Only have one day at Grand Teton National Park? Have you heard of Jenny Lake? It is the most beautiful area in all of the Tetons.
We just went and had a great time! It is absolutely worth checking out. The Jenny Lake hiking options are fabulous and great for all ages. We also enjoyed riding the Jenny Lake ferry boat across the lake.
The Jenny Lake Visitor Center is where you will want to start your adventure.
In this post, we are going to give you an overview of what Jenny Lake Visitor Center has to offer as well as everything you need to know about the Jenny Lake ferry and the best Jenny Lake trails.
Let's take a look at everything you need to know about Jenny Lake Grand Teton area.
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Grand Teton National Park Visitor Center
I highly recommended spending your one day in Grand Teton National Park at Jenny Lake. You will want to stop at the Jenny Lake Visitor Center. There are other visitor centers in the Grand Tetons but Jenny Lake has a small one conveniently located near the lake.
Jenny Lake Boat Ride
One of the main reasons we wanted to visit the Jenny Lake Grand Teton area is because we had heard about the Jenny Lake boat ride and it sounded exciting! You can find all the information you need at the Jenny Lake Visitor Center. I will also share my tips below.
Jenny Lake Tetons Information
The Jenny Lake Visitor Center has park rangers available for you to ask questions to. You can also look at a map of the entire area. This will help you prepare for hiking Jenny Lake. You will also want to take a look at the Jenny Lake ferry schedule. (This is the boat ride across Jenny Lake.)
Grand Tetons Admission
As you drive into Grand Teton National Park you will follow the main road until you see a sign for Jenny Lake.
There is a big Visitor Center before you reach the admission booths. I highly recommend stopping in and checking it out. It is really nice. There is a museum and gift shop plus many park rangers to help you plan out your one day in Grand Teton.
Admission to Grand Teton National Park
If you have a National Park Pass you are good to go! Otherwise, it will cost $35 per car.
During the busy summer season, there will most likely be lines of cars waiting to get in the park.
Jenny Lake Grand Tetons Parking
During the summer this parking lot is so busy! We were worried we would have to park out on the street and walk a mile to get to the Jenny Lake Visitor Center.
We lucked out! I went ahead and tried and someone was backing out! We were able to park pretty close to the Jenny Lake area. The earlier you go in the morning the more likely you will find a spot.
Jenny Lake Visitor Center
We were really confused when we walked from the parking lot. We didn't know which way the lake was and how to pay for the Jenny boat ferry.
We found the Jenny Lake Visitor Center and asked the park rangers. This is also an area where you can get a Junior Ranger packet and information about Jenny Lake Grand Teton area.
There are lots of maps and you can check out all of the Jenny Lake hikes and get the Jenny Lake ferry schedule.
Hike or Jenny Lake Boat Ride
Once you arrive at Jenny Lake you have the option to hike or go on a boat ride.
If you want to hike Inspiration Point or Hidden Falls which are the most popular hikes at Grand Teton National Park you have a few options.
Jenny Lake Grand Teton Options
You can do the 7.2-mile Jenny Lake Loop or you can take the Jenny Lake ferry.
The Jenny Lake shuttle will take you directly to the Hidden Falls trailhead. This is a great option if you do not want to walk around Jenny Lake.
If hiking is your thing you might want to consider walking the loop one way and taking the boat back.
Tickets for Grand Teton Jenny Lake Ferry
You will buy your tickets for the Jenny Lake ferry on the boat dock. You will stay in line until you reach the cashier.
They will take payment and you can proceed to a different area to wait for the Jenny boat shuttle.
Jenny Lake Ferry Ticket Prices
If you are going during the summer months, it is busy. We waited about 30 minutes to get there but coming back will be much longer.
If you visit National Parks with kids you know how important it is to save energy and keep things fun. This Jenny Lake boat ride is fun! Plus, less walking now means more energy later!
Jenny Lake Ferry
The Jenny Lake boat ride is beautiful! It is a 10-12 minute ride across the lake. During this time you can relax and enjoy the view!
Jenny Lake Ferry Schedule
The boats run every 10-15 minutes throughout the day. There is a shaded area as well as seats in the sun. The cool breeze is perfect on a hot summer day. One really cool thing about the Jenny Lake boat ride is that the park ranger on board gives some awesome facts and information about Jenny Lake.
Jenny Lake Ferry Wait Times
Certain times of the day are more busy than others. In the morning your wait times to get to the far side of the lake may be longer. During the afternoon getting back to the Jenny Lake Visitor Center will take more time.
When we went it was an hour wait to get back.
Jenny Lake Hike Options
There are 3 Jenny Lake hikes. If you only have one day at Grand Teton these Jenny Lake HIkes are perfect.
- Jenny Lake Hidden Falls Trail
- Jenny Lake Inspiration Point Trail
- Jenny Lake Loop Trail
We are going to break down each Jenny Lake hike so you know exactly how to get to them, the intensity, and the distance.
