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Jenny Lake in Wyoming

A scenic hike in Grand Teton National Park

Best time: May–October

Jenny Lake
Jenny Lake
Jenny Lake
Jenny Lake

Jenny Lake is one of the most popular destinations in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. The lake formed by glaciers is 129 m (423 ft) deep covering the area of 482 ha (1,191 acres). Jenny Lake is named after a Shoshone Indian woman who got married to an Englishmen.

Jenny Lake Loop will take you on a scenic hike around the lake. It starts at the Jenny Lake Trailhead near the visitor center and boat dock. You can hike in either direction. The counter-clockwise direction is better for an early part of the day when the lighting on the mountains towards the west is much better. From the East Boat Dock area the trail runs along the eastern shore of the lake where the terrain is mostly forested and fairly flat. There are a few short hills to traverse, but nothing too strenuous. For the most part, the loop trail is relatively close to the shoreline and gives numerous vantage points along the way with views of Mt. Owen, Teewinot Mountain, Storm Point, Cascade Canyon, Symmetry Spire, Rockchuck Peak, Mt. St. John, and Mt. Moran.

The water in Jenny Lake is incredibly pure. It's a popular place for hiking, boating, and camping. Climbers camp at Jenny Lake before getting to central Teton peaks. Jenny Lake and Signal Mountain campgrounds offer great views. The best time for outdoor activities in the area is from May through October, when the rea is car-accessible.

Jenny Lake's Inspiration Point hike is a popular route that starts with a lake crossing by boat or a walk around the lake to Cascade Canyon. From the trailhead located at the boat dock, the trail to the canyon is about two miles long and then about one mile uphill to the Inspiration Point. The path climbs steeply to the Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point. There is plenty of wildlife in these parts—hikers may see marmots, a moose or a bear. Once you reach Inspiration Point, you get rewarded with a beautiful panoramic view of Jenny Lake.

Practical info

When is the best time of year to visit Jenny Lake?

Jenny Lake sees the most visitors between May and October when access to the area is open for hiking and other outdoor activities. During this time, visitors can follow the shoreline trails, summit nearby peaks, and take in the scenic mountain views. The winter season brings snow to the area, and only some locations can be accessed by guided tours. Show more

Where can one get scenic views of the mountains around Jenny Lake?

Catching beautiful views of the mountains by Jenny Lake can be done from either Inspiration Point or the eastern shore of the lake. Inspiration Point hiking trail is a 2-mile-long trek initiated from the boat dock that takes visitors through Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point. The eastern shore is relatively accessible and provides visitors with multiple lookout spots for admiring the view. Show more

What is the story behind the name of Jenny Lake?

The history behind the name of Jenny Lake is in recognition of Jenny, a Shoshone Indian wife to Richard 'Beaver Dick' Leigh - an Englishman. The couple resided in the Jenny Lake area during the 19th century. Jenny found work with Richard's fur-trading company as a guide and interpreter, and together, they made significant contributions to the history of that area, earning Jenny a well-deserved tribute through the naming of Jenny Lake. Show more

What is the most popular hike visitors take at Jenny Lake?

Of all the hikes in Jenny Lake, Inspiration Point hike stands out as the most popular one. The trailhead is near the boat dock, and the hike spans across two miles. Visitors can either get there by hiking around the lake or through the boat ride to the trailhead. The hike rewards visitors with a magnificent panoramic view of the lake and mountains, and visitors might also spot some wildlife along the way, such as marmots and moose. Show more

What kind of wildlife can be found around Jenny Lake?

Jenny Lake's surroundings are abundant with several species of wildlife such as marmots, moose, and bears. Marmots are common in areas leading up to Inspiration Point and Cascade Canyon. Visitors to the lake's eastern shores might see moose. Hikers are advised on safety precautions, such as carrying bear spray, as bears might be along the trails. Visitors can make noise along the way to avoid startling the bears. Show more

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Last updated: by Dari Vasiljeva