How to Hike Inspiration Point in Grand Teton National Park

As a side trip from Yellowstone National Park or as a separate stay, you should spend at least two days in Grand Teton National Park to experience just how grand it really is. If you are planning a trip, make sure you put the hike to Inspiration Point Grand Teton on your itinerary!

After you read all there is to know to plan your hike, keep reading for some other must-experience things to do in the park and other helpful tips for your visit. 

Grand Teton National Park Mountain Range
Wyoming’s Grand Tetons will surely take your breath away!
 
A chipmunk taking in the view of Jenny Lake on top of Inspiration Point.
Even the chipmunk is impressed with the view of Jenny Lake!

READ NEXT: YELLOWSTONE ITINERARY

Everything You Need to Know about Hiking Inspiration Point Grand Teton National Park

If there’s only one hike you could do in Grand Teton National Park, we highly recommend Inspiration Point into Cascade Canyon. It’s family-friendly, isn’t too difficult with spectacular views, and even has a waterfall! 

Here are all the details you need to know to plan your hike and don’t forget to keep reading for our detailed account, pictures, tips, and other recommended things to do in the park below. 

Jenny Lake Boat Dock - Where you pick up the shuttle for hiking Inspiration Point Grand Teton National Park
The Jenny Lake Boat Dock where you will pick up the shuttle to take you across the lake to start the Inspiration Point hike.
Jenny Lake Shuttle
Empty Jenny Lake shuttle – try to get on the first one of the morning.

How Long is the Inspiration Point Hike?  5.8-mile loop round trip from the Jenny Lake Loop Trail or you can shorten it to a 2.2-mile loop accessible by shuttle across Jenny Lake – which we recommend to save on time, beat the crowds, and to spend more time in this beautiful area. 

Inspiration Point Elevation Gain:  800 feet.

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate. 

Duration: 2 – 4 hours. Depends on if you shorten the hike by taking the lake shuttle and how many breaks you take. 

Best Time of Year: Spring through the Fall. Summer is the peak tourist season so plan accordingly. 

Grand Teton Weather: The park is open all year long with the coldest months being January, February, November, and December with heavy snow and limited road access. Spring warms up but still can have an occasional snowstorm and rainy days. Summers have an average temperature of 77 degrees. July and August are the warmest and driest months which is why they are the most popular months to visit. 

Sun Exposure: Some shade on hike up but all sun at the top. 

Shuttle Information: Full price ticket: $20 per adult, $17 for seniors (62 and older), $12 for children, and free for children 2 and under. Find information on updated prices and shuttle hours here. 

Pets: No pets allowed.

Bathrooms: At boat dock.

Parking: Jenny Lake Parking Lot

HOT TIP: To save $13 per person get up early and take the 7:00 am shuttle across Jenny Lake. The first boat of the day is $5 (cash-only) instead of $18 a person. 

Grand Teton Hiking Tips:

  • Inspiration Point is a popular hike, begin early to not only save money on the shuttle but to avoid the crowds. 
  • Beware of loose rocks and uneven footings on your way up.  
  • Be extra careful when it is raining or just rained. The steps are smoothed out and can be slippery. 
  • Remember all fossils, plants, rocks, and artifacts should remain in the park and unharmed. 

WHAT TO PACK AND WHAT TO WEAR: Wear sturdy shoes (no flip-flops), carry a lightweight daypack (click to see a recommended bag), and put on sunscreen before you head out. For the hike, you’ll want to pack the following:

  • Water (the NPS recommends two quarts per person for a two-hour hike)
  • Snacks 
  • Hat and/or Sunglasses
  • Camera
A Mule Deer in Grand Teton National Park.
Grand Teton National Park Tip: Wake up early to see the most wildlife! Here’s a mule deer that was grazing right by the boat dock at Jenny Lake.

What It’s Like to Hike up to Inspiration Point Grand Teton 

Once you get off the shuttle, take the Cascade Canyon Trail to Hidden Falls, roughly 1/2 a mile. 

