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Willow Flats

Easy
 4.0 (1) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

An easy hike through an environmentally robust open space.


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Map Key

11.2

Miles

18.0

KM

Out and Back

6,875' 2,095 m

High

6,817' 2,078 m

Low

202' 62 m

Up

202' 62 m

Down

1%

Avg Grade (0°)

3%

Max Grade (2°)

Dogs No Dogs

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

Family Friendly Who doesn't like seeing a moose with some of the most stunning mountains in the World as a backdrop...?

This area is generally closed for wildlife until July 1st, but the closure can last longer.

Overview

This is a great hike for people staying at Jackson Lake Lodge or in the Colter Bay area. I would recommend doing this on a cooler day as the route heads through open meadows, and doesn't provide much in the way of shade. Additionally, this route is ideal for a Spring or Fall hike as the snow melts early in the season, and stays away later.

Even though this route is almost entirely on doubletrack, it is still quite a pleasant hike, especially for folks who get nervous on some of the more remote trails in the park.

Generally completed as an out-and-back, this hike could also be shuttled easily.

Description

Starting from Jackson Lake Lodge, the route begins on a mostly unused jeep road. Generally closed to vehicles, this road only sees motorized traffic from horse-riding group resupply vehicles.

The first mile of the route heads through a marsh, which proves to be an incredibly ecologically diverse area. The chances of seeing some wildlife here are quite high. Continue onwards, passing by two beaver ponds and over Spring Creek on a small footbridge. From here you'll get a great view of the Teton Range as it towers over Jackson Lake.

After crossing the marsh, pass over Pilgrim Creek on a large concrete bridge and approach the first trail junction. At the junction Willow Flats meets Second Creek Trail and you'll enter a forested area mainly comprised of cottonwoods. Take a right at this junction to stay on Willow Flats Trail.

After the junction, the forest becomes more populated with conifers, and the trail beckons you to continue further, enjoying the cool views along the way. After the second intersection with Second Creek Trail, continue on for ~1 mile and you'll eventually reach the corral.

Flora & Fauna

North of the Jackson Lake Dam, moose browse on willow shrubs. At dawn and dusk, elk graze on grasses growing among willows. Predators such as wolves and grizzly bears pursue elk calves in early summer. Beavers create ponds by damming streams that also harbor muskrats and waterfowl.

History & Background

Once the main route for accessing Jackson Hole, this road was turned into a trail after the construction of US 89 (hence the out-of-place concrete bridge).

Contacts

Shared By:

Tom Robson

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 1 vote

#6

in Central

#3701

Overall
  4.0 from 1 vote
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Recommended Route Rankings

#6

in Central

#69

in Wyoming

#3,701

Overall
87 Views Last Month
958 Since Jan 14, 2015
Easy

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Photos

This shot is taken from the back deck of the Jackson Lake Lodge in Grand Teton National Park.
Apr 1, 2020 near Colter…, WY
A great view of the mountains.
Dec 8, 2017 near Colter…, WY
Grand Tetons
Jan 19, 2015 near Yellows…, WY
Moose in Grand Teton National Park
Dec 8, 2017 near Colter…, WY

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Jul 16, 2018
Tanya Arnautska