This hike takes a journey on one of the best trails in the park: Hermitage Point Trail
. Due to its easy nature and accessibility, this trail is very heavily used.
The views of Mt. Moran (12,605') and the surrounding Teton Range are unrivaled from this trail - enjoy!
Starting from the Hermitage Point trailhead, this hike skirts Colter Bay's eastern shore and heads south on Hermitage Service Road
. Even though this section is on a service road, the views of Mt. Moran are stunning.
At the next trail intersection turn right onto Jackson Lake Overlook Trail
. This trail has one of the best viewpoints in the Park. Again, the views of Mt. Moran are constant. Once you've gotten your fill of Teton Range views continue south, bypass Hermitage Point Cutoff on your left, and follow the eastern shore of Heron Pond to an intersection with Hermitage Point Trail
. Turn right at this intersection to start this unique journey.
After departing from Heron Pond, the trail continues south, and Jackson Lake will be hidden by tree cover. Eventually, the trail enters an open sage meadow with awesome views of the Teton Range, across Hermitage Point. The views last for another mile or so, all the way to the point.
After absorbing the views from the point, continue through the open meadows as your hike takes you north along the eastern shoreline of Hermitage Point. Pass the designated campsite and Hermitage Point Cutoff trail by staying right, then turn left at the next intersection with another Hermitage Point Cutoff. From here the trail goes over a tiny hill and terminates at a four-way intersection with Swan Lake Trail
and Jackson Lake Overlook Trail
. Stay right to join Swan Lake Trail
Swan Lake Trail
skirts the western edge of Swan Lake and could provide awesome potential for wildlife sightings. Once you've departed Swan Lake, turn right at the next intersection with a connector trail, and the trail finishes back where you started.
Sagebrush, meadows and forests provide habitat for many mammals. Deer feed at the edge of conifer forests. Uinta ground squirrels flourish in dry sagebrush meadows, while red squirrels chatter incessantly from conifer forests. Look for occasional snowshoe hares and martens. Trails lead to ponds inhabited by beavers, muskrats, waterfowl and river otters, or may provide a view of bear, moose or elk.