Cascade Creek on the way to Inspiration Point Grand Teton National Park.
Take Cascade Canyon Trail and the creek provides a soothing sound as you begin the Inspiration Point hike.
Crossing Cascade Creek bridge on the way to Hidden Falls Grand Teton National Park.
Walking across the Cascade Creek Bridge on the way to Inspiration Point!

Just past Canyon Creek you reach the junction for Hidden Falls, one of the favorite waterfalls in Grand Teton National Park.

Take the short detour to view the falls, then return to the main trailhead for a steep 1-mile climb to Inspiration Point. 

Unfortunately, Hidden Falls was closed during our visit due to a storm so make sure to check with the ranger whether or not it is open during your time in the park. (Currently open.)

Stairs heading up to Inspiration Point in Grand Teton National Park
Hiking up the stairs to Inspiration Point in Grand Tetons.

Here, you’ll reach the most strenuous part of the hike where you’ll climb roughly 400 feet in elevation to Inspiration Point.

Be extra careful in this section as you will encounter a narrow section that has rocky footing and a steep drop-off.

So if you are hiking with children, do not let them run up ahead. 

Narrow section of the Inspiration Hike in Grand Teton.
Be extra careful in this short section – it’s pretty narrow, rocky, and steep.

Once you reach the top, you’ll be rewarded with fantastic views of Jenny Lake from above and the Cathedral Group of the tallest mountains in the Teton Range from below.

The 12,325-foot Teewinot Mountain, 13,770-foot Grand Teton, and 12,928-foot Mt. Owen make up the trio and can be seen from the point.

RELATED: THERE’S ALSO AN INSPIRATION POINT MONTANA

Inspiration Point Sign, elevation 7200 feet in Grand Teton National Park.
You have reached Inspiration Point, 7,200-foot elevation.
Jenny Lake from Inspiration Point Grand Teton National Park
Looking out over Jenny Lake from Inspiration Point.
View from Inspiration Point Grand Teton National Park in Montana.
The view once you reach Inspiration Point overlooking Jenny Lake.
Hiking up to Inspiration Point in Grand Teton National Park
On our way up to Inspiration Point.
Teton Range seen from the Inspiration Hike in Teton National Park.
Teton Range behind the hiking trail.

Other Best Things to Do in Grand Teton National Park

Drive the 43-mile Scenic Loop inside the Park

From Grant Village Campground on the southern end of Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Park isn’t too far of a drive. One of the best things to do if you only have one day in Grand Teton National Park is to drive the scenic loop inside the park. 

Even though the Tetons are Yellowstone’s neighbor, the park has a completely different feel. As you drive out of Yellowstone, the mountain range greets you in the distance.

Scenic drive from Yellowstone to Grand Teton.
Driving from Yellowstone to Grand Teton.

Once inside the park, stop at Colter Bay on Jackson Lake. The paved path from the visitor center along the lake is a nice stroll.

Boats at Colton Bay on Jackson Lake in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.
Boats at Colton Bay on Jackson Lake.

Then, drive up the narrow road to Signal Mountain which provides breathtaking panoramic views of Jackson Lake, the valley, and the mountain ranges.

Views from Signal Mountain in Grand Tetons National Park.

View from Signal Mountain Drive in Grand Teton.

Take Antelope Flats Road for wildlife viewing and then Mormon Row to see some of the most photographed barns in the country, Moulton Barns.

Pronghorn in Grand Teton National Park.
Pronghorn off of Antelope Flats Road, a great place to see wildlife in Grand Teton.
Moulton Barns in Grand Teton National Park
One of the most photographed barns in the country, Moulton Barns.

Have Lunch at Signal Point Lodge

We stopped in Signal Point Lodge for a heaping mound of nachos (this is the half order by the way) and a few drinks. I had a huckleberry lemonade which had a unique flavor and the hubby tried a local IPA.

Nachos at Signal Mountain Lodge
Where to eat in Grand Teton National Park – the Signal Mountain Lodge
Drinks at Signal Mountain Lodge
Cheers to lunch at Signal Mountain Lodge!

Stay for a Sunset

Once the sun begins to tuck away behind the mountains, a warm glow appears and it softens the beautiful views. It’s also a great time to see wildlife throughout the park.

