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Lake Solitude

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.9 (93) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

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


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Map Key

14.2

Miles

22.8

KM

Out and Back

9,049' 2,758 m

High

6,808' 2,075 m

Low

2,246' 684 m

Up

2,246' 684 m

Down

6%

Avg Grade (3°)

29%

Max Grade (16°)

Dogs No Dogs

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.

Contacts

Shared By:

Tom Robson

Trail Ratings

  4.9 from 93 votes

#1

in West

#22

Overall
  4.9 from 93 votes
5 Star
91%
4 Star
6%
3 Star
2%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#1

in West

#1

in Wyoming

#22

Overall
46 Views Last Month
18,487 Since Dec 17, 2014
Intermediate/Difficult

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18%
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Photos

The Teton Peaks
Mar 30, 2020 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
Beautiful views abound in Grand Teton National Park.
Apr 19, 2017 near Alta, WY
Grand Teton National Park
Apr 1, 2020 near Colter…, WY
The hike back down from Lake Solitude has spectacular views of the Cathedral Group.
Aug 20, 2018 near Alta, WY
The view as you are hiking down to the start after leaving Lake Solitude.
Jul 27, 2020 near Alta, WY

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Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Sep 26, 2021
Erik Walsh
18.5mi — 7h 00m
Sep 17, 2021
Kristen Jobes
16.6mi — 7h 18m
Aug 4, 2021
Meaghan O.
15mi — 9h 00m
Jul 21, 2021
Will McAllister
String Lake Trail to Lake Solitude via Cascade Canyon and back 17.7mi — 7h 07m
Jul 17, 2021
Courtney Tee
Amazing! 14.2mi — 4h 56m
Jul 8, 2021
Brock Miskelley
14.5mi
Jul 8, 2021
Lucian Clower
Jun 25, 2021
Beck Billman
The hardest part of this hike is remembering to keep your eyes on the trail because the scenery around you is so distractingly beautiful! 21mi — 9h 00m