Grand Teton National Park offers some of the best views and hikes in the northwest. The Grand Teton mountain range has short walking trails, long day hikes, and even multi-week backcountry adventure trails. There is so much to see and do that it can become overwhelming.
This guide will highlight the best day hikes in Grand Teton National Park. Whether you prefer to enjoy a walk, easy hike, or challenging day hike, the Tetons offer a little bit of everything. For example, Grand Teton has so many different lakes inside the park that sometimes you will be able to experience the lake all by yourself. Lakes such as Lake Solitude and Crags Lake are located deep inside the mountains and offer their own unique slice of paradise.
The beautiful views and often quiet day hikes in Grand Teton are unmatched compared to surrounding national parks such as Yellowstone. Grand Teton hikes offer amazing waterfalls, lush forests, glacial lakes, and beautiful valley views.
Written by Maddie and James of Wanderus Living. This post may contain affiliate links.
When to Hike in Grand Teton National Park
Grand Teton is technically open year-round, but some trails and parts of the park are either hard to get to in the winter or nearly impossible. If you are a warm-weather hiker and don’t want to be trekking through deep snow and ice, visit anytime between May and the middle of September.
If you truly want to enjoy a hike and not face any crowds, then the winter season will be the best option. Hiking in Grand Teton in the winter is a whole different experience in itself. The offseason is from November to April which means that some of the roads and campgrounds are closed due to bad weather.
Where to Stay Near Grand Teton
Grand Teton and the surrounding area offer so many different accommodations for camping, boondocking, and overnight stays in general. There is Bridger-Teton National Forest which offers free dispersed camping for RV or tent campers for up to 16 days. Read the Parks Expert’s Grand Teton camping guide for more ideas.
What to Pack for Hiking in Grand Teton National Park
Grand Teton National Park Phone Case
Grand Teton National Park Map
Grand Teton Eco-Friendly Phone Case
Grand Teton National Park Pennant
Fodor’s Guide to the 63 National Parks
Fodor’s Guide to Yellowstone and Grand Teton
Grand Teton National Park Puffy Blanket
Women’s National Parks Checklist T-Shirt
Women’s National Parks Checklist T-Shirt
Map of National Parks T-Shirt
Grand Teton National Park Hat
Grand Teton National Park Sticker
Grand Teton National Park Pin
Grand Teton National Park Patch
63 National Parks Water Bottle
Grand Teton Hiking Guidebook
Grand Teton Ornament
Grand Teton Sticker
Grand Teton Cross Stitch Kit
Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks Map
The 10 Hiking Essentials
Every hiker should always carry the ten essentials with them. These include:
- Navigation systems: map, compass, and/or GPS
- Sun protection: sunscreen and/or ballcap
- Insulating layers: synthetic or down jacket, rain jacket, hat, gloves, and leggings
- Illumination (flashlight or headlamp)
- First-aid kit
- Something to light a fire: lighter, waterproof matches, and/or fire starter
- Repair kits and tools: pocket knife, duct tape, screwdriver, and/or scissors
- Emergency shelter: tent, bivy, tarp, and/or space blanket
- Nutrition: food for both meals and snacks
- Hydration: water bottle, water treatment (LifeStraw or SteriPen), and water
Short Day Hikes in Grand Teton National Park
Hidden Falls Trail
The most famous and popular trail in all of the Grand Teton is easily the Hidden Falls Trail and Inspiration Point. Don’t worry though, the Hidden Falls Trail is usually not overcrowded and overpopulated like some other national parks (Yellowstone). The trail only gains around 600 feet in elevation and is rated as easy.
Hidden Falls Trail is a 5-mile loop that actually leads to the start of the Cascade Canyon Trail. The trail’s turnaround point is at Inspiration Point and Hidden Falls. The waterfall is absolutely massive and is completely worth the small journey to get there.
If you don’t want to hike all the way back, you can hop on the shuttle boat for $10 to bring you back to the parking lot area. The easiest and shortest hike in Grand Teton would be to take the boat to and from Hidden Falls. The roundtrip cost is $18 and would bring you almost directly to the falls and Inspiration Point.
Distance: 4.9 miles / 7.9 km
Elevation Gain: 590 feet / 180 meters
Trailhead: Jenny Lake Visitor Center or boat dock
Mormon Row’s Moulton Barn
Chances are you’ve seen photos from this trail, one of the most popular Instagram spots in Grand Teton National Park.
One of the most picturesque and famous spots in all of the Grand Teton is this little barn in the middle of a grassy field. The “trail” really shouldn’t even be considered a hike since it is only 0.2 miles there and back, but offers a great spot to take a picture. The barn is located directly off of Mormon Row Rd and can be seen off to the side. If you are looking for the perfect Instagram spot in Grand Teton this is the easiest location to access.
Distance: 0.2 miles / 0.3 km
Elevation Gain: Negligible
Trailhead: Mormon Row Road
Taggart Lake Loop
This short day hike in Grand Teton is located on the southern end Teton mountain range. Located only around four miles from Jenny Lake, Taggart Lake is smaller but just as beautiful and a little less crowded.
The trail goes through meadows, forest and eventually leads to Taggart lake where it offers amazing and clear views of the Teton Mountains.
A lot of hiking trails in Grand Teton are cluttered with trees that can hinder getting the best mountain view. Taggart Lake Loop is the exception because the water is crystal clear and offers clear wide views of Grand Teton National Park. The elevation gain is only 430 feet and is rated as easy.
Distance: 4.1 miles / 6.6 km
Elevation Gain: 429 feet / 131 meters
Trailhead: Taggart Lake Trailhead on Teton Park Road
Lake of the Crags Trail
The Lake of the Crags Trail is probably the most rewarding short trail in Grand Teton National Park. It offers everything a hiker could possibly want inside a short 4.3 mile out and back trail.
