Hiking Project Logo

Amphitheater Lake

Difficult
 4.7 (71) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Hike to meadow-ensconced glacial lakes as Disappointment Peak towers above.


Your Rating:      Clear Rating
Your Difficulty:
Your Favorites: Add to Favorites · Your List
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

9.9

Miles

16.0

KM

Out and Back

9,690' 2,953 m

High

6,741' 2,055 m

Low

2,949' 899 m

Up

2,949' 899 m

Down

11%

Avg Grade (6°)

22%

Max Grade (12°)

Dogs No Dogs

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

Overview

Not overly technical, this hike offers stunning views from Amphitheater Lake and Surprise Lake, a must-see side trip.

Description

Starting from the Lupine Meadows trailhead/parking area, Garnet Canyon Trail contours southward, across Glacier Gulch Creek, and then turns west ascending a semi-steep fall line. Shortly after heading west, the trail is intersected by the Bradley Lake Trail, stay straight (right) here to continue on Garnet Canyon Trail.

From this intersection, the trail switchbacks five times, popping in and out of the trees multiple times. Be sure to take a quick look back at Bradley and Taggart Lake below, as well as Sheep Mountain (11,239') and its "Sleeping Indian" formation across the Jackson Hole Valley. Just after the fifth switchback you'll reach an intersection with Amphitheater Lake Trail - turn right.

Once on the Amphitheater Lake Trail, you'll switchback lazily four more times until the trail hits a steep segment, switchbacking ten more times very sharply. The top of these switchbacks brings you to a nice, gently sloping area that plays host to both Surprise Lake and Amphitheater Lake. These two glacial lakes sit just below Disappointment Peak (11,618') and Surprise Lake features a backcountry campsite (permit required).

History & Background

Early mountaineers thought the slopes leading to Amphitheater Lake would continue to the summit of Grand Teton (13,775'). When they reached the top of the ridge they were disappointed to find it actually ended at the summit of now named Disappointment Peak (11,618').

Contacts

Shared By:

Tom Robson

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 71 votes

#3

in West

#75

Overall
  4.7 from 71 votes
5 Star
76%
4 Star
23%
3 Star
1%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#3

in West

#3

in Wyoming

#75

Overall
93 Views Last Month
10,541 Since Jan 29, 2016
Difficult

0%
0%
13%
17%
68%
2%

Photos

Surprise Lake plunge - Grand Teton rising above. Brrrrr!
Jan 15, 2016 near Moose W…, WY
Amphitheater Lake in late September
Jan 21, 2016 near Moose W…, WY
July lunch at Amphitheater.
Jan 15, 2016 near Moose W…, WY
Awesome view of the local fauna and valley around the Tetons. Taken on the switchback op to amphitheater lake.
Mar 8, 2020 near Alta, WY
Standing on the outlet of Amphitheater Lake with Surprise Lake below
Sep 27, 2020 near Alta, WY
Bradley Lake
Oct 28, 2020 near Alta, WY

0 Comments

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
All Clear 5 days ago See History
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Sep 13, 2021
Zac Johnson
Zac and mel
Aug 22, 2021
Adam Socha
10.8mi — 5h 21m
Aug 20, 2021
Connecticut Hiker
9.9mi — 5h 05m
Aug 17, 2021
Marc Daniel
With Mila after a sexy night with chocolate and quick morning sex — 8h 30m
Aug 1, 2021
Laura Knoll
Jul 15, 2021
Lynn Ann
amphitheater lake hike
Jul 3, 2021
Ivan Vo
Jun 24, 2021
Yasmin Palmer
Hiked to Delta Lake instead