Share:

Cascade Canyon via South Jenny Lake

Grand Teton National Park

Targhee/Teton Area, Wyoming

Start Exploring
Cascade Canyon via South Jenny Lake

Share:

Advertisement
  • Starting off from the Jenny Lake boat launch on the south end.- Cascade Canyon via South Jenny Lake
  • You can skip the first part by taking a boat if you like, but the trail is worth sticking around for.- Cascade Canyon via South Jenny Lake
  • You have to climb a decent-sized hill along the way.- Cascade Canyon via South Jenny Lake
  • Some of your first majestic views.- Cascade Canyon via South Jenny Lake
  • The footbridges near Secret Falls and the boat dock.- Cascade Canyon via South Jenny Lake
  • At the boat dock, you are almost to the start of the official Cascade Canyon Trailhead.- Cascade Canyon via South Jenny Lake
  • The first section of the Cascade Canyon Trail consists of steep switchbacks.- Cascade Canyon via South Jenny Lake
  • First sights of the canyon, including Teewinot Mountain (12,326 ft).- Cascade Canyon via South Jenny Lake
  • A small stream crossing.- Cascade Canyon via South Jenny Lake
  • Cascade Creek.- Cascade Canyon via South Jenny Lake
  • Such stunning beauty.- Cascade Canyon via South Jenny Lake
  • Cascade Canyon.- Cascade Canyon via South Jenny Lake
  • Fireweed wildflowers.- Cascade Canyon via South Jenny Lake
  • This is arguably the prettiest place in Wyoming.- Cascade Canyon via South Jenny Lake
  • Teewinot on the left and Mount Owen (12,927 ft) in the distance.- Cascade Canyon via South Jenny Lake
  • The large, wide canyon is so beautiful.- Cascade Canyon via South Jenny Lake
  • Bear sighting in the distance.- Cascade Canyon via South Jenny Lake
  • Hiking Cascade Canyon.- Cascade Canyon via South Jenny Lake
  • Cascade Canyon.- Cascade Canyon via South Jenny Lake
  • The trail has a ton of variety.- Cascade Canyon via South Jenny Lake
  • Cascade Canyon.- Cascade Canyon via South Jenny Lake
  • Cascade Canyon.- Cascade Canyon via South Jenny Lake
  • Cascade Creek really adds an extra dimension to the area.- Cascade Canyon via South Jenny Lake
  • Cascade Canyon.- Cascade Canyon via South Jenny Lake
  • Cascade Canyon.- Cascade Canyon via South Jenny Lake
  • Cascade Canyon.- Cascade Canyon via South Jenny Lake
  • There are a bunch of waterfalls and cascades along the way.- Cascade Canyon via South Jenny Lake
  • Cascade Canyon.- Cascade Canyon via South Jenny Lake
  • Cascade Canyon.- Cascade Canyon via South Jenny Lake
  • Cascade Canyon.- Cascade Canyon via South Jenny Lake
  • Cascade Canyon.- Cascade Canyon via South Jenny Lake
  • Cascade Canyon.- Cascade Canyon via South Jenny Lake
  • Cascade Canyon.- Cascade Canyon via South Jenny Lake
  • Indian paintbrush.- Cascade Canyon via South Jenny Lake
  • One of the last cascades in the canyon.- Cascade Canyon via South Jenny Lake
  • One of the footbridges near the end of the canyon.- Cascade Canyon via South Jenny Lake
  • At the end of the canyon is a fork: left leads to South Fork and the right leads to Lake Solitude and Paintbrush Canyon.- Cascade Canyon via South Jenny Lake
  • - Cascade Canyon via South Jenny Lake
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Truly stunning beauty. Lots of options from here. Waterfalls.
Cons: 
Can be crowded.
Advertisement
Region:
Targhee/Teton Area, WY
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
No
Net Elevation Gain: 
1,200.00 ft (365.76 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Summer, Fall
Suitable for:
Hiking, Horseback
Total Distance: 
12.50 mi (20.12 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
6,807.00 ft (2,074.77 m)
Current Local Weather:
Advertisement
Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

Cascade Canyon is one of the premiere hikes in Grand Teton National Park and one of the prettiest hikes in the country. This tremendously beautiful trail cuts right into the heart of the Tetons just west of famous Jenny Lake. Most of the trail is relatively flat other than the early switchbacks, which allows many people to experience the breathtaking sights. It's surprising this hike is not a countrywide household name. The canyon is lined on both sides by some of the most steep, jagged, and rugged stone you can come across. The glacial-cut granite is still being shaped by the remaining ice that melts and flows into the many waterfalls you can see along the trail. Wildflowers abound, the wildlife is plentiful, and as the trail continues the steady stream of hikers dwindles to a trickle, a truly magnificent moment to get all this beauty to yourself.

The canyon's trailhead begins on the west side of Jenny Lake. This means you have the option of taking the ferry across and skipping the trail that lines the southwestern edge of the lake. To hike the trial, however, start at the small boat launch on the south side and take the trail through the beautiful woods and along the scenic lakeside trail. You end up on the trail to Hidden Falls and eventually cross a few bridges and pass by the boat dock. The start of Cascade Canyon is past the dock on the left, and it is well marked with a sign. The early going can be a bit steep, but beyond early switchbacks the trail has only a slight grade. After ascending the early switchbacks, the first glimpses up canyon make you realize you stumbled upon something special.

After crossing a wide and shallow brook the canyon begins to open up, revealing the first of many jaw-dropping vistas. Cascade Creek flows down the middle of the canyon, and fireweed lines the rocky banks. An endless succession of peaks rise like sentinels on both sides of the valley, and a snow-covered cirque sits far away at the source. Teewinot Mountain is the massif that looms over this trail with its formidable and steep peaks, greeting you as you enter the canyon.

Much of the rest of the trail is a gentle upward slope meandering near the river and dipping in and out of heavily wooded areas. There are several small beaches along the way with smooth pebble shores where you can have a snack and soak it all in. The river has a magical green and blue hue to it. There are waterfalls every mile or so that are fed late into the year by remaining snow and glaciers. At the end of the trail are a few awesome footbridges and a split in the trail that leads to South Fork or Lake Solitude and Paintbrush Canyon. There is no backcountry camping in Cascade Canyon, but it is allowed in certain areas farther up in both forks.

Bring your bear spray; there are long stretches with no one else around near the top of the canyon and no cell overage except near the mouth. The elevation gain isn't too bad beyond the large hill along Jenny Lake and the early switchbacks in Cascade Canyon, so the thin air will be manageable for most. Because the hike is at elevation, be prepared for the weather to change rapidly anywhere in the Tetons.

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide

Field Guide

Download
Advertisement
Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(4 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(36 within a 30 mile radius)

Advertisement
Related Content

Related Content

Adventure Community

Adventure Community

Who Wants To Do It
17 Members
Who's Done It
12 Members
Submission by
Pro Contributor
296 Adventures Explored
284 Adventures Published

Newsletter Signup

Join the Outdoor Project Community

Get access to essential planning materials and information for your next adventure. Take a few seconds to join the community. It’s FREE!

Free Field Guides + Maps

Post Updates, Tips + Comments

Organize + Track Your Adventures

Insider Detailed Info, News + Benefits

Custom Driving Directions

Recommended Campsites, Photos + Reservation Info