Hike to Jenny Lake's Inspiration Point

Alta, Wyoming

4.5/5
based on 11 reviews

Details

Distance

2.2 miles

Elevation Gain

450 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Description

Added by Gordon Li

Amazingly photogenic and scenic, this short stretch is a must when visiting the Grand Tetons.

A relatively easy hike. Getting to the trailhead requires a short boat ride across Jenny Lake from the south side. Alternatively, it is possible to walk around the lake as well.

Starting from the boat dock, the trail is only a ~0.8 mile climb to Inspiration Point (1.6 miles round trip). Shortly into the hike, you will pass a side trail leading to Hidden Falls. If you have time, it's worth checking out.

Wild marmots zips through the pristine conifer forest floor as you ascend. Wildlife is abundant in these parts. If you're lucky, you might even come across a moose. However, be wary of bears as they are known to frequent the area as well.

The forest opens up to a gorgeous backdrop of the "Cathedral Group." This is essentially the middle point of the hike. It is also a good time to refuel and take a moment and digest the Tetons in all its beauty.

The trail becomes a bit rocky, but is still manageable. Afterwards, you'll be greeted with a panoramic view of Jenny Lake.

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Features

Fitness
Chillin
Photography
Hiking
Easy Parking
Forest
Groups
Lake
Scenic
Waterfall

Reviews

If you cheat and take the boat shuttle, I'd recommend the views and mile spur to the overlook. If you hiked around the whole lake like us, Inspiration point just added mileage to the hike in my opinion. Definitely check out Hidden Falls!!

The Jenny Lake area is the most popular place in Grand Teton National Park. It's an absolute must see, but I recommend going early in the morning, or in the evening to avoid the big crowds. My favorite time of year to visit is in late Fall. The color is spectacular! While it's possible to take the boat ride across the lake (fun for kids) I recommend hiking around the lake. Cascade Canyon is incredibly beautiful and awe inspiring, and looking out across Jenny Lake from Inspiration Point is a classic Teton experience.

We did the full loop hike instead of taking the ferry and were so glad we made the extra trip up to Inspiration Point. It added a few miles, but was worth the climb!

We took the boat from across Jenny Lake to the trailhead, which was nice. We went in July and part of the trail was under construction. We did not get to see Hidden Falls because of this. The hike to Inspiration Point was beautiful. The trail was well maintained. There were other people on this trail but it didn't seem overly crowded, which was nice. The higher parts of this hike do get a little steep with no handrails, so be careful and stay as close to the rock as you can. The views at the top across the lake and back towards the mountains are fantastic. We were there in the late afternoon and the mountain view was majestic. We saw a pika on the steep, rocky part of the trail near Inspiration Point! The last boat back across Jenny Lake leaves at 7:00 PM, but if you miss it you can walk back to the parking lot, it is about a 2 mile hike. Also, there are not bathrooms on this hike, so make sure you use the ones near the Jenny Lake visitor center before you leave.

This is the hike that everybody and their brother hikes when visiting the Tetons. It's not a bad hike by any means, but do not expect solitude. However, I definitely recommend going on further up Cascade Canyon past Inspiration Point and Hidden Falls: The crowds drop significantly from there own up.

We hiked this with my brother's family and combined we had 7 kids. They all did great - we hiked around the lake, up to the top, had lunch, and then took the ferry back to the trailhead. It was a perfect. Also - DON'T feed the chipmunks at the top. They are obviously well fed and practically a menace.

A great view of the lake with so many opportunities to see wildlife - we saw two moose right on the shore when the shuttle was pulling in. Make sure you get there early to beat some of the crowds. This is a great hike to pair with another short one during the day, like to Phelps Lake

Perfect hike to inspire you to go farther into Cascade Canyon and a hike up to Lake Solitude. Go early to beat the crowds. Take the boat toward the trailhead just because it feels like you're riding into Jurassic Park.

Arguably the most crowded hike in the Tetons. It is recommended to take the Jenny Lake shuttle at least one way ($9/person) to cut off the 2 miles of trail around Jenny Lake. Try hiking past Inspiration Point into Cascade Canyon to get away from some of the crowds and for some jaw-dropping views.

Once a year hike. Worth the Jenny Lake hike or the boat ride $. Wear boots. Hydrate plenty and watch your step on the way up. Also PLEASE watch your little ones, A LOT of potential for injuries if not attended to. If you can spare 2 additional hours I highly recommend hiking west of Inspiration Point on the Cascade Canyon Trail for at least a mile or two (1hr in and 1 hr out) at least. You will not regret it.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Nearby

Hike the Jenny Lake North Shore

Hike to Lake Solitude

Hike to Lake of the Crags

Hike to Hidden Falls, WY

Explore Jenny Lake, WY

Photograph on Cottonwood Creek

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