Hike to Lake Solitude

Alta, Wyoming

5.0/5
based on 6 reviews

Details

Distance

16.5 miles

Elevation Gain

2600 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Description

Added by Grant Whitty

Beautiful hike through Cascade Canyon and North-Fork Cascade Canyon to an incredible and secluded high-alpine lake. About 8 miles one-way, 16.5 miles round-trip.

Start out at South Jenny Lake.

You have the option to take a ferry boat to the other side of the lake to make the journey shorter. If you want to take the ferry, it's about $15 and saves you an extra 4 miles RT.

So from South Jenny Lake you hike along the south-west shore of Jenny Lake to the intersection point of the then-current trail, Inspiration Point, the ferry drop-off, and a nice waterfall. Double check your map and begin the ~1 mile ascent to the valley of Cascade Canyon. 

After ascending for a few minutes, the trees will brake slightly to reveal the majestic and jagged peaks of the Tetons. In front of you will stand the Teewinot Mountain and Grand Teton. Continue to hike through the canyon for about 6 miles. Cascade Canyon is filled with streams, waterfalls, and endless views of the giant peaks that surround the canyon.

After the roughly 6 mile stretch of canyon you come to a fork in the trail. From here take a left (North) and make the final push towards Lake Solitude. There is about 2.5 miles to the lake from the fork. From here enter the North Fork of the Cascade Canyon and the trees will begin to dwindle. You will pass some dispersed campsites and talus fields. When you reach the horse trough, you are just minutes away and you will begin to emerge from the last of the forest and into the alpine. 

As you come over the gradual ridge, you will see Lake Solitude. A beautiful high-alpine lake that sits in the basin of a cirque. Feel free to jump in the glacial waters and refresh a bit.

After about an hour of eating lunch, swimming, and soaking up the sun, you can begin your ~10 mile descent. 

Like many mountain ranges, storms often build up in the afternoon. Always keep weather in-mind while in the Tetons. 

You'll make the long trek down to your car by about 4:30 pm, which gives you plenty of time to cook up a nice and "healthy" Ramen Noodle dinner. 

Read More

Download the Outbound mobile app

Find adventures and camping on the go, share photos, use GPX tracks, and download maps for offline use.

Get the app

Features

Chillin
Photography
Swimming
Hiking
Forest
Lake
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife
Cliff Jumping
Swimming Hole

Reviews

Hiked to Lake Solitude for summer’s solstice 2019 and it was amazing! Rangers told us we wouldn’t be able to hike due to heavy snow but it was hard so we walked on top of it for the last 3 miles. It was freezing at the lake but SO BEAUTIFUL! Amazing day!

We have been traveling the country for 10 months and this trek is easily in our top 10! Some folks will stop at the fork within Cascade Canyon but make sure to tack on the extra miles and make it to Lake Solitude. Trust me, there is no other way that you would rather spend your day. The entire trek is incredible, enjoy!

(I'm that girl jumping into the lake) It was cold. Really really cold. But, you know, it was super worth it! The hike up the lake was long but beautiful with mountains and spruce trees on both sides of the trial. Absolutely breathtaking views of the Grand Teton can been seen after the fork in the trail and into the canyon that leads to Lake Solitude. I would highly suggest opting out of the Jenny Lake Boat if you can handle the extra 4 miles, but be sure to have good hiking boots.

This hike is my favorite hike I've done in the Grand Teton National Park. Hiking through Cascade Canyon is breathtakingly beautiful. Once at Lake Solitude you have panoramic views of the Tetons from within. Be sure to bring your bear spray, as I saw 2 black bears on this hike.

If you're looking for a solid day hike or overnight in the Tetons, this one tops the list. You can climb up to Lake Solitude through Cascade Canyon or can do an extended hike through Paintbrush Canyon, both of which offer incredible views throughout. Once at Lake Solitude, you'll easily find, well, solitude as the lake is quite large and views of the Tetons are great from every spot.

A Tetons trip isn't complete without a hike to Lake Solitude. You can do this as a long day hike, or camp nearby and make it an overnight trip. There are great backcountry sites in the North Fork Cascade camping zone, just down from Lake Solitude. Go in the early morning, late afternoon, or on a weekday to avoid the crowds. It's a popular hike for a good reason!

Leave No Trace

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

Nearby

Hike to Lake of the Crags

Hike to Hidden Falls, WY

Hike to Jenny Lake's Inspiration Point

Photograph on Cottonwood Creek

Explore Jenny Lake, WY

Jenny Lake Loop

Let Adventure be your Destination in Wyoming

Wyoming’s wide-open spaces make it easy to get off the grid and on a trail, through a park, into a forest, up a mountain or down a river. During your journey through Wyoming’s Black to Yellow Region, discover geologic marvels, dense evergreen forests and sprawling prairielands.

Learn More