Trail Condition: Class 2 (Trail may have tree roots or rocks jutting out. Navigation skills may consist of following rock cairns and choosing turns at junctions. Elevation gains may be more substantial.)
Time: 2-3 hours including boat ride
Length: 1.6 miles round trip plus boat ride
Elevation Gain: 390 ft
Fees: Entrance fee, optional ferry
Recommended Months to Visit:
Features: Not Technical, Waterfalls, Appropriate for Scouts,
Hype:The hike to Hidden Falls and to Inspiration Point is easily the most popular hike in Grand Teton National Park. The trail takes you up Cascade Canyon to a 200-foot cascade and to a vista overlooking Jenny Lake.
Cascade Canyon lies between the Cathedral Group (Teewinot Mountain, Mount Owen, and the Grand Teton) to the south and the St. John Group (Symmetry Spire, Rock of Ages, etc.) to the north. It is one of the most spectacular canyons in the Teton Range.
To find the Cascade Canyon Trail, go to the South Jenny Lake Area on the Teton Park Road.
The trail to the mouth of Cascade Canyon around the south edge of Jenny Lake (2.0 miles) begins at the East Shore Boat Dock. For a small fee, you may ride a boat across the lake, eliminating 2.0 miles, and get to Cascade Canyon more quickly and easily. The boat leaves often throughout the day. Check for the time of the last shuttle. If you miss the last shuttle, walk the trail around the south end of Jenny Lake (2.0 miles) to the parking area.
The visitor services complex at the South Jenny Lake Area includes a visitor center, ranger station, a convenience store, restrooms, and the Jenny Lake Campground.
Cascade Canyon Trail slopes gently upward to Hidden Falls, climbs more steeply to Inspiration Point, then gradually rises to the forks of Cascade Canyon.
If you ride the shuttle boat, the hike to Hidden Falls is one-half mile and Inspiration Point is another half mile. Many visitors go no further, admiring the view of the valley from Inspiration Point. Other hikers go on to the forks, Lake Solitude, or hike the 20-mile loop connecting Cascade Canyon with Paintbrush Canyon.
During the summer, afternoon thunder showers are common and give little warning in the narrow canyons. Be prepared: proper footgear, rain gear, sweater or jacket, food or snacks, insect repellent, sunglasses, sunscreen, and lots of water.
Most of the trail lies above 7000 ft. in elevation. If you live at a lower elevation, go slowly on the trails. Your body requires time to adjust to this elevation.
Closest City or Region: Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
Coordinates: 43.767262, -110.744064
By Jeremy Dye
When we went in July 2011, the ferry was $10 per person. Two of the bridges were washed out when we went, so we had to take a couple detours. After we saw Hidden Falls, Zac, Bryce, Ondy, Tara, Savannah, and I hiked up to Inspiration point. Dad and Mom took the hike back slow and took some pictures on the way. We rode the shuttle back.