While visiting the Grand Teton National Park, we went to Jenny Lake for hiking because of its beautiful hiking trails. We went during October, and on the day of our hike, it was quietly snowing, which made our experience even more pleasant and serene. However, at times, the visibility of the lake became nonexistent due to the wind and snow.
After parking at the Jenny Lake Visitor Center, we headed towards Inspiration Point/Hidden Falls at the Jenny Lake Trail Head. Many visitors take advantage of the boat that departs from both the visitor center and while on the trail at the West Shore Boat Dock to halve their hike.
During the ‘on season’ you have several options when it comes to the Jenny Lake boat. You can board the boat near the visitors’ center on the East Shore. Here you have the option to choose a one way or a round trip ticket. Since you would be brought to the West Shore at Cascade Canyon, you can hike to Inspiration Point/Hidden Falls and hike back to the visitors’ center or opt out of the hike and return by boat. The second option is the hike from the visitors’ center, go to Inspiration Point/Hidden Falls and catch the boat from Cascade Canyon from the West Shore Dock.
Since the boat frequently goes between the east and the western shores, you would buy your tickets on the same day. Learn more about the Jenny Lake boat and ticket options here.
However, during the first week of October, the boat was no longer operating for the season. Therefore, we needed to hike all the way to Inspiration Point/Hidden Falls and back. We chose these two spots because our friends recommended them and are relatively close to each other – there’s about a half a mile difference between them.
Although Hidden Falls was interesting, my favorite was Inspiration Point because it offered an impressive view of the lake. On the way up, the pathway becomes narrow and the terrain is relatively rocky. It also requires walking along the edge of a cliff without a railing. Make sure to allow others coming down to pass before going up.
Going there from the visitors’ center is approximately 4 miles round-trip. It took us around 3 hours because we stopped to admire the scenery and take pictures. The trail provided varying views of the lake and the impressive mountain range. The trails have good signage, and although we went during the ‘offseason,’ every so often, we would come across a fellow hiker.