Hiking in Cascade Canyon
Cascade Canyon is a great place to turn to. Put on your hiking gear, grab your hiking poles, and fill your Camelbacks full.
As you are headed to Grand Teton National Park, stop by Creekside Market just on the north end of town and stock up with lunch and snacks for the day-you will be thanking me a few miles into the hike! There are two ways to begin your hike, both equally as satisfying. First, you take the Jenny Lake ferry for a scenic 15- minute trip and get dropped off on the other side where you begin your hike. Second, you can begin your hike near String Lake and hike along side Jenny Lake for two easy going miles, where you then meet up with the ferry dock. No matter where you began, the hike is the same from the ferry dock on.
Hike up the twisting trail about ¼ of a mile and you will hear something raging in the distance. Depending on the time of year Hidden Falls is a breathtaking waterfall, which roars with the heavy melt of the earlier months. Some people choose to end their hike here; however, if you would like to continue upward for a steep half mile you will soon hit Inspiration Point. Inspiration Point is a beautiful overview of Jenny Lake and surrounding areas and most people tend to feel inspired after they catch their breath from the steep incline up.
I always say-‘Turn around now, if you want to miss the best part.’ Inspiration Point is beautiful; however, if you keep hiking into Cascade Canyon it gets even better. The hike from here is very easy and you do not even realize miles are passing under your feet because the views are spectacular. The canyon opens up and beautiful views of the nearby peaks, including the Grand, are in plain sight with cascading waterfalls below. The trail follows a river the whole way up and it is almost expected to see some moose enjoying the cool calm waters. Stop and have a picnic whenever you feel ready to enjoy a snack and have a great view.
If you are looking to take this hike to another level, keep hiking till you get to the Cascade Canyon forks and hang a right. In another two and half miles you will be at beautiful Lake Solitude, a high-altitude crystal clear and freezing cold lake. Be prepared for snowfields normally up until August- so pack your gear accordingly. If you are still looking for more, there is always the option of doing Paintbrush Divide into Paintbrush Canyon- but be aware this is not for everyone and at some parts can be technical.
No matter where you turned around, the bottom line is that Cascade Canyon is really for everyone. The views are amazing and a great way to see a different side of the Tetons. Now head back for dinner to replace all the calories you burned.