Best Fall Hikes in Jackson
The season of color is finally upon us. Fall brings vibrant views, cooler temps, and wildlife spotting opportunities to the Jackson area. With the crowds of summer dwindling away, the fall is the perfect opportunity to hit the trail. Stretch those legs on a few of our favorite fall trails in the Jackson Hole area.
Soak in the Views at Inspiration Point
For fantastic mountain vistas head to Grand Teton National Park’s Inspiration Point. The trail meanders through beautiful meadows with excellent fall colors along the trail. If you’re lucky, you may even hear the elk bugling in the distance. Bring your camera, as this out-and-back trail passes by the iconic Jenny Lake with breathtaking views of nearby peaks Teewinot, Mt. Owen, and the Grand Teton. Follow the trail around the lake to Hidden Falls and then upwards to inspiration point for fantastic views of the changing seasons.
Mileage: six miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 500 feet
Take Your Time on the Putt Putt Trail
For a quick and easy trail that’s both kid-friend and fall-tastic head to the Putt Putt Trail just outside of Jackson. The trail follows an old road, making it ideal for those looking for a gentle stroll. The scenery provides ample opportunity to enjoy the fiery colors of fall without the tough elevation gains that the Jackson area is famous for. Mountain bikers can use this trail as a warm-up, or lap it a few times for some fantastic scenery with a bit of downhill action.
Mileage: 3.2 mile loop
Elevation Gain: 500 feet
Shower Yourself in Color at Shadow Mountain in the Gros Ventre Wilderness
For the best sunrise spot, head up to the top of Shadow Mountain for breathtaking views of the mighty Teton Range. The trail is an old road meanders through an aspen grove. Feel the warmth of the fall light percolate through the trees and experience the magic of fall. Surround yourself with views from the top of the mountain and soak up the beauty of the Teton Range. This trail is also dog and bike-friendly.
Mileage: 4.3 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 1,305 feet
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Spot Birds at Ski Lake
For a tranquil mountain jaunt head to Ski Lake. This hidden gem offers peace and quiet – perfect for spotting birds and wildlife. This four-mile out-and-back trail finishes at a lovely high alpine lake. Bring a picnic and enjoy the mountain scenery. This trail is suitable for dogs (as long as they are kept on a leash) and kid-friendly.
Mileage: 4 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 892 feet
Cascade Canyon Hike at Grand Teton National Park
Usually packed with tourists during the summer months, this trail is one of the most peaceful spots in the fall. Given the fact that the boat shuttle is closed in the fall, hikers have to maneuver along the lake shoreline at the base of the canyon. The reward for this extra effort is amazing views that include spectacular fall color.
Old Faithful Geyser Basin Hike at Yellowstone National Park
This can be taken as a full-day tour offered by Scenic Safaris. Their experienced guides get hikers off of the routine, popular trails and into some of the hidden trails that include unbeatable sights of the top attractions within the park. Most of these intimate hiking trails will take you around the basins of the geysers that are famous in the park.
Elephant Back Loop Trail at Yellowstone National Park
Aa favorite among Yellowstone visitors, largely because of the views of Yellowstone Lake that can be discovered along the way. These views are particularly spectacular in the fall when colorful leaves transform this vista into a living work of art.