It had always been on my bucket list to go to Grand Teton National Park and Jackson, Wyoming. I finally made that dream come true in the summer of 2019 during 4th of July week. My best friend and I decided the night before that we were going to go (that’s how we roll), we loaded up our car and hit the road as soon as we could!
We drove from Spokane, Washington to the Tetons, which is about a 9-hour drive. Luckily, it’s an extremely beautiful drive that is littered with different mountain ranges. You also have to drive through Yellowstone to get to the Tetons when you’re coming from the north side of the park.
Yellowstone is always beautiful! We didn’t stop…. Well not intentionally, but we had to stop for a few bison. If you have never seen a buffalo, I highly recommend going to Yellowstone, they are everywhere!
( I’ve had my back packing pack for a long time, so they don’t have the exact one anymore. I love it, it’s super supportive. Here’s the same Brand and similar style).
The Adventure to Phelps Lake:
FYI! Do not hike anywhere in the Tetons without bear spray and bear bells. I saw bears on every single hike there. I get the holster for the bear spray so that I can easily clip it to my backpack. Click here for the exact one I use!
Bear spray also works great for general self defense when you’re not in the woods! I keep a thing of it in my night stand. This stuff is powerful!
When you get into the park, make sure to stop and get all of the maps they have to offer, service is spotty and they are extremely helpful. Parking is limited so I would recommend getting there earlier in the day.
The hike to get to this cliff jumping spot is easy and beautiful! It was about 1.5 miles each way.
The hike in is extremely beautiful. You cross over a lot of streams that are crystal clear and loaded with fish! We stopped and rested on one of the bridges and watched the entire fish swim under us. Photos of that never do justice but just believe me when I say that it is amazing!
You’ll be able to tell when you’re getting close if there are other people out, you can usually hear people yelling and having fun while jumping off. If you follow the trail around the lake you can’t miss it.
The jump was SO FUN but sooooo cold! I would do it 100x again, but nothing will ever prepare you for the feeling of submerging into a mountain lake. It’s well worth it, just do it or you will regret it! My other friend was with me and she got scared and still regrets it to this day.
There’s plenty of other amazing things to do in the Tetons! I think my all time favorite adventure to do in the Tetons is hike up to the teal colored alpine lakes!
Follow me in Instagram for more of my in-the-moment adventures! @maggmountains
Life is too short to not make those leaps! Just make sure to be safe while you do them.
Make sure you take the same trail back as you did on the way in, we learned this the hard way…. We had to walk a couple miles down the road to get back to the right parking lot! We actually hitch hiked cause we were exhausted!
What to Bring
- Bear spray!!! This is a must. I saw a bear on every single hike I went on in the Tetons. You can get a, affordable can off amazon, click here. Or at any sporting good store (REI, Cabellas, Etc). If you are in bear country, it won’t be hard to find. Most convenience stores will sell the.
- Hiking shoes!! Click here for the ones I wear on most of my hikes
- Water! Lots of it
- Snacks (you never know what’s going to happen)
- Swimsuit and towel
- Sweatshirt if you are going to stay there all day. It gets cold fast in the mountains! Better to be safe and prepared.
How to get There
- Go and get a map from the visitor center or a ranger station. Look for Phelps lake and it will tell you how to get to this hike!
- Ask a ranger for directions! That’s the easiest way to find your way around National Parks, especially if you don’t have service.
- Follow the Phelps lake trail. It leads you through the woods and next to rivers and eventually to the lake. Follow the trail around the lake and you’ll find the rock!
We came out on a different trailhead than we started accidentally. We ended up hitch hiking back to our original parking lot haha. We hopped into the bed of a truck of a family, so it felt very safe! Something to be mindful about. There are multiple trailheads for this hike!
Follow me on Instagram to see my in-the-moment adentures! @maggmountains