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Lake Solitude

Intermediate
  4.8 ( 57 ) Favorite

Trail

14.2 mile 22.8 kilometer out and back
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 2,246' 684 m
Descent: -2,246' -684 m
High: 9,049' 2,758 m
Low: 6,808' 2,075 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 6% (3°)
Max Grade: 29% (16°)

Dogs

No Dogs
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Trail shared by Tom Robson

An iconic National Park route slotted in arguably one of the most beautiful canyons in the country.

Tom Robson

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Family Friendly This hike has it all... and kids will love the boat shuttle across Jenny Lake. If your party feels up to it, complete this entire route. Otherwise, you can turn around whenever necessary.

Overview

This iconic National Park route is slotted in arguably one of the most beautiful canyons in the country. Flanked by Teewinot Mountain and Mount Owen to the south, and "The Jaw" and Rock of Ages to the north, this hike hits all the high points. Whatever you're looking for from Grand Teton National Park, this route has it.

Need to Know

Description

You've got a few options from the Jenny Lake trailhead for this hike:
Either way, the views of Tetons are incredible.

From the ferry drop-off, take Jenny Lake Trail south, avoiding Hidden Falls Horse Trail, across Cascade Creek to Cascade Canyon Trail. From the Jenny Lake trailhead take the Jenny Lake Trail either direction to Cascade Canyon Trail. Cascade Canyon Trail ascends very steeply heading west towards Lake Solitude. Prior to the trail turning north, enjoy the gorgeous views of Hidden Falls, an approximately 100' waterfall.

After the falls, the trail heads straight up, and ascends multiple switchbacks until you reach Inspiration Point - providing exquisite views of Jenny Lake and the surrounding Tetons. This is good turn-around point if you want a shorter hike. From Inspiration Point, the trail becomes very mellow, and works its way west through deep woods. Be on the lookout for evidence of this Canyon's glacial past in the form of glacial erratics, hanging cirques, and its U-shape.

Eventually, after some mellow climbing and increasingly beautiful views, Cascade Canyon Trail will hit a fork. This is another good place to turn around if you want to shorten the hike.

For Lake Solitude, turn right to start up North Fork Cascade Canyon. The first half of this trail, all the way to Lake Solitude, is quite easy. It features low angle, very straightforward hiking, except for a few spots where you'll be crossing large talus fields. Finally, after dipping in and out of the woods multiple times, the terrain will open-up to views across Lake Solitude.

From Lake Solitude there are sweeping views of the Cathedral Group - Teewinot Mountain (12,330'), Mount Owen (12,928'), and Grand Teton (13,775'). Be sure to enjoy a snack along with the views at the end of North Fork Cascade Canyon Spur. For those looking to get that "perfect" photograph of the aforementioned mountains, you may need to hike further on North Fork Cascade Canyon to the end of Lake Solitude Trail.

Flora & Fauna

Between the crags of the Tetons, ice age glaciers carved deep canyons. Today, the canyons contain dense coniferous forests and open meadows of wildflowers. As elevation increases, wildflowers abound while trees become stunted and eventually shrub-like.“Krummholz” (German for “crookedwood”) plants are dwarfed forms that are treelike at lower elevations.

From treeline to valley floor, forests provide cover and food for many mammal species. Look for elk, mule deer, martens, red squirrels, black bears and snowshoe hares. Moose are a common sighting near the creeks that line these beautiful canyons.

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Check-Ins

Sep 24, 2019
AmyRands Tuthill
Sep 14, 2019
Milly S
Took the boat across the lake, hiked up to Inspiration Point and then kept going through cascade canyon. Wanted to make the last boat so cut it short 6.5mi — 2h 30m
Sep 9, 2019
Thomas Bogle
Aug 31, 2019
Daniel Butters
Brown bear on trail on ascent. Really pretty, not so impressive at the actual lake itself (having done other lake hikes before). 15mi
Aug 28, 2019
Jenny Cestnik
Aug 22, 2019
Samantha Bertasavage
A decently difficult trail but worth all the views it has to offer. Saw a moose on the path with me at one point, he was about 10ft away!
Aug 18, 2019
Andy Markevicus
Hour break at lake 14.2mi — 6h 47m
Aug 13, 2019
Laura Linville
9h 00m

Trail Ratings

  4.8 from 57 votes

#2

in West

#72

Overall
  4.8 from 57 votes
5 Star
88%
4 Star
9%
3 Star
4%
2 Star
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1 Star
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Featured Hike Rankings

#2

in West

#2

in Wyoming

#72

Overall
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13,488 Since Dec 17, 2014
Intermediate

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Photos

Beautiful views abound in Grand Teton National Park.
Apr 19, 2017 near Alta, WY
Grand Teton as seen from a meadow on North Fork Cascade Canyon trail.
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Image by the National Park Service (NPS).
Dec 23, 2014 near Moose W…, WY
The hike back down from Lake Solitude has spectacular views of the Cathedral Group.
Aug 20, 2018 near Alta, WY
Hiker descending Upper Cascade Canyon with Grand Teton in the background.
Jan 23, 2016 near Moose W…, WY
View of Cascade Canyon and trail with Cathedral Group in background.
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Image by the National Park Service (NPS).
Dec 23, 2014 near Jackson, WY
There were several nice waterfalls visible along the south side of the canyon.
Aug 20, 2018 near Alta, WY

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