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Jenny Lake and the Hidden Falls Trail in The Grand Tetons National Park

Hidden falls is found behind Jenny Lake in the Grand Tetons National Park. Start the hike on the Jenny Lake loop trail and take the Jenny Lake loop trail back around the lake until it splits to the hidden falls trail.

How long is the hike?

It is roughly 4.9 miles round trip according to the AllTrails app. Or you can take the small boat ferry across the lake for a small fee from the Jenny Lake Visitor Center. This makes the total round trip hike from the boat dock only roughly 1.3 miles round trip.

First off, Jenny Lake is awesome! The water is crystal clear, there are beautiful tall trees surrounding the lake. You can hike around the whole lake, or take several of the other surrounding trails that branch off. You can also take a boat ride back to the falls.

Where is the trail located?

On to the hike

This is the entrance to the Jenny Lake Visitor area.

The hike is not very strenuous, in fact I would say it is down right easy. It is a short walk and very slight elevation gain. There was a section that seemed to rise quickly, and then after that is was very mellow uphill walking. the views are totally worth it though.

As you work your way around the south side of the lake you get pulled away from the lake on the trail at some points. Eventually you will get back to views of the lake and for me, every view was amazing.

When I was hiking on this trail I could help but stop to think, “you are in a destination that millions of people know about but may never get to visit in their lifetime. You are lucky to be here!”

Take breaks on this hike and enjoy the beauty around you. Even though the trail is easy and short, there’s so much amazing scenery around to look at. Be present, then bust out your camera for memories!

There is a ton of growth here

There is a lot of precipitation in this area between all the rain and snowmelt run off, the plants get a lot of rain and nutrients so be sure to look low as well as all around and find the different types of plants growing including, moss, lichen, fungi, and flowers. It is all so beautiful. I would hate to miss any of it.

After a while you will find this sign, you are getting extremely close to the hidden falls. It is an awesome place and so beautiful.

Behold, the Hidden Falls!

You cannot see these falls from the Jenny Lake visitor center that is why they are called the hidden falls. You have to hike the trail to see them there is no far away lookout that you can see them from. But get close and feel the water flowing, and the mist if you can feel it, hear the roar of the water as it flows down the cliffs.

I really loved these falls, as soon as I got to the base of the falls it was instant peace and calm. I felt like, life is good, and everything is always alright. There are studies that show the more time spent outside and in the trees, the better for your mental and physical health.

Getting back to the trail head….

My girlfriend and I figured we would take the boat because it would be fun and faster and cut off some of the trail hiking, plus we were planning to make it to Yellowstone the next day and find a campground.

You will take a few bridges and they are beautiful view points of the water that’s running off from the Hidden Falls. It really shows you how much water is rushing down that small cliff.

Hiking back to the boat dock

I forgot to say, take a second and take a sip from the fresh water running down the creek. I took a drink in the creek and it was some of the best glacial/ snow run off water that I have ever tasted. Oh so tasty and good!

The ferry boat ride

We decided to take the ferry back to cut time on hiking and it was a great decision to take it back, also the boat ride was cool to see the Tetons from down on the lake.

We rode the ferry back to the Jenny Lake Visitor Center. We were not disappointed. It was a fun ride, there wasn’t much narration, it was cheap, but just the views and being out on the lake was enough to make us happy. Plus it gave our legs a rest and prepped us to pack and leave for Yellowstone from there.

Tips

  • I went in the middle of July.
  • Arrive early to find a parking spot, parking is limited and fills up quickly in the mornings.
  • Bring sunscreen as well as sun protection, hat, sunglasses, light clothes for coverage if you burn easily.
  • Bring water to drink, because dehydration is no good and will put a damper on all your travel plans.
  • BRING BEAR SPRAY, in the event you encounter a bear this is your last defense against a bear

This hike is very easy, and beautiful. Be bear aware, and carry bear spray in the event that you encounter a bear. There are bears all over in this country and you never know when you will approach one intended or not. Learn the proper ways to handle a bear encounter and never run.

Man up, stand up tall and strong, and make a lot of noise and if all else fails and a bear charges you, spray it in the face with bear spray. Thats the best you can do. Let park officials know if you see one afterwards.

We did not encounter any bears on the trails, but you still need to be bear aware and safe to keep yourself and the bear safe. Happy explorations!

If you want to see some of my other hikes check out these links below.

“It’s not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.”

– Sir. Edmond Hillary

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11 thoughts on “Jenny Lake and the Hidden Falls Trail in The Grand Tetons National Park

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  1. Thanks for this! I was camping a week or two ago at Jackson Lake, and wondering if a trip to Jenny with my kayak would be worth it. Next time I visit, I definitely will.

  2. This looks incredible! And your photos are stunning. I was gutted when I went to the Tetons, the Jenny Lake loop was closed and so was the road up into Yellowstone. I mean, it was November, right before Yellowstone was closing anyway, so I wasn’t TOO surprised, but it was a shame I didn’t really get to see the Tetons! (The weather was awful too so we barely saw the mountains haha, so it’s nice to see it so vibrant in your photos!)

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. You have to go back to the Tetons! Its an amazing place! If I had more time I would have stayed longer, but I can always go back again in the future! Bummer it was bad weather for you, hopefully better weather on your next visit!

  3. Very informative post, thank you! I am trying to plan a vacation to Yellowstone, Grand Teton, and Glacier. Where would you suggest flying in and out of for those locations?

    1. The closest airports to the parks would be Jackson hole or Yellowstone airport west of the park, they may be difficult or more expensive to get to, the nearest big airports I would think is in Salt Lake City, Utah or Bozeman, Montana. I drove there from Phoenix, Arizona where I live, on a 2 and a half week long road trip, went all the way up to jasper national park in Canada. No flying on that trip for me, I just wanted to see everything along the way, camp in hidden spots, and it was worth it. I hope that helps?

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