This hike features a scenic boat ride, a beautiful waterfall and a nice overlook with views of Jenny Lake, nearby peaks and the Gros Ventre Mountains to the east.
- Distance: 1.0 - 1.8 miles (RT)
- Elevation: 6,800-ft. at Trailhead
Maximum elevation - 7,200-ft.
- Elevation Gain: 400-ft.
- Difficulty: easy-moderate
- Basecamp: Grand Teton NP / Jackson Hole
- Region: The Tetons
Trail Description - Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point
The hike to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point is one of the most popular outings in Grand Teton National Park. The journey starts with a boat ride (fee required) across beautiful Jenny Lake, accompanied by great views of the high peaks towering above the west side of the lake. In short order the trail ascends to Hidden Falls, a thundering cascade dropping 200-ft. down a series of rocky ledges, and then climbs to Inspiration Point with fine views of the lake and the Gros Ventre Mountains to the east.
Please keep in mind that this is a very popular hike and the area gets quite crowded in the summer. Try to get an early start to avoid the worst of the crowds.
Start the hike to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point by taking the shuttle boat across Jenny Lake to the boat dock at the mouth of Cascade Canyon on the west side of the lake. The boat ride is quite scenic, featuring great views of Nez Perce (11,901-ft.), Teewinot Mountain and Cascade Canyon. The shuttle boat, which runs every 10-15 minutes, reduces the hike distance to 2.0 miles (one-way). Check the current boat schedule before setting out.
If you decide not to take the shuttle boat, the hike to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point starts near the boat dock on the southeast side of Jenny Lake and then follows the Jenny Lake Trail around the south and west sides of the lake, reaching a junction with the Cascade Canyon trail at 2.1 miles.
This hiking description assumes you start the hike at the boat dock on the west side of Jenny Lake. Add 2.0 miles (4.0 mile round-trip) to the hiking mileage if you hike the Jenny Lake Trail to Cascade Canyon.
From the boat dock the trail initially heads south, ascending on easy grades through spruce-fir forest. Soon the trail curves to the west, passes a junction (stay left) and then crosses a wood bridge over Cascade Creek at 0.2 miles. Beyond the bridge the trail climbs on moderate grades, passing junctions with the Jenny Lake trail. Stay on the Cascade Canyon trail toward Hidden Falls, Inspiration Point and Cascade Canyon.
At 0.5 miles reach the junction with the spur trail to Hidden Falls, branching left. Take a detour and visit the viewing area at the base of the impressive falls, dropping over 200-ft. down a series of tiers. Return to the main trail after seeing the falls.
Past the Hidden Falls junction the trail quickly crosses a wood bridge to the north side of Cascade Creek and then climbs rugged switchbacks up a granite knoll to Inspiration Point (7,200-ft.), at 0.9 miles from the boat dock. As you climb enjoy views of the summits of Teewinot Mountain, Mount Owen and Grand Teton to the southwest.
From Inspiration Point vistas extend across Jenny Lake to the Gros Ventre Mountains and the Gros Ventre Slide, a massive 1925 landslide. Turn around for views of Storm Point and Symmetry Spire to the west. Teewinot Mountain towers over Cascade Canyon to the southwest. As you stand at the viewpoint imagine the massive glacier that flowed out of Cascade Canyon. When the glacier receded it deposited the moraines (low ridges) that dam Jenny Lake. (Note: Views from the overlook are best in the afternoon.)
The trail continues beyond Inspiration Point up Cascade Canyon. See the Cascade Canyon hike for more information.
From Jackson, WY: From the main square at North Cache and Broadway in Jackson Hole, WY, head north on North Cache Street (US-191 N / US-26 E) for 12.4 miles to Moose Junction and turn left on Teton Park Road. Follow Teton Park Road for 1.0 mile, past the main visitor center, to the entrance/fee station. Continue beyond the entry station for 6.9 miles and turn left on the road signed for Jenny Lake. Drive 0.4 miles to the parking lot at the end of the road. This is the closest parking area to the Jenny Lake Shuttle Boat dock. See the Jenny Lake Shuttle Boat site for more information about the service.
From Teton Village, WY: Head out of the village and turn left on the Moose-Wilson Road. Follow the road for 1.1 miles to the park entrance/fee station. Beyond the fee station drive 6.9 miles on the narrow, winding road and turn left on Teton Park Road. Follow Teton Park Road for 0.4 miles to the park entrance/fee station. Continue beyond the entry station for 6.9 miles and turn left on the road signed for Jenny Lake. Drive 0.4 miles to the parking lot at the end of the road. This is the closest parking area to the Boat Dock. See the Jenny Lake Shuttle Boat site for more information about the service. Note that a portion of the Moose-Wilson road is unpaved and very rough.
- Trail Photo Gallery
- Trail Maps
- Basecamp(s) Information: Grand Teton NP / Jackson Hole
- Region Information: The Tetons
- Other Hiking Regions in: Wyoming