About Phelps Lake – Grand Teton National Park
Phelps Lake is a stunning natural lake located at the entrance of Death Canyon in Grand Teton National Park. The lake is a popular hiking destination for visitors due to it’s picturesque setting at the foot of the dramatic Teton Mountains.
The crystal clear waters of Phelps Lake are a favorite spot for swimming, boating, and fishing, and the surrounding area offers numerous opportunities for hiking, camping, and wildlife watching.
Phelps Lake is home to the Phelps Lake Loop trail, a popular 6.5 mile trail taking visitors through some of the best scenery in the park.
The area around Phelps Lake is also home to a number of historic and cultural sites, including the Phelps Lake Overlook and the Leigh Lake Trail.
Table of Contents: Phelps Lake
- About Phelps Lake – Grand Teton National Park
- Hiking the Phelps Lake Loop
- Phelps Lake Swimming
- Parking at Phelps Lake
- When to Visit Phelps Lake
- About Grand Teton National Park
- Watch Our Award-Winning Grand Teton Video
- Things to Know Before Visiting Grand Teton National Park
- Grand Teton National Park Map
- Where is Grand Teton National Park?
- Phelps Lake Summary
- Helpful Related Articles
- Pin This Article
Phelps Lake Information
Trail Length: 6.5 miles roundtrip (3-5 hours)
Trail Difficulty: Moderate
Location: Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve, Grand Teton National Park
Parking Difficulty: Easy – Moderate
Hiking the Phelps Lake Loop
This 6.5 mile hike takes visitors through a range of landscapes, from dense forests to open meadows to the shores of Phelps Lake. The trail is well-maintained, and has several scenic overlooks along the way where you can take in the beautiful views of the lake and the surrounding mountains.
While the hike is suitable for hikers of most skill levels, it can be challenging over the course of the 6.5 miles. So make sure you’re prepared with the right footwear, clothing, and plenty of water.
Phelps Lake Swimming
Believe it or not, swimming is actually a somewhat popular activity at Phelps Lake during the summer months. That’s right, some visitors enjoy splashing into this picturesque lake, which, despite the warm temperatures outside, is still very cold in the summer.
Phelps Lake Jumping Rock
Some free-spirited visitors at Grand Teton enjoy making a pilgrimage to the Phelps Lake Jumping Rock. This granite outcropping juts out over the lake and offers the adventurous a chance to plunge 20-feet to the frigid waters of the lake below. the rock is located approximately three quarters of the way through the Phelps Lake Loop trail on the northeastern edge of the lake.
Parking at Phelps Lake
To access the Phelps Lake Loop hike, you’ll park at the Death Canyon Trailhead, which is located off of Teton Park Road. The trailhead is well-marked and has ample parking for cars and RVs.
From the trailhead, the Phelps Lake Loop hike begins at the Death Canyon Trail and follows the loop around the lake, returning to the trailhead after approximately 6.5 miles.
It’s usually easy to park at the Death Canyon Trailhead, as the parking area is large and can accommodate a large number of vehicles. However, the trailhead can be busy during peak season so you’ll want to arrive early in the day to ensure a parking spot if you’re visiting during peak season.
When to Visit Phelps Lake
Best Time of Year
The best time to visit Phelps Lake is the late Spring or Fall. During these shoulder seasons the park sees fewer crowds while still experiencing pleasant weather.
Spring offers chances to see some spectacular wildflower blooms if you don’t mind the unpredictable weather while Fall brings beautiful fall color, cooler temperatures, and smaller crowds.
Best Time of Day
Sunrise and sunset are excellent times for photo opportunities along the shores of Phelps Lake. If the conditions are right you just might be treated to a beautiful mirror reflection of the colorful sky and the Teton Mountains towering over the lake.
About Grand Teton National Park
Located in the spectacular Jackson Hole Valley and encompassing nearly 500 square miles, Grand Teton National Park boasts an awe-inspiring array of pristine wilderness, glacial lakes, winding rivers, diverse wildlife, and the magnificent Teton Range.
The park derives it’s name from the mighty Teton Range popularly known as simply the Tetons, or the Grand Tetons. The park’s creation and eventual scale (in terms of acreage) was largely made possible by the wealthy philanthropist John D. Rockefeller Jr.
Watch Our Award-Winning Grand Teton Video
Things to Know Before Visiting Grand Teton National Park
$30 per vehicle OR if you plan to visit more National Parks within the next 12 months we suggest you go ahead and purchase the America the Beautiful Pass (which can be purchased at any national park) and gets you into all National Parks, Forests, Monuments, and more including 2,000 sites for free after a one time $79 fee.
Grand Teton Map
The best map for the park: We like this map the best.
Best Guide Book
The best guide book for Grand Teton: This is our favorite guide for Grand Teton.
During the months of June and July expect to find mosquitoes at varying levels. I recommend this bug spray which has worked for me in the park and is environmentally friendly.
Best Time to Visit Grand Teton National Park
The Best Time to Visit Grand Teton National Park is in Spring and Fall to take advantage of lesser crowds and beautiful scenery. Summer is a great time to visit as well but it will be crowded.
Leave No Trace
We’re big fans of Leave No Trace, here at MTJP. Want to learn more? Read about the seven principals of Leave No Trace here.
Bear Spray: It’s a good thing to have on lots of the trails here. We like this one.
Dogs are not allowed on trails in most national parks due to their potentially disruptive presence with the natural ecosystem. The basic rule is they are allowed where cars can go so be sure to check the rules before bringing along your furry friend.
Grand Teton National Park Map
RELATED: Best Grand Teton National Park Maps
Where is Grand Teton National Park?
Grand Teton National Park is located on the Western side of Wyoming in Jackson Hole. The park shares a border with the more popular Yellowstone National Park to the north, the less-visited Bridger-Teton National Forest to the east, and the even lesser-visited Caribou-Targhee National Forest to the west.
Phelps Lake Summary
Well that’s a wrap! I hope you’ve enjoyed this article on Grand Teton’s Phelps Lake. Whether you’re looking to swim, boat, fish, or simply enjoy the beauty of the Teton Range, Phelps Lake is really a must-see on your Grand Teton adventure. See you on the trails!
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