Thursday, August 02, 2012

String Lake Trailhead to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point, Grand Teton

Hidden Falls, Grand Teton National Park, WY
Hidden Falls is a 200 ft cascade found at the Cascade Canyon of Grand Teton National Park. There are three options that I know of to reach Hidden Falls and the Cascade Canyon Trail, which is probably the most popular trail system in the park, therefore, expect company in your hike. 

Option 1: Start your hike North of Jenny Lake from the String Lake Trailhead. 5.6 miles round trip, 550 ft total climb to Hidden Falls. 6.4 miles round trip, 800 ft total climbing to Inspiration Point.
Map of Trail from String Lake Trailhead, click here for complete map
This is the route we took, you will see more details of option 1 hike below after I discuss the two other options.

Option 2: This is the most popular and the shortest route. Take the boat for a fee ($10 roundtrip) from the south shores of Jenny Lake to the mouth of the Cascade Canyon. By taking the boat, you shortened your hike by 4 miles. This is ideal for those who are short of time visiting the Grand Teton and prefer to explore other areas in Grand Teton.
Shuttle Boat Access At the Mouth of Cascade Canyon as seen from the trail
Length of this hike: 0.6 mile one way to Hidden Falls with 150 ft climb, 1 mile one way to Inspiration point with 420 ft total climbing.

Option 3:  Start your hike from the south shores of Jenny Lake. The mileage of the hike is 5.2 miles round trip, 550 ft total climb to Hidden Falls. 6 miles round trip, 800 ft total climbing to Inspiration Point. The trail follows the south shore of Jenny Lake the first 2 miles, climbing 300 ft, and then, climbs 200 ft in 0.6 miles.

From Inspiration Point, hikers can go deeper inside the canyon via the Cascade Canyon Trail.

We actually did not know before these options because I did not do much research before the trip for Grand Teton. Coming from the North, we ended up first in North Jenny Lake Junction, which led to Jenny Lake Lodge and String Lake Trailhead. 

Here are some of our pictures of the hike by way of Option 1, from String Lake Trailhead.

Segment 1: Jenny Lake Lodge to String Lake Trailhead (0.2 miles)
our first wildlife encounter during the hike, :) 
Looking towards Mt. Moran
Looking Towards Cascade Canyon
We actually started our hike from Jenny Lake Lodge because we intended to have lunch at the restaurant, but then, at the time we came there was about 11:00 am, and lunch won't be served until 12 noon. We decided to hike first instead. We asked if we can access the String Lake trailhead from the lodge, they answered yes, which we were glad we did, since it seemed the parking at the trailhead was kind of full. 
Segment 2: String Lake Trailhead to Mouth of Cascade Canyon (2.2 miles)
 Horses Crossing String Lake
 Footbridge for the Hikers
String Lake is a shallow lake that connects Leigh Lake to the North and Jenny Lake to the South. This lake is popular spot for swimming area being shallow, thus the water is warmer than the deeper Leigh and Jenny lakes. 
Hiker Trying to Cut Short the Hike By Flying ( hiker is hubby )
Crossing the footbridge the trail meanders on what seemed to be a recovering burnt forest. The trail alternates from being exposed to the sun and some wooded portion that is right next to the river. 
Can you see the deer in this picture? ( our 2nd wildlife encounter during the hike)
Since we did not use our GPS in this hike seeing that we won't get lost basing from the map, I did not know how long it took from the String Lake trailhead to Jenny Lake shore. 
Hiker @ Jenny Lake shore (it's me )
 Jenny Lake is the second largest lake in Grand Teton, that is fed by mountain streams.  It is fairly deep, with maximum depth of 256 feet. In the moist area of the trail, we saw a lot of blue butterflies.

 From the exposed trail next to Jenny lake, the trail wind inside a forest, which was a great relief for us.
After a while of walking inside the forest, we were again winding next to the lake as we were nearing the mouth of Cascade Canyon. Our hike from String Lake trailhead to the mouth of Cascade Canyon was more quiet because there were not a lot of hikers yet.
Segment 3: From the Mouth of Cascade Canyon to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point ( 1 mile )
Cascade Canyon Creek
Starting where the shuttle boat docks to drop passengers to hike to Hidden Falls, Inspiration Point and Cascade Canyon, there were already a lot of hikers. There were hikers in front of us, and behind us, a very popular trail. We did not however mind the transition from being quiet to crowded and continued to enjoy the scenery.
Hidden Falls
From very gradual ascent along the lake shore, the trail became moderately steeper to Hidden Falls and even steeper from Hidden Falls to Inspiration Point. There were some drop offs or exposed to cliffs with drop offs from Hidden Falls to Inspiration Point, however, the trail was wide enough that even with the crowd, there was still room for everyone to be safe. 
A Small Stream @ Cascade Canyon Trail
Just Having Fun
wildflowers @ Cascade Canyon Trail
Where the Inspiration Point ends starts the trail to Cascade Canyon. Because we were short of time and  only have a day of exploring at Grand Teton (sadly), we did not continue to Cascade Canyon so we can explore the other parts of Grand Teton National Park.

If you want to see pictures of our Grand Teton exploring without the hikes, you can check my previous post here. If you are planning for a Grand Teton-Yellowstone-Glacier vacation, check my post about these 3 national parks here

For Grand Teton National Park page, please click here

----If you are considering camping and holidays, you may find the two links below useful-----
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  1. I love your travel journal, and the excellent photos that accompanied your trip. The jumping pictures are fun to see!

  2. Forgot to tell you that the butterflies are gorgeous too!

  3. Even if the name is Hidden Falls,it is very beautiful. The hike is unbelievable.


  4. I didn't get a chance to come here, but I am glad I got to see your pictures. You can never get enough of beautiful places like these.

  5. i'd take option 2 Beth. haha! thanks for sharing another awe-inspiring hike with us. :)

  6. wah the horse crossing the string lake is really nice...

  7. Once we went hiking in Mt Batulao though I did enjoyed the memories of the life risking thing, I feel like doing it again. The place you went looks more exciting..:D

  8. What an amazing hike. I love all the butterflies.

  9. I would love to get back here. Need to see this Falls which I missed the last time. Wonderful photos!

  10. very nice ung mga water falls. love them, love your capture as always :)

  11. that seems to be a refreshing trip...

    hey you enjoy hopping around ha? :P

  12. Beautiful waterfalls. The Tetons was one of my favorite parks. Great shots.

  13. I like your "frog" style of hopping, or flying?

    Hikers are weird.

  14. I think you and hubby have the right idea. Enjoy the time together first. There is just so much to do. I love your posts on the hikes, they are very motivating.
    Sorry I haven't been around much...but am now. :--)

  15. smiling here widely at the sight of those BLUE BUTTERFLIES weeee!!!! and that first wildlife encounter is awesome...the flying hiker photo and your other happiness shots added a smile to my always I am left in awe at your shared joy :-)