“A relatively easy hike to an isolated summit providing stunning views of the Teton Range.”
— Tom Robson
Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
An intrepid family will easily be able to complete this entire journey, but for those looking for an easier option can shuttle a car to the top of the mountain and drive down.
is an isolated summit standing 7,720 feet - the next closest peak of that height or higher is over 10 miles away! This isolation provides panoramic views of the Teton Range, much of the northern Jackson Hole area as well as the Snake River.
Start this hike from the Signal Mountain
Lodge and head to the summit of Signal Mountain
.The ascent starts easily at first as you work your way up the western slopes of the mountain. After crossing the Signal Mountain
Rd. you'll pass a small pond and marsh on your left - this is prime moose sighting territory. Right after this marsh you'll reach a trail intersection with Signal Mountain Cutoff
- stay left here. Be sure not to miss the viewpoint from this intersection, you'll briefly be out of the trees.
Continue east here as the trail switchbacks its way up this generally easy trail. Eventually the trail will drop for a short while down to a small gully - this is where the Signal Mountain Cutoff
rejoins Signal Mountain Trail
. Stay left and head up the gully, this is where the difficult hiking starts.
Follow the gully's fall line as it slogs its way up to the peak of Signal Mountain
. To you east you'll have a dense forest of conifer and cottonwood trees, and to your west you'll have an open meadow, although this doesn't lead to great views... yet! Follow the trail as it switchbacks up the mountain until you reach the stunning vistas at the top.
Once you've had your fill of views, head back down the way you came, yet we recommend turning left to join the Signal Mountain Cutoff
, instead of going back on the Signal Mountain Trail
. This less-used alternative heads south of the ridge past a series of small ponds and eventually meets back up with the Signal Mountain Trail
. Take this back to the Lodge!
History & Background
From a geologic standpoint, Signal Mountain
was formed differently from the Teton Range, even though it is so close in proximity. Geologists agree that the mountain was formed by volcanic ashfall from one of the eruptions of the Yellowstone hotspot. The peak also plays host to a glacial moraine formed by a receding glacier that came south out of the Yellowstone icecap - the same glacial entity that formed Jackson Lake.