Jenny Lake is the most popular destination within Grand Teton National Park. The Jenny Lake Overlook is the best place to view this magnificent lake, and is easily accessible. It is also right on the popular Jenny Lake Trail Loop, which is one of the most popular trails in the park. The parking lot is spacious and paved, and only steps from some of the best views of the lake.
About Jenny Lake
- The lake is named after the Shoshone Indian wife of a British explorer that helped the first survey of the lake back in 1872.
- The lake sits in the basin of a U-shaped canyon carved by Pleistocene glaciers around 20,000 years ago.
- Along with Oxbow Bend and Jackson Lake Dam, the Jenny Lake Overlook is one of the most visited spots in the park.
- For even better views of the Tetons, the Jenny Lake Ferry shuttle service is located at the Jenny Lake Visitor Center, and is surprisingly cheap (relatively speaking!) for a quick loop around the lake.
Getting to Jenny Lake Overlook
Here are the GPS Coordinates to the parking lot of the overlook: 43.767565, -110.717071 (Google Maps Link).
Jenny Lake Overlook is located in the middle of the park along Jenny Lake Road. While driving along Teton Park Road, you’ll come to North Jenny Lake Junction, at which time you should take Jenny Lake Road. This Jenny Lake Scenic Drive is a drive you should take regardless of whether you intend to stop at the viewpoint or not!
The Overlook is located about 2 miles north of the Jenny Lake Visitor Center and about 22 miles (~35 minutes) from the southernmost Moose Entrance to the park. It is 17 miles from the northeastern Moran Entrance.
The Overlook itself has a spacious and paved parking lot that has room for at least a couple dozen of vehicles. While there is ample parking at the overlook, this is one of the most popular spots in the park… so be prepared for heavy crowds during midday if you’re visiting during peak season (Jun-August)
Jenny Lake Overlook Attractions
Jenny Lake Overlook has a few historical and interpretive plaques explaining the history and creation of Jenny Lake, and the other significant sites surrounding it.
Directly across from the overlook, you see Cascade Canyon, which was formed by glaciers that retreated at the end of the last glacial period about 15,000 years ago.
Further inside Cascade Canyon sits Inspiration Point and Hidden Falls. Both of these spots are accessible via the Cascade Canyon Trail, which intersects Jenny Lake Trail Loop. Jenny Lake Trail circles the lake and passes through the Jenny Lake Overlook parking lot.
The views from this overlook are absolutely incredible. This is not a place you should skip when visiting the Grand Teton National Park!
Jenny Lake Trail Loop
While the overlook’s parking lot is not an official trailhead for the Jenny Lake Trail Loop, you can certainly start and finish the loop trail there if you please. The main trailhead is located 2 miles (3.2 km) south behind the Jenny Lake Visitors Center.
|7.1 mile (11 km) Loop
|1,040 feet (320 m)
|Dirt with obstacles.
|Free to hike, but Grand Teton NP charges an entrance fee.
This trail circles Jenny Lake, and is the starting point for many other, more strenuous trails in the park. The trails you can reach from the Jenny Lake Trail Loop are:
- Hurricane Pass: 24 miles round trip, very difficult with 4,370 feet of elevation climb.
- Cascade Canyon Loop (Paintbrush Canyon): 20 miles round trip, extremely difficult with 4,480 ft of total climbing.
- Lake Solitude: 18 miles round trip, very difficult with 2,910 feet of elevation climb.
- Forks of Cascade Canyon: 13.3 miles round trip, difficult with 1,720 feet of elevation climb.
- Inspiration Point: almost 6 miles round trip, moderate difficulty with 870 ft of elevation climb.
- Hidden Falls: 5 miles round trip, moderate difficulty with 620 ft of elevation climb.
- Moose Ponds: 3.5 miles round trip, easy with only 170 ft of elevation climbing.
Weather Inside Grand Teton National Park
The Jenny Lake Overlook is only open when Teton Park Road is open. Teton Park Road closes from November to May due to deteriorating weather conditions, including heavy snowfall.
The rest of the months, the overlook is one of the most popular spots in the park. The busiest month in the park is July, with just over 835,000 visitors streaming into the park that month. July is also one of the driest and most comfortable months, with average temperatures ranging from low 50s at night and mid-to-upper 70s during the day.
September and August are the best months to visit the park since peak visitation is just starting to dwindle, yet the weather is still great. Weather during these months can be a bit cooler and wetter, but nothing to fret about. Snow typically doesn’t show up in the lower areas of Grand Teton National Park until November. Once the snow starts, it typically sticks around until well into May.