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Delta Lake

Grand Teton National Park

Targhee/Teton Area, Wyoming

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Delta Lake

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  • Start from the Lupine Meadows Trailhead and you'll have the option to scout a few other lakes on your way back.- Delta Lake
  • Great view of another Teton in the distance during the ascent.- Delta Lake
  • Notice the omission of Delta Lake. Get used to it, and be mindful of your GPS so you don't miss the unmarked turnoff.- Delta Lake
  • The trail alternates between wide open, exposed hillsides and back into wooded covered sections. There are many convenient opportunities for shade as you climb.- Delta Lake
  • Great views of Bradley and Taggart lakes below.- Delta Lake
  • The trail alternates between wide open, exposed hillsides and back into wooded covered sections. There are many convenient opportunities for shade as you climb.- Delta Lake
  • A look back up at the steep section where the trail branches off and the many downed trees that need to be passed.- Delta Lake
  • The largest of the downed trees.- Delta Lake
  • Most of the downed trees are right where the trail branches off toward Delta Lake.- Delta Lake
  • Looking back down at the large boulder field you'll need to scramble up through.- Delta Lake
  • Looking back down toward the boulder field at the last steep section of loose dirt before reaching Delta Lake.- Delta Lake
  • With Grand Teton looming over the bright turquoise water of Delta Lake, there aren't many views better than this!- Delta Lake
  • There are more than a few trees suitable for hammocks at the top.- Delta Lake
  • Unidentified species (help us identify it by providing feedback).- Delta Lake
  • Make sure to keep an eye out for bighorn sheep and mountain goats and document any sightings for the rangers.- Delta Lake
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Uncontested alpine lake views. Picturesque turquoise water.
Cons: 
Trail turnoff unmarked. Steep and narrow toward top. Sections of scrambling and downed trees. Lack of parking.
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Region:
Targhee/Teton Area, WY
Congestion: 
High
Pets allowed: 
No
Net Elevation Gain: 
2,289.00 ft (697.69 m)
Parking Pass: 
National Park Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
7.40 mi (11.91 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
6,745.00 ft (2,055.88 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Contributor

Delta Lake remains somewhat of a hidden treasure within Grand Teton National Park. This picturesque turquoise alpine lake might be one of the more perfect settings to catch your breath for descending back to the trailhead.

The most efficient route to Delta Lake is to take the Amphitheater Lake Trail from the Lupine Meadows Trailhead. As with most every parking lot within the park, it will typically reach capacity by 9:00 a.m., so grab the first overflow parking spot you see on either side of the dirt road in.

Following the Amphitheater Lake Trail, your trek is entirely uphill with virtually no break. In fact, your only breaks will be from the sun as you zigzag across exposed hillsides and into small patches of trees, providing many convenient opportunities for shade as you hydrate and catch your breath. The highly trafficked trail is very smooth and packed dirt for most of first few miles up.

After the first few switchbacks, you'll want to consult your GPS or map to make sure you haven't missed your turn. Just beyond the 3-mile mark is where you'll reach the sixth switchback, where you veer off the trail to continue to Delta Lake. It's not marked at all, and the trail isn't clear unless you're looking for it. This is where the hike gets interesting.

This mile of the trail is much more difficult and will make you earn your views at the top. You'll immediately find yourself navigating under and over downed trees on significantly steeper terrain. Once through the woods, you'll reach a giant boulder field that you'll have to scramble up. The trail is difficult to follow here, but just keep heading uphill, look for the stacked cairns, and you'll end up on the right path. After the boulder field, you'll just have one final stretch of very steep, loose dirt to climb before you reach Delta Lake.

Delta Lake has arguably the most beautiful turquoise water and the most awe-inspiring backdrop that you will find within the park's limits. There isn't a better destination for a round-trip hike under 10 miles within Grand Teton National Park. Take a dip in the picturesque water, string up a hammock and take a nap, or just enjoy the view and relax before making your way back down.

Be bear aware! The park has a high bear population. Minimize encounters/attacks by not hiking alone, and be prepared with a bear bell, bear spray, and bear canister to store food items.

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Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(4 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(36 within a 30 mile radius)

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