Forks of Cascade Canyon Hike
Jenny Lake Trailhead
National Park: Grand Teton
I recently took one of the best hikes in Grand Teton National Park!
It was a cold night (dipping down to below 30 degrees) so it was hard to get out of bed in the morning but it was definitely worth it. This hike, which begins with a short boat ride across the beautiful Jenny Lake, starts by taking you past two of the Tetons’ most famous spots- Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point. While both are great places to stop, if you want to leave the crowds, see rare wildlife and get a close-up look at the Tetons’ iconic rock walls, continue down to Cascade Canyon.
With a round trip distance of 9 miles and little elevation gain, this trail a rigorous half-day hike or leisurely full-day hike for a relatively fit family. Though, you can easily turn back at any point along the way. You venture into a U-shaped valley carved by the area’s receding glaciers, some of which still remain in the higher elevations. Following a powerful creek, the Cascade Canyon hike nearly guarantees a moose sighting. We saw five that morning in addition to a young elk that crossed our path. Bear also frequent the Canyon so don’t forget to bring the bear spray, a necessity for any vacation in the Tetons!
A light sprinkle of snow followed me nearly the entire day. It truly felt like a wintry wonderland while I was enveloped in this silent, peaceful wilderness. This feeling of solitude is much easier to find if you start the trail early, allowing you to see the Park at dawn’s first light, before most the tourists are even out of bed.
Overall, the Cascade Canyon trail would provide an excellent capstone hike to a week in the Tetons, allowing you to truly experience these fabled mountains.