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Where to Hike in Jackson This Summer

June 26, 2023

Jackson Hole valley may have built a reputation as a winter wonderland, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have just as much to offer in the summer! As the snow clears out, the trails open up, and nature comes to life, you’ll discover a whole other side to the magical mountain town. While winter is ideal for snow sports, summer gives you the chance to have exciting adventures throughout Jackson Hole’s many beautiful parks. You can hike, bike, and climb all through the season! But with so many parks, how can you decide where to begin? We’ve curated a list of can’t-miss parks around town so that you can have the best, most adventurous summer ever! 


When you visit Jackson, you’ll find that summer wilderness exploration is largely centered around the Tetons. This region is as stunning as it is diverse. It can be hard to know where to start exploring! Luckily, we have a few tips to help you get started. 

Grand Teton National Park 

Where can you find unusual wildlife, sparkling lakes, and gorgeous alpine terrain all in the same place? In Grand Teton National Park, of course! Grand Teton National Park is an amazing park offering lots of opportunities for recreation. Everything here revolves around the “mountains of the imagination”- that is, the Teton Range! This marvelous mountain range is made up of some of the oldest rocks in America. It is primarily made of a 2.7 billion-year old metamorphic rock called gneiss. 

There’s something for everyone at Grand Teton National Park. With more than 200 miles of trails, the scenic Snake River, and other awesome attractions across the 310,000 acre park, there’s no shortage of stuff to do here. 

We recommend visiting… 

Jenny Lake 

One of the most visited spots in Grand Teton National Park is Jenny Lake. This pristine, glacier-carved lake is a great place to go hiking or boating right at the base of the Teton Range. The views of Teewinot Mountain, Mount St. John, Cascade Canyon, and Jackson Hole valley are exceptional!

Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point are unique attractions that can be accessed either by hiking around the end of the lake or taking a shuttle boat. Hiking to Hidden Falls will give you access to a stunning 100ft/30m waterfall. Hiking to Inspiration Point will grant you access to some of the best views in the park! Looking for a backcountry experience? Hike into Cascade Canyon! 

For detailed information on the trails at Jenny Lake, visit https://www.nps.gov/tripideas/jennylake-hikes.htm 


Other Hiking Areas 

Death Canyon to Patrol Cabin is the top-rated local trail on AllTrails. This 9.0 mile, moderate out-and-back trail is a standout because it features both panoramic views and historical sites. 

Garnet Canyon Trail to Cleft Falls is a challenging, ruggedly beautiful out-and-back trail that traverses 7.7 miles of the national park. The wildflowers and birds along this trail make it extra special. The views are great too! 

Oxbow Bend

If you’re interested in watching wildlife, then you have to visit Oxbow Bend! This overlook along highway 89/191 between Jackson Lake Junction and Moran Junction has is home to a variety of birds and animals, including pelicans, Great Blue Herons, muskrats, otters, moose, and bear. Visit it at sunrise or sunset if you can- and be sure to bring a camera.

National Elk Refuge 

Speaking of wildlife watching- we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the National Elk Refuge! The National Elk Refuge is a unique area dedicated to wildlife conservation. The Refuge offers protection for habitat that is critically important to species including elk, bison, wolves, trumpeter swans, bald eagles, bighorn sheep, and cutthroat trout. It is a gorgeous area! The 24,700+ acres of grasslands, wetlands, and forests are also open to wildlife watchers. Come see what you can spot in this protected park! 


Bridger-Teton National Forest 

Did you know that you have access to the third largest national forest outside of Alaska when you stay in Jackson? Bridger-Teton National Forest is a 3.4 million acre national forest that consists of three wilderness areas. There are lots of awesome hiking trails! Depending on your skill level, you might be interested in… 

Do you have a favorite park or outdoors space in or near Jackson? Share it with us in the comments!

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