Visitors to the Grand Tetons’ Phelps Lake Trail will find one of the most romantic, varied, and wildlife-rich areas available in the Grand Tetons National Park.
After a gradual ascent, you’ll reach Observation Point over Phelps Lake whose tranquility, remote locate, and incredible scenery overlooking Phelps Lake make it a perfect location for relaxing picnics and romantic rendezvous. In fact, the overlook has been home to more than one marriage proposal!
While you can drive, you may need to wait 20-30 minutes to park as the parking lot is small and fills up quickly. The hike has an easy to moderate difficulty level, and delivers expansive views of the lake from the summit which inspire all. Visitors often see black bears and other wildlife along the route, but it’s the exquisite views that will make you understand why this hike is so popular.
The Lake Trail features a number of hills and rugged terrain, the hike around Phelps Lake is relatively flat. The water is serene and colored different shades of turquoise. The crystal clear water, wildflowers, and pine-scented air make this trail a great hike. The trail features rocky terrain, creek side hiking, and the din of grasshoppers and song birds. Bring your camera, snacks and water, and a bathing-suit and towel so that you can take a dip in the lake for a perfect relaxing moment after your hike. Kids will love jumping off the 40-foot rock into the water below.
Be sure to bring bear-spray and learn the rules of bear-ready hiking. The Grand Teton Park is bear country and since the Phelps Lake Trail is less busy than other sites, there is a strong likelihood that you will see, or run into, a bear. Restroom and amenities at the Lawrence S. Rockefeller Preserve Center are surprisingly clean and practically odorless despite the composting toilets. Remember to bring an extra bag for your garbage as the trail does not have garbage cans set out along the route, and the park’s “leave no trace” policy requires that you take out whatever you bring in to the park.