
Searching for a gentle hike that still provides incredible views of the Grand Tetons? Hike the Taggart Lake Loop. The trail starts at Taggart Lake Trailhead near the Moose entrance, in the southern area of the park.
From the trailhead, it’s an easy walk through an aspen-covered area. You’ll get spectacular views of mega-monoliths the entire way before reaching the serene lakeside. On the shores, you can enjoy glassy reflections of the mountains on the teal blue waters. Other trails criss-cross the route to Taggart Lake, so make sure you bring a Grand Teton National Park trail map.
Paintbrush Canyon Trail and Paintbrush Divide
Distance: 16 miles
Elevation Gain: 4,000 ft.
Starting from the String Lake Trailhead, Paintbrush Canyon is one of the toughest but best hiking trails in Grand Teton. This super rewarding hike gives you an opportunity to see four lakes—Jenny Lake, String Lake, Leigh Lake, and Holly Lake,
The trail reveals a nearly surreal alpine environment the entire way. You’ll experience panoramic views of the canyons, towering peaks, and fields of manicured green grass. In the fall, the area explodes in color as trees are flush with multi-hued leaves. To soak in this hike’s full glory without a rush, you can opt for a two-night backpacking trip.
RV Parks Near Grand Teton
Wondering where to stay when exploring this wonderland? Check out these best places to park your RV near Grand Teton National Park.
Signal Mountain Campground
Signal Mountain Campground is set in a pine forest, 9 miles north of Jenny Lake. You can park an RV up to 30 feet long and enjoy spectacular views of Mount Moran and the northern Teton Range. However, the stay is limited to 14 days.
There are a total of 81 campsites with 25 electrical hookups. However, there’s only one full hookup for an RV. Amenities include pay showers and laundry, a dump station, flush toilets, and seasonal potable water.
Colter Bay RV Park
Another of the best RV campgrounds near Grand Teton is Colter Bay RV Park. Sitting amongst a nice grove of pine trees on the shores of Jackson Lake, this peaceful escape is exactly what you need to unwind. Moreover, it’s perfect for RVers that are looking to stay inside Grand Teton National Park with the convenience of full hookups.
The RV park boasts 102 pull-through sites with complete hookups, and 10 full hookup back-in sites. In addition, it has plenty of practical amenities like pay showers, laundry, restaurants, and a grocery store.
Gros Ventre Campground
Gros Ventre Campground is a favorite for many visitors hiking Grand Teton. It’s the closest campground to the town of Jackson, yet it’s nestled in an idyllic setting. Furthermore, it offers some of the best opportunities in the park for wildlife sightings.
On amenities, this campground features 279 campsites that accommodate rigs up to 45 feet. Additionally, there are dump stations and 39 electric-only sites, 10 of which are ADA-accessible, as well as showers, laundry, picnic tables, and grills. They also allow pets.
If you’re looking to disconnect, head to Headwaters Campground, and you’ll find yourself lost in the wonders of unplugging. It’s nestled in a captivating wooded setting with rolling hills and Teton mountain views. Notably, there’s no cellular or internet service.
There are 97 full-hookup and pull-through RV sites that accommodate RVs up to 45 feet long. On top of that, there are 34 tent sites and 40 camper cabins. This campground is open from June to October and is a convenient spot if you want to visit both Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks.
Lizard Creek Campground
Situated on the shore of Jackson Lake, Lizard Creek Campground is a fantastic base for campers who want easy access to both Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. This rustic campground has 60 sites in a spruce and fir forest, and it offers epic views of the Tetons.
Indeed, this dry camping site has seasonal flush toilets, potable water, trash service, picnic tables, and fire rings. However, there are no hookups or showers, and vehicle size is limited to 30 feet. It’s open from mid-June to early September, and you’re welcome to bring your furry friend.
Grand Teton National Park Hiking: An Adventure-Rich Wilderness
There are few parks in the country as dramatic and enchanting as Grand Teton National Park. To experience the best of what it has to offer, lace up your hiking boots and adventure it on foot. We’ve put together the best Grand Teton hikes, so you know where to start your sojourn and which trail matches your skill level.
For a smooth experience, remember to pack the right hiking gear, reserve your campsite early and book an RV that can handle the terrain you want to explore in Grand Teton.