Hike to Phelps Lake

An Idyllic hike that combines rushing rivers, wooden bridges, and a beautiful lake with a mountain backdrop can be had by parking at the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve Center and following the Lake Creek Trail to Phelps Lake. Along the way you will cross three bridges, hike gentle switchbacks up and down forested hills, and arrive at a large lake with a tempting bench to sit on. This can all be accomplished within slightly less than a three mile roundtrip.

If you just want to soak in the view, you can forsake the trip and relax on one of the many benches strategically placed along the streams and enjoy the sounds and the view. For those who want to extend the journey, once you reach Phelps Lake, follow the trail to the left (I have not yet travelled to the right). After walking approximately three quarters of a mile you will reach a rocky promontory that juts into the water. It is a great spot to relax and eat a sandwich.  I have been known to wade into the cold waters of the lake from that spot, but be aware it is slippery.  Water shoes definitely help.

I suggest returning to your car on the same Lake Creek Trail you used to reach Phelps Lake. Alternatively, you can take the Woodland Trail back (about the same distance).  However, I love water, and the Woodland Trail is more of a jaunt through the trees. The Lake Creek Trail is all about fast water streams – and the return trip provides a different view and  temptations for short excursions to the creek sides.

The Rockefeller preserve is found four miles south of Moose on the Moose-Wilson Road.  Alternatively, it is 4-5 miles north of the Moose-Wilson road entrance into Grand Teton National Park that is located just north of the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and Teton Village.  This entrance is reached by driving north on Highway 390.

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