Hikes National Parks/Monuments

Lakeshore Trail in Grand Teton National Park

We spent a few days at Grand Teton National Park, and the best thing to do there is hike. There are plenty of long hikes for serious outdoors people, but we were amazed at the number of short hikes we found that are just right for kids. One of the simplest is Lakeshore Trail at the Colter Bay area of the park.

 

This trail starts right at the Visitor’s Center. Just go out the back door and down the steps. The trail takes off to the right and turns left at the amphitheater. This trail is actually a figure eight, with two loops, each of which is about a mile long. We decided to do both loops, which brought our total distance to around two miles.

You will start near the marina. Head to the right from the marina toward the amphitheater.

You can pick up a trail map if you’d like, but there are little signs like this all along the way to keep you going the right way.

The trail starts on a wide road like this.

The kids loved this hike because it started off across a rocky dike with lakes on both sides. In fact, this trail takes you out onto a point that sticks out into the lake. They spent close to a half an hour tossing and skipping rocks, and they even found a tiny frog that could fit on the tip of your thumb.

You walk through the trees, but you can still see the water as you hike.

Soon the trail walks between two sections of the lake.

One side is a large section of Jackson Lake.

To the left is a small inlet where we threw rocks for a long time! There were lots of happy kids.

The Lakeshore trail goes in and out of the towering limberpines, never straying too far from the shore of the lake. The views of the Tetons reflecting on the lake were really spectacular, and we enjoyed the smell of the pines, the mild temperatures at this elevation, and the huge snow-covered mountains. At the top of the far loop, you come to a large rocky beach. This is another great spot to throw rocks. We even took our shoes off and cooled our feet in the beautiful water before heading back on the trail.

The trail is shady and weaves through the trees.

The mountain views are amazing, and the water is crystal clear.

We enjoyed putting our feet in the water even though it was freezing.

This trail looped around and came right back to the Visitor’s Center. You can follow the trail that you walked out on, or take the other trail to complete the loop. It was perfect for our boys ages 10, 8, and 4. They made the hike without any complaints. Lakeshore Trail is flat, easy, and beautiful. This is a great beginner trail at Grand Teton National Park.

The trail heads back through the trees to the Visitor’s Center.

This sign is at the middle of the loops. On the way back, we headed left to see what the other trail looked like, but you could head right, which is the direction you will have started from.

The trail walks along the edge of the water for most of the way.

The trail passes the beach where many people were swimming in the freezing lake.

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