Circumnavigate Phelps Lake from the Laurence S. Rockefeller Preserve. This hike affords amazing views of the Teton Range and gets much less use than the Jenny Lake
area, but has a similar feel.
Head west on the southern LSR Connector
as it skirts Lake Creek and crosses Moose Wilson Rd. before hitting a four-way intersection. At this intersection head south, away from the creek on Aspen Ridge Trail
. Aspen Ridge heads southwest at an easy, shallow grade and contours around a small ridge, eventually heading north.
Gain the aforementioned ridge through an easy climb, then switchback three times, contouring the top of the ridge and begin the trail's final descent. Pass Phelps Lake Trail
on your left, and be sure to take in the awesome views of Phelps Lake and the surrounding Jackson Hole valley. This trail eventually reaches an intersection with Phelps Lake Trail
at the southern tip of Phelps Lake.
Turn left onto this trail as it heads north and skirts along the western shore of Phelps Lake until it joins Valley Trail
at the lake's northern extent. The views of Phelps Lake from this trail are splendid. At the intersection with Valley Trail
turn right, then shortly after, turn right onto Phelps Lake Overlook
. The views from this segment are also awesome - you can't go wrong here!
The eastern section of Phelps Lake, Spur Trail
, has awe-inspiring views of multiple Teton peaks, including: Albright Peak (10,552'), Prospectors Mountain (11,241'), Mount Hunt (10,783'), and Apres Vous Peak (9,508'). Spur Trail
has a great view of an Open Canyon
and its U-shaped nature. This canyon was formed during the last glacial maximum approximately 15,000 years ago!
At Spur Trail
's terminus, turn left onto Boulder Ridge Trail
. Boulder Ridge passes David Spalding's gravestone. Once a homesteader in the area, Spalding is known as one of the first ascenders of Grand Teton.
Continue east as the trail continues to rise and switchback left, then right, then it descends heading southeast. Boulder Ridge then undulates through forests and fields. Continue straight, across an old road crossing, then you'll eventually reach a junction with an LSR Connector
Turn left on this connector which will take you back to the parking area!
Aquatic habitats and adjacent forests, marshes and meadows fulfill the needs of many forms of wildlife. Diverse and abundant vegetation offers excellent food and cover. Look for moose, river otters, beavers, muskrats, coyotes and mule deer.
Aspen, cottonwood, alder, and willow trees abound on this hike.