Added by Christina Adele Warburg
Scenic hike towards the top of Signal Mountain with panoramic views of Jackson Lake and the Teton Range.
This gorgeous hike to Signal Mountain begins from the Signal Mountain Lodge parking area. The trailhead is located on the opposite side of the entrance road from the lodge. To reach the trailhead from the parking area you can either walk westbound along the road, passing the general store, showers, and the campground registration area, or take the unmarked paved path located just to the east of the campground registration area. The trailhead itself is located almost directly across from the employee housing area.
Although you can drive a car to the top of Signal Mountain, to me its more rewarding to hike up. However, instead of taking you to the summit of the mountain as the road does, this trail will take you to a vantage point called Jackson Point Overlook at an elevation of 7593 feet. The hike is 6.8 miles long and you gain an elevation of about 923 feet.
Almost immediately after starting the hike at about 6870 feet, you will make a relatively steep climb and cross both Teton Park Road and Signal Mountain Road. Shortly after crossing Signal Mountain Road, you will come to a lily pond where moose often like to hang out. Keep your eyes out for them, as well as elk and black bear, which frequent this place -especially in the autumn. Despite being in a dense forest, views of Mt. Moran will start to appear after about two-thirds of a mile.
At about seven-tenths of a mile, you will arrive at a fork in the trail between the Lake Trail (right) and the Ridge Trail (left) which starts the beginning of the loop portion. While its up to you to choose which part of the loop you prefer to take first, I generally choose to take the Lake Trail up and return the opposite way. This is because the Ridge Trail is a bit more exposed, which offers better views of the Tetons while hiking down.
While the Lake Trail is relatively flat with just a short climb at the end, it is two-tenths of a mile longer than the Ridge Trail. It passes a small lake and is heavily wooded. However, the Ridge Trail is a bit more strenuous in that it has quite a few ups and downs and lacks shade as you pass through sagebrush. Both options offer plenty of opportunities to view wildlife and wildflowers.
At about 2.2 miles (or 2 miles if you take the Ridge Trail), you will reach the upper junction where the two sections, once again meet. From here the trail takes a moderately steep climb up to Jackson Point through pine forests and grassy meadows. At about 3.5 (or 3.3) miles, you will reach your destination and be greeted by amazing views of the Tetons.
- Bear Spray
- Trekking Poles
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