Lake Solitude Trail

HARD 88 reviews
#8 of 85 trails in

Lake Solitude Trail is a 16 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Alta, Wyoming that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from July until September.

16.0 miles
2,637 feet
Out & Back




nature trips







wild flowers




no dogs

Be aware that there is still snow on the trail as of late June 2018. The trail is hard to see as the trail progresses and snow-gear will be necessary.

5 days ago

Loved this hike. Saw three moose and then a black bear that came walking toward me on the trail. I just got off the trail and he wandered into the woods. I made it to the Lake in just over 3 hours, spent an hour up at the lake and 3 coming down with wildlife picture time. This hike is rated difficult, but I would rate it moderate because I live at altitude. I think a Difficult rating is accurate if you're coming from low altitude and not accustomed to frequent trail hikes. All in all, it was gorgeous and I recommend it!

8 days ago

We started on the Lake Solitude trail at 10. It’s quit an uphill the first part. Very beautiful scenery going up. Wildflowers were in full array
The trail was pretty crowded when we were heading down. We went at a moderate pace Went about a mile passed the 4.5 mile fork signage. It was 2.7 more from the sign to Lake Solitude. But my legs were shot from the uphills so we turned around then
Got back to the boat at 3:00.
The parking lot was jammed and there’s lots of construction

8 days ago

Not hikers at all but my family of 6 did pretty well August 3. We got a little late start packing up our campsite so we got to Jenny lake at about 10 am and snagged one of the last parking spots. 1030 we were on the other side of Jenny lake starting up cascade canyon. The first half a mile up slope made me think we’d turn around at the end of the cascade canyon trail, but as the trail leveled off some and my youngest,(12 year old daughter) and I caught our breath hope returned of going farther. We were treated with a cow moose and calf keeping their eyes on a black bear munching on berries. Awesome! With that 20 minute or so break we made it to the fork in 2.5 hours. We decided to go on to lake solitude. Another 1.75 hours we arrived at lake solitude. Four of us including my daughter jumped into the water and discovered the lake was not fed by hot springs but glaciers that were still touching the lake. Stayed about 45 minutes. So glad we made the decision to go on. Got a little low on water on our 3 hour return to the boat (with a 20 minute bull moose stop) but dipped our bottles into the stream by a football bridge and risked some untreated water. No one sick yet four days later. Filter will be on my Christmas list! Got to the boat with 30 minutes to spare and were treated to another black bear eating berries right by the boat. About 8 hours round trip with a decent pace (where it was busier earlier in the day some avid hikers passed us and we passed others on a more leisurely pace). Id definitely recommend going the distance to lake solitude. Absolutely stunning views all the way up and what a treat when that lake with the rocky peninsula appears at the top.

12 days ago

This hike was fantastic, worth every second!

16 days ago

This had to be the best day hike in the Tetons. Unbelievable scenery all the way up to the lake. Mountains all around.
It took us a total of 8 hours. Take the very first boat across Jenny Lake, it'll cost you only $5 round trip. but only for the very first boat.
I would have rated the hike as moderate, not hard.

1 month ago

Incredible views and well-marked trail. The first and last couple of miles by the lake were pleasant as well. I'd recommend starting as early as possible to beat the rush because the trails get crowded near midday because it seemed more like a freeway than a wilderness hiking trail in the early afternoon (and this wasn't on a weekend). Also, the only think that classifies this hike as "hard" might be the distance as it is technically not difficult to complete, at least now that the snowpack has dwindled from June levels.

1 month ago

Hiked on 7/10. Absolutely breath taking view. We saw a baby grizzly around 1.5 miles into Cascade Canyon but never saw the mother as we backed away and waited for it to cross the trail. Also saw a moose and marmots. Hike was an easy up hill in which we never needed to stop to catch our breath. Trail was super easy to follow and had a few snow crossings. The snow was packed down and not deep at all but made for some fun as we had just come from Arches National Park. The trail was very lightly trafficked on the way out as it was early in the morning. One other couple up at the lake. Saw more people the last mile on the way back. We took it easy and went slow and spent an hour at the lake. Round trip time was roughly 6 hours. One of our favorite hikes at the park.