The hike includes amazing views, challenging trails and obstacles, a beautiful lake, and it’s all packed into a short day hike in Grand Teton.
The best way to access this trail is from the shuttle that leads to Inspiration Point and Hidden Falls. This would be a great hike to do the same day that you visit Hidden Falls because they are so close to each other.
Beware, as this trail is not marked or located on the park map. You may wish to follow the trail map below.
Lake of the Crags Trail is similar to Lake Solitude in that there is a beautiful lake nestled inside the mountain range. The lake is crystal clear and provides a great place to relax before your return down.
The trail gains roughly 3,000 feet in elevation, which means it is a strenuous 2.15-mile hike to the lake from Inspiration Point, but it’s totally worth it.
Distance: 4.3 miles / 6.9 km
Elevation Gain: 2,893 feet / 882 meters
Trailhead: Jenny Lake Visitor Center
String Lake Trail
The String Lake Trail is located directly to the north of Jenny Lake and is one of the shortest and easiest hikes in Grand Teton National Park. The String Lake Trail is perfect for a short hike if something else is planned during the day or you don’t want to hike a hard trail.
The String Lake trail is also one of the most kid-friendly trails in Grand Teton with clear paths and easy terrain.
This Grand Teton hike is a 3.7-mile loop and only gains 260 feet in elevation, which makes it one of the easier hikes in Grand Teton. The trail offers amazing views of the Teton mountain range and has beautiful bridges that cross over the lake and small streams.
Distance: 3.7 miles / 6 km
Elevation Gain: 262 feet / 80 meters
Trailhead: Jenny Lake Visitor Center
Note: This trail is wheelchair accessible.
Teewinot Mountain Trail
The Teewinot Mountain Trail is one of the less-crowded trails in Grand Teton National Park. It is a perfect mix between short day hikes and long, strenuous day hikes.
The trail is roughly 6 miles out and back, but gains around 5,500 in elevation. In only three short miles, the Teewinot Mountain Trail will bring you halfway up the mountain to get an amazing vantage point of the valley and surrounding area outside of Grand Teton National Park.
The trail is located between Jenny Lake and Taggart Lake. It is certainly not the most beautiful trail in the park, but it has such little traffic that it will feel as if you are alone in the mountain range.
Distance: 6 miles / 9.6 km
Elevation Gain: 5,547 feet / 1,691 meters
Trailhead: At the end of Lupine Meadows Road
Colter Bay Lakeshore Trail
One of the best family day hikes in Grand Teton is located next to the Colter Bay Village on Jackson Lake.
Jackson Lake is the largest lake in the Tetons by a long shot and offers so many other fun activities than just hiking or walking. You can rent motorized boats, kayaks, go fishing, and even enjoy the beach when it’s nice out. If you bring camping gear you can even spend a night on Elk Island, but you’ll need to book ahead at the visitor center.
Colter Bay Trail is 2.5 miles and only gains 85 feet in elevation which means the trail is essentially flat. The trail offers great views of the lake and the Teton mountains behind it. There are beautiful fields of flowers and birds to enjoy while on this trail also.
Distance: 2.5 miles / 4 km
Elevation Gain: 85 feet / 26 meters
Trailhead: Colter Bay Visitor Center
Lake Solitude Trail – The BEST Day Hike in Grand Teton National Park
When it comes to short day hikes in Grand Teton National Park, this is not that! I cannot explain how beautiful and wonderful this 16-mile day hike is.
This is an article about the best short day hikes in Grand Teton, but Lake Solitude is such an amazing hike that it had to be included. The trail ends at Lake Solitude, which lies in a valley near the top of the Teton mountain range. Words cannot describe how magical Lake Solitude is.
The trail gains a total of 2,600 feet in elevation and can be reduced to around 14 miles if you take the same shuttle for the Hidden Falls Trail.
If you have an extra day and want to enjoy a full day hike, Lake Solitude is the best option. Be sure to bring enough water and food along the trail as the last few miles near the top will be strenuous. There will be horses along the trails, very few people, and some backcountry campers.
If you really want to push the limits and explore trails that are deep in the national park, then apply for a backcountry camper permit. The farther you get into the range the less crowded the trails become, and it will feel as if you have the Tetons all to yourself.
Distance: 16 miles / 26 km
Elevation Gain: 2,637 feet / 804 meters
Trailhead: Jenny Lake Visitor Center
Hiking Grand Teton National Park
There are endless hiking opportunities inside and outside of Grand Teton National Park.
The surrounding area of Jackson, Bridger-Teton, and others offer even more hikes that are just as spectacular and even less crowded. Grand Teton is one of my favorite national parks in the lower 48 because of its pure beauty, surrounding landscapes, small-town feel, and friendly environment.
There are so many different activities to take part in whether it’s short day hikes in Grand Teton National Park, kayaking on Jackson Lake, fishing, or backcountry camping in the Teton mountain range. Families, couples, and solo travelers of all types will be able to enjoy short day hikes in Grand Teton National Park.
Grand Teton is also a great road trip destination in the western United States.
Meet the Authors: Maddie and James of Wanderus Living
In this guest post, Maddie and James at Wanderus Living showcase the best short day hikes in Grand Teton National Park. They travel around North America with their dog, Hazel, in their Jeep and trailer full-time, focusing on unpopular and overlooked destinations. Wanderus Living is all about exploring new, off-the-beaten-path destinations while sharing tips, guides, and travel stories along the way.
All photos and content in this post are credited to Maddie and James unless otherwise stated.
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