Dec 22

Jenny Lake Trail to Inspiration Point- Grand Teton National Park

On the Trail
Karen and I got to spend just a couple days in Grand Teton National Park.  Definitely not enough time in one of America’s best National Parks.  We wanted to get at least one good hike in while we were there so we decided to go and see Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point.  Overall it was a moderately difficult 4.8 mile hike if you just go to Inspiration Point and back but if you travel completely around the lake it is around 7 miles.  If hiking is not your thing or you get tired after you have made it to Inspiration Point you can take a paid shuttle boat back to the Jenny Lake Visitor Center.  Another reason why it is a moderately difficult hike is that it gains roughly 500 feet from the lake to Inspiration Point.  It is one of the most popular hikes in the park so you will not have the trail to yourself. 
Hidden Falls

The hike starts near the east shore boat dock.  From there you will cross a bridge and be on the trail for a half a mile.  When you reach the half mile mark there will be a junction to the left you can take the less crowded horse trail or if you go to the right you will take the trail that hugs the side of Jenny Lake.  Karen and I picked the right side, but either way both trails will lead to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point. 
The Trail

The trail is well maintained and marked, and with a big enough crowd I do not foresee anybody getting lost as long as they stick to the trail.  It is about a mile and half from where the trails split to the waterfall.  Hidden Falls is a 200 foot cascading waterfall that is nicely framed by pine trees.  Be patient here so you can get a good look at the falls not all view points are created equal thus the name Hidden Falls.  At the waterfall you will have to make a choice do you hike up a somewhat steep incline to get to Inspiration Point, take the shuttle boat back if it is running, or do you keep walking around Jenny Lake. 
Trail by Jenny Lake

Karen and I took the .4 miles up to Inspiration Point even though it was a bit of an exertion for us, it was well worth it.  It is a well worn but rocky trail up to Inspiration Point so just watch your footing and you should be fine.  Just as a warning, the trail to Inspiration Point is narrow and steep so those with vertigo might need to think about it before going.  I have a little problem with heights but made it just fine.  Once we made it to Inspiration Point we sat down took in the wonderful view of the lake and the Tetons behind us and had ourselves a little snack watching the chipmunks try to steal other people’s food.  Those little guys were pretty sly and quick. 
From Inspiration Point

After a twenty minute break we decided to head down.  We were in hurry to see more of the park so we took the shuttle boat back to the east dock.  It is a wonderful hike that Karen and I highly recommend doing if you are ever in Grand Teton National Park
Trying to stay out of the mud

For more information visit their website at http://www.nps.gov/grte/  
Karen in front of Hidden Falls

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  1. Neil

    I’ve hiked this trail and your description here is spot-on! It was a bit crowded for my taste when I went on an afternoon in July. But the views and photo opportunities are worth it even so. And the Tetons have to be one of the most awe-inspiring sights there is. If any of your readers haven’t been there yet, it’s well-worth the trip!

    1. Kenny and Karen

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. I completely agree that the Tetons are awe-inspiring just thinking about it is making me want to pack my bags.

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