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Jenny Lake, Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point Trails

Jenny Lake Parking, Moose, WY, USA

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seasonal-activities, hike, parks, water-activities

Jenny Lake District, Hidden Falls & Inspiration Point Trails: Kid-Friendly Hikes for Every age and Ability Level

In search of a trail for an outdoor family-friendly outing? Experience this fun hike with the whole crew, one of the most popular summertime things to do with kids in Jackson Hole, and pack a picnic and bathing suit to extend the excursion. Jenny Lake is a crown jewel of the National Park Service.

The Hidden Falls/Inspiration Point Trail is Grand Teton National Park's most popular hike for a reason. It's a tremendously beautiful outdoor activity, and a great chance to spend time with the ones you love. Quick to access once you arrive at the GTNP entrance off Teton Park Road, you will drive about 10 minutes before turning into the South Jenny Lake parking area. We drove all the way to the back and got lucky as we found great parking. 

There are bathrooms at the beginning of the trail, which is pretty standard, porta potty-type setups in a regular free-standing building. Also in this area is the Jenny Lake District Visitor Center, housed in the cabin artist Harrison Crandall as his studio, built in 1921. Crandall’s famous WPA poster of Jenny Lake is on display here as well as a variety of District-related displays and educational materials. The Jenny Lake Store is a great little shop for picking up a variety of snacks, water bottles, and souvenirs is located next to the visitor center.

Jenny Lake Campground has 49 sites, for tents only. Reservations are not accepted, so plan to arrive very early in the morning if you want to snag a spot- the campground is regularly full by 9 am!

For the Jenny Lake Hikes:

You have many options with the ferry just steps from the parking lot -or- a wonderful (and slightly challenging) lake trails hike to the waterfall. It starts out flat and our kids love jumping off and touching every rock in their path. After about 30 minutes, the terrain became more challenging and a bit steeper. The lake trail very doable for kids, but easier for the preteens than toddlers. There were a lot of people out and about with kids of all ages and tons of baby carriers (we spotted a lot of Deuter hiking backpacks). Don’t begin this hike with expectations of solitude unless you do it very early in the morning.

The falls are a lovely place for lunch and playtime before we headed half a mile back towards the ferry/water taxi. The taxi is optional and cuts off about two and a half miles of the trail, but does cost a fee. You can also choose to continue a challenging short hike, one-half mile further to see Inspiration Point. (Our entire excursion, sans Inspiration Point, lasted about three hours as we had kiddos of all ages with us.)

The views are tremendous. So much to see and such a special place to share with loved ones. Jenny Lake itself is a stunning vista even if you choose not to complete the full hike. It's usually sprinkled with standup paddleboarders, tube floaters, and wetsuit clad snorkelers. Wave to the Lake Trout and Cutthroat Trout that swim by. There is a rock-out in the center that’s fun to jump off during warmer months and the Tetons are stark and in your face the entire time.

Additional visitor services for mountaineering and backcountry information, backcountry permits, and boat permits are available at the Jenny Lake Ranger Station.

The Jenny Lake District remains accessible to cars from May 1st through October 31st.


Good for All Ages Scenic Walk Nature
Thoughtfully captured by:
Caitlin Iseler
Caitlin Iseler, happyly founder and CEO, was born in New York and is one of eight children. Her favorite holiday is Thanksgiving and the chance to sit at one table with her favorite 40 people. Caitlin, her outdoor loving husband, Thomas, and daughter, Hanah, live in Virginia Beach. She is also blessed to be a bonus mom to 2 incredible humans, Max & Elizabeth. Being a mom has always been something she dreamt of and it brings her joy beyond measure. Before starting happyly, Caitlin spent 15 years working in executive search with technology companies, most recently with Korn Ferry. In what seems like a lifetime ago, she attended the University of Virginia and was a member of the National & ACC Championship Teams, a gift that keeps giving.
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