Things to Bring on Your Jenny Lake Hikes
Jenny Lake Hidden Falls
Miles: 1.2 round trip
Jenny Lake Hidden Falls is the most popular hike in Grand Teton National Park. It is a fantastic hike! It is a great kid-friendly hike. My 8-year-old did not have any probably at all on this trail.
The first part of the trip is uphill. It wasn't long but was intense. Once you reach the top you will see an amazing waterfall. There is a nice shaded area where you can rest and take in the view.
Keep Going or Go Back
You can decide to go on another .5 miles to Jenny Lake Inspiration Point or you can head back down. If you head down you can actually go down a different trail than you went up on. They both lead to the Jenny Lake boat dock.
It is fun to take a different path on the way down. Going down is much easier than climbing up. Jenny Lake Hidden Falls is the best hike in Grand Teton and what is even better is that most people can do it.
We really enjoyed hiking Hidden Falls at Jenny Lake. It was the highlight of our trip.
Jenny Lake Inspiration Point
Miles: 2.2 round trip
Inspiration Point is another great hike at Jenny Lake. If you are going to hike Hidden Falls you might as well hike a short distance more to Inspiration Point. The views at Inspiration Point are incredible. You can look out over Jenny Lake.
It is a two-for-one deal. You get to enjoy the Jenny Lake Hidden Falls trail plus an added bonus trail to Inspiration Point. .5 miles is not too much farther to go and the view is worth it.
When we were on the Jenny Lake shuttle back the ranger pointed up and we could see those that had hiked to Inspiration Point.
Jenny Lake Loop
Intensity: Easy- Moderate (Mostly Flat)
If you have the time the Jenny Lake Loop trail is a great way to spend the day. They hike is a loop around the lake. Once you get halfway around you can go up to Hidden Falls Trail and Inspiration Point. This will add another 2.2 miles onto your 7.1-mile hike.
If that sounds like too long don't worry. You can take the Jenny Lake loop to Hidden Falls and then take the Jenny boat shuttle ride back. There are lots of options.
The Jenny Lake Loop trail is beautiful and full of wildlife. There are black bears and elk. You can also go for a swim to break up the hike.
If you have a full day and love hiking, Jenny Lake Wyoming is a great place to spend a day.
Jenny Lake Grand Teton Ferry Back
Let this be a warning…. If you are visiting during the busy summer months you will be waiting for the Jenny Lake boat shuttle for a long time. When we went it was an hour wait to get back.
The line will form quite a ways back from the actual dock. On a positive note, there is a water bottle refill area at the dock. The rangers bring in water in big jugs.
More Things to Do at Jenny Lake Grand Teton
If hiking isn't your thing no worries, there are lots of fun things to do at Jenny Lake. Some of the most popular options are to kayak, canoe, or paddleboard on the lake.
The lake itself is not too crowded even during the summer months. You can kayak out and find a quite place to enjoy the views around the lake.
You can rent kayaks and canoes at the boat dock.
Picnic at Jenny Lake Tetons
There are picnic tables near the Jenny Lake Visitor Center. If you want to eat before or after your hike you have the option.
Jenny Lake Grand Teton Junior Ranger
One of the best things about visiting all of the National Parks in the USA is that they all have the Junior Ranger program.
You can stop at the Jenny Lake Visitor Center and pick up a booklet before you hike. While on the hike you can fill out the pages and report back after your Jenny Lake hike. You will receive a junior ranger badge for completing the book.
Although this is more popular for kids, all ages are welcome to become junior rangers. Personally, I love collecting the badges at each park.
Grand Teton Jenny Lake Gift Shop
If you are like me, I love getting souvenirs. My favorite souvenir at a national park is reusable shopping bags. They usually have beautiful images of the park on them and they are super cheap!
The Jenny Lake store has some souvenir items you can check out. It is near the Jenny Lake Visitor Center.
Are you Ready to Go to Grand Teton Jenny Lake?
Are you ready to visit Jenny Lake Grand Teton National Park?! You are going to have a blast.
Hopefully, this post has helped you know exactly what you need to do as you visit the Jenny Lake Visitor Center and board the Jenny Lake boat shuttle so you can hike Jenny Lake with ease.
Jenny Lake is a beautiful area at Grand Teton! I know you will have a blast exploring the area!
More to Explore in the Area
Most people who visit Grand Teton go to Yellowstone National Park. We typically drive from Idaho to West Yellowstone. There are some fun stops along the way like Potato Museum and Bear World. The Mesa Scenic Byway is a really cool area near the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone.
If you have any questions join my Facebook Travel Community. You can ask any questions you have about upcoming trips and everyone is happy to help you plan your trip. I also try to give exclusive travel deals that companies send me. It is a great group to join!