Moose and baby in Grand Teton National Park
We saw a baby moose and mom right before the sunset in Grand Teton.
Sunset in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.
Reflections at sunset.

Rent a Canoe on Jackson Lake

We ended the day with a canoe ride on Jackson Lake. We rented it for two hours since it was the minimum at $19 an hour before tax. We had a blast making our way around the small islands and taking in the mountainous views.

Canoeing Jackson Lake in Wyoming.
Would you look at those views!
Canoeing on Jackson Lake in Wyoming.
Jackson Lake is one of the largest high altitude lakes in the United States, at an elevation of 6,772 ft (2,064 m) above sea level.

Tips on Visiting Grand Teton National Park

  • If you want to photograph the popular barns of Mormon Row, drive to the barns then turn around. The road is rough and dusty and doesn’t provide any additional views.
  • To save $10 a person on the Jenny Lake shuttle ($18 ride for $5), take the 7:00 am boat. It is cash only and is the first boat to go out for the day. Bring a jacket, the ride is chilly!
  • Free Wi-Fi near the general store at Colter Bay
  • Trailers are not allowed on the narrow drive up to Signal Mountain’s peak.

Have you hiked Inspiration Point in Grand Teton National Park? What was your experience like, tell us in the comments below!

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If you only have one day in Grand Teton National Park and are looking for an easy hike, do not miss Inspiration Point. Start your day taking a shuttle across Jenny Lake, then you'll walk along a creek to a waterfall, then hike to spectacular views. If you are looking for things to do in Grand Teton, do not miss this hike! #hiddenfalls #inspirationpoint #hike #grandtetons #NationalPark #nationalparks #grandtetonnationalpark #travel #visittheusa #wyoming #nps #hiking #yellowstone

Grand Teton National Park lands on the top 10 visited national parks in the United States. The mountains are one of the most beautiful places you can travel to. In this Grand Teton National Park itinerary, I will show you the best things to do, best hike, where to canoe, and a scenic drive in the Grand Tetons! #grandteton #nationalpark #itinerary #guide #wyoming #roadtrip

How to hike to Inspiration Point, one of the best hikes in Grand Teton National Park, plus other fun things to do in this 2 day itinerary. #grandteton #nationalpark #itinerary #guide #wyoming

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8 Responses

  1. Chris Travels

    All the parks you are visiting are ALL favorites of mine. It’s hard to beat the mountainous western states for awesome beauty in those national parks. I cannot even pick a favorite as it would make the others seem less significant, which is not the case…they are all spectacular! Enjoy your continuing adventure…I’ll be reading along!

  2. Vince

    Nachos look amazing! Is your husband flexing in the boat pic?

  3. Kim B

    Hello again,
    I love relaxing anywhere at Colter Bay & Jenny Lake, the Tetons are so beautiful.
    Exploring Jackson Hole is a lot of fun also. Driving in from the west of the Tetons is nice too but definitely not as scenic as the east side of the range. There’s also a good rodeo in Jackson.
    My first trip here was in the spring & the wild flowers were fantastic & varied with elevation. I camped at Gros Vante. I love hearing water as I go to sleep There’s also a trail along the river & good chances for wildlife viewing. I saw moose & buffalo.
    On another trip through the area in the winter my mother & I saw hundreds of elk, it was spectacular
    I’m enjoying your trip as well as reliving several of mine. Thank you for sharing!
    Onward,
    Kim B

    • Dang Travelers

      It’s so great that you have memories of each place as well! I’m going to write down your tips, places you camped and visited that we didn’t make it to 😉

  4. Gretchen

    We just got back from a trip to Tetons and Yellowstone. I’d read this blog before going and we used your tip of taking the first shuttle boat to save the $10/person. We had an awesome time on the hike to Hidden Falls (a bull moose surprised us when we were taking photos in front of the falls). Just wanted to say thanks for the tip!

    • Dang Travelers

      Aww Gretchen, thanks so much for writing in and telling me! I really love these comments as it makes all the time and effort on the site worth it! Sounds like an amazing experience so glad you had fun.

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