Of all the scenic spots in Grand Teton, Jenny Lake was our favorite and we found ourselves exploring the area for a while. That included a boat ride across the lake, followed by a hike up to Inspiration Point. The view from up there is simply unbelievable. Jenny Lake is warm enough for swimming in the summer, so pack your swimsuit just in case. After a hot hike around the lake, you may be tempted to jump in and cool off.
The Visitor Center has a parking lot and information about the boat and the hikes in the area. Many people decide to take the boat, so if you don't want to wait too long, arrive earlier in the morning.
The Shuttle Boat on Jenny Lake
Although a pedestrian trail circles around the lake, if you want faster access to the hiking trails that begin on the other side, you can take the boat across in the summer. Enjoy the spectacular mountain scenery during the ride, take photos and breathe clear mountain air. Once on the other side, you can hike up to Inspiration Point, admiring waterfalls, colorful flowers and small wildlife along the way. Go in July and August to take advantage of long, warm summer days. Stop by the Visitor Center for more information about the hikes and other tips from the rangers. The shuttle boat departs from a dock near the Visitor Center, mid-May through the end of September. For current hours of shuttle operation, call the marina at 307-734-9227. The shuttle boat landing is at the Cascade Canyon trailhead which also leads to Hidden Falls (1 mile) and Inspiration Point (1.9 miles).
Hike to Inspiration Point
In the summer, this trail is one of the most popular hikes in the park. The trail climbs 420 feet over one mile. On the way, you can also visit Hidden Falls, a beautiful, 80-foot-high waterfall. National Park service offers ranger-led hikes in the summer, starting at 8:30 am every day. The hike lasts about 2.5 hours. The hike is limited to the first 25 visitors, and there is a fee for the boat.
In July and August when daytime temperatures are in the 80s, a quick dip in the cold mountain lake can be quite refreshing, so bring your bathing suit just in case.
If you don't feel like hiking, look for the Jenny Lake Overlook. The one-way paved road from North Jenny Lake Junction leads to a high point overlooking the water. Visitors can park their car at the overlook and access the path which leads to the 6.6-mile long trail that winds around the entire lake. Otherwise, you can keep on the road and park at the Visitor Center. From there, you will have easy access to the marina and the shuttle boat which takes visitors to the other side in the summer.
After hiking, drive about 15 minutes north to Signal Mountain Lodge for a scenic lunch with a view Jackson Lake.
The road from Moose is only open during the warmer months and closed in the winter.