• Activities:

    Photography, Swimming, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Intermediate

  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    6 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    2765 Feet

Lake
Scenic
Swimming Hole

This is a gorgeous, steep hike on an unmarked trail, off the Jenny Lake trail in Grand Teton National Park, to two secluded mountain lakes, the second of which, Lake of the Crags, lies in the shadow of the Rock of Ages.

The unmarked trek up to Lake of the Crags is a hidden gem in Grand Teton National Park, unknown or untried by many. From the Jenny Lake trailhead, follow the path down to the lake and then around the western edge, headed toward Inspiration Point. Shortly after you enter the tree line, you'll see an unmarked trail (unofficially the Hanging Canyon trail) that darts off into the woods. The trail is very steep, with little if any flat traveling once you leave the Jenny Lake trail. While a little less than 3 miles, there is an elevation gain of over 2700 ft. Winding its away up to the first of the two lakes, Ramshead Lake, which is perched on a precipice overlooking the valley, sheathed by a row of Lodgepole pines. Across a 150 yd rock scramble, you'll find the more secluded Lake of the Crags, in the shadows of the Rock of Ages, with a grassy beach ideal for a refreshing swim after your arduous climb. I had forgotten my swim trunks, but I was alone and not above a quick dip in my birthday suit!

Keep in mind that snow lingers year-round in the higher elevations of the Tetons-- I did this hike in September and there was still snow in the shady southern banks of the Lakes. Be careful on your way down too-- its very steep and can be easy to lose your footing!

Pack List

  • Pack according to the weather! 
  • Plenty of water 
  • Snacks (protein/salt/sugar) 
  • A picnic lunch to enjoy on the grassy bank of Lake of the Crags 
  • Bear spray 
  • Sunscreen 
  • Raincoat for unpredictable weather
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Elias King

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