Hike through sagebrush flats, forest and meadows to scenic Phelps Lake, nestled in a glacial bowl beneath Prospector Mountain, Albright Peak and Static Divide Peak. Tailor the length of the hike to match the available time and the ability of your party.
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Why Hike Phelps Lake Loop
In 2001 Laurance Rockefeller donated 1,106-acres of land around Phelps Lake to Grand Teton National Park. The site, the former location of the family retreat called the JY Ranch, is now the Laurence S. Rockefeller Preserve. Buildings and any vestiges of the former retreat were removed and the natural areas restored. A series of trails now wind through sagebrush flats, forest, meadows and wetlands leading to Phelps Lake, Lake Creek and scenic ridges.
The trail network features several loops visiting the preserves highlights. The most popular loop uses the Lake Creek and Woodland trails to reach the south shore of beautiful Phelps Lake. Here Prospector Mountain, Albright Peak and Static Divide Peaks form a stunning backdrop for the photogenic lake.
I highly recommend extending the loop hike by adding the Phelps Lake trail to the itinerary. The trail around the forested fringe of the lakeshore offers numerous perspectives of the lake and the high peaks along with views of Open Canyon and Death Canyon.
The Preserve is a very popular spot with a parking lot that fills early in the morning. Rangers and volunteers strictly enforce the parking rules which don’t allow parking along the access road or the nearby Moose-Wilson Road. When the parking lot is full, new visitors must wait in a line for a space to open. Either visit the preserve in the off season or get to the preserve early in the morning so you don’t waste a portion of your days waiting to park.
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