The Phelps Lake Loop hike was an also-ran on our list of must-do’s while here in Grand Tetons, but we discovered that it’s truly an amazing hidden gem.
The original title for this post was going to be "Peaks and Lakes and Bears, Oh My".
A lot of the popular hikes in GTNP start in the Jenny Lake area, and this area turns into the usual National Park madhouse early in the day. We stopped in early to refill our water jugs, got a whiff of the nonsense, and were glad that we had already made plans in other areas of the park.
At roughly 7 miles and 725 feet of elevation, the Phelps Lake Loop really should be on every visitor’s list. This is a pretty easy hike taking you through an assortment of terrain with beautiful views the entire way.
Rushing rapids along Lake Creek, the deep blue of Phelps Lake, the white peaks of Prospectors Mountain and Albright Peak, lush forests, moss, and of course – da bears.
We took a little uphill detour to the Death Canyon trail at the far end of Phelps Lake and were treated to a mama bear leading two cubs along the trail ahead of us. Way cool to experience – from a distance.
We can’t stress this trail enough for any of you visiting Grand Teton National Park – two thumbs up in a circle!

Phelps Lake Loop

Phelps Lake Loop
The Phelps Lake Loop takes you through an entire array of terrain, from flat trails like this to heavy forest and along rushing water.


Through the Woods

Through the Woods along Phelps Lake
Beautiful woods that are more northeast or Pacific Northwest than Rocky Mountains.


Tahoe Blue

Phelps Lake is Tahoe Blue
A flash of sunshine turns Phelps Lake brilliant blue like Lake Tahoe.


Death Canyon

Death Canyon
Taking a pause on our hike up Death Canyon.


Here’s Mama

Here's Mama
A Mama bear leads her two cubs up the Death Canyon trail ahead of us.


Scampering Along

Scampering Along
These cute little guys move quick once they realize that mama is moving along without them.


Flash of Color

Flash of Color at Phelps Lake
This is the best photo I captured all day.


Jumping Rock

Jumping Rock at Phelps Lake
This perch is known as Jumping Rock since the water here is quite deep and people love to dive in from the top.