Hike and Camp on Jackson Peak
Wyoming › Goodwin Lake Trailhead
Added by Cole Buckhart
There's nothing like free wilderness camping, a fun easy hike with epic 360° views of Grand Tetons, Gros Ventre & Jackson Hole. There is alpine lake fishing & chilling, close to town of Jackson (25 min drive) and a 10,741 ft summit elevation.
Start at the Goodwin Lake Trailhead by driving through the Curtis Canyon Campground, following the road RIGHT at the first split, then LEFT at the second. The trailhead is at about 8,000 feet of elevation, up from the 6,200 ft of the town of Jackson.
The trail starts out a bit steep at first but nothing a relative beginner couldn't get through. After 30-40 minutes the trail flattens out into a more subtle ascent. You'll pass through rather dense forests and a few wide open ridges with vast views towards the northern Teton range.
Continue on the trail into the forest a while longer until you reach Goodwin Lake - this is the best place to camp on this adventure. There are a number of defined camp sites with stone fire pits, but in the National Forest, you can pitch camp anywhere you like and build fire with whatever wood you can scavenge. With a good water filtration system, Goodwin Lake water is some of the sweetest alpine water you'll find. The small - very cold - lake also offers trout fishing.
We set up camp on the North side of the trail, opposite the lake side and cooked and relaxed for the evening and summited Jackson Peak in the morning, although the peak hike is very doable in a single day from the trailhead and back.
Continue on the same trail to the east to make your way to the summit. About a half mile above the lake the trail forks - take the right fork to reach the summit, going left will take you towards Cache Peak and deeper into the amazing Gros Ventre wilderness.
The Jackson Peak route will take you through vast open alpine fields, past a few very small lakes/ponds and up a couple of steeper inclines on your way to the peak. But again, nothing a relative beginner couldn't handle; some friends came from sea level and did the summit and back in one day.
At the summit of Jackson Peak you'll find a large cairn in the middle of a small boulder field with lots of natural rock seating and 360 degree views of Jackson Valley, the Grand Tetons, Cache Peak, the Gros Ventre Wilderness and all the way back to Snow King Mountain above the Town of Jackson. The hike from Goodwin Lake is about 2 hours to the summit. Overall a spectacular and easy hike to one of the best views you can imagine.
- Sleeping Bag
- Sleeping Pad
- 65L Backpacking Pack
- JetBoil Camp Stove
- Water Filter System
- Backpacking Saw or Hatchet
- Hiking Boots
- Fishing Pole
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Backpacking, Camping, Chillin, Fishing, Hiking, Photography
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Worth Every Step!
It's steep, it's windy, it's rocky BUT it's worth every step! The 360° view of Jackson Hole is unmatched. Yes, there are more beautiful views from other peaks and points but none showcase the Tetons, the valley and the Sleeping Indian with such elegance like Jackson Peak. Sunrise, mid-day, sunset or night Jackson Peak never fails. Meteor showers, lunar eclipses or fireworks Jackson Peak is my place. Hydrate plenty and wear hiking boots rather than hiking shoes, you'll thank me when you go home with no ankle injuries. Also, please stay on the trail, too many opportunities for injury if all of a sudden you get adventurous. Enjoy!
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