1 month ago

7/7/18 - This is a breathtaking hike. We started at the String Lake Trailhead making the hike somewhere around 16-18 miles round trip. Mile markers showed inconsistent mileage. We started around 11 AM and finished around 7 PM. We saw marmots but no larger wildlife although we saw fresh bear scat on the trail. Carry bear spray. The last 1.5 miles of the trail have snow patches covering the trail. We crossed them without poles or crampons with no issues. The lake is beautiful and full of melting ice. We watched a man swim to an island in the lake as the “crowd” (15 people) cheered for him as he swam through the icy water. The whole hike is peppered with gorgeous views but be careful looking up while walking - you’ll likely trip over a rock.

1 month ago

7/5/18 - absolutely amazing! Everything about the hike was beautiful, with views beginning in a denser forest, open up to the canyon, back into the forest and following the creek the entire time. The last 2.5 from the fork up to lake solitude were challenging with several snow crossings. The last ascent was completely snow covered and the lake is just starting to melt - it was absolutely worth it and doable with the right boots and poles.

Wildlife count - countless marmots, 7 moose including a calf, and one young grizzly at the top of the lake. Absolutely need bear spray and stay in a group. The grizzly at the top got within 100 yds of a group of people. There were several other hikers who mentioned 2 other black bears at points on cascade canyon and the stretch to lake solitude.

1 month ago

A challenging but beautiful hike. Starts with a steep climb up through a forest and flattens out into a very gradual climb through Cascade Canyon. Once you hit the North Folk you will pass through another dense forest and emerge to an Alpine clearing which offers some truly lovely scenery. As you continue to climb, the greenery gives way to snow fields (as of late June) which can be tricky to navigate -- poles are highly recommended.

We ended up turning back just short of the lake, with the final ascent to the ridge over the lake in sight. My friend and I kept falling through snow (waist-deep in some areas) and the safety margin just wasn't there for us. I also regularly fell through knee-deep snow which covered icy streams underneath, totally soaking my boots/pants. Would suggest starting the hike very early, so that you can reach the snow fields before the sun is beating down at full strength. NB my friend and I are big guys (6'5") so if you are lighter, this should be less of an issue. Most of the snow was at ankle level and lighter hikers were able to make it to the Lake without issue -- just be aware that the snow levels do get deeper as you get closer to the lake.

Protip: There is a black bear who has taken a liking to hanging out in the forest above the North Fork of Cascade Canyon; we saw him both on the way up and on the way down. On the way down, he was actually walking on the trail itself, and we had to make noise for quite a while before he finally moved uphill to let us pass. Bear spray is a must through this section, and if you are alone I would wait to pair up with other hikers before proceeding. We also saw a huge moose majestically lumbering through this forest section -- pretty cool.

1 month ago

This is probably a great hike for the late summer when all of the snow pack is gone and the lake is not frozen over. As of June 20, 2018, the last 2.3 miles of the trail was mostly deep snow and the lake was frozen over except some of the edges. Unless you have run out of hikes in the area, skip this one until later in the season. We've experienced better hikes in GT NP. We did see a couple of moose 1/2 mile from the boat dock. A few minutes after we passed through, a black bear was on the trail just six feet from some hikers.

1 month ago

6/16/18. This is an awesome trail with abundant wildlife and vistas. My wife and I started on a rainy morning using the boat to cross Jenny Lake to the trail head. The trail starts up a steady incline on a highly trafficked path through the forrest. Then transitioned to an wooded and wildflower covered valley which followed the river up to the the trail junction. We stopped along the way to remove our rain gear and take several pictures. Along the way we encountered a cow moose moose and her calf, several marmots, an elk and several species of birds. It took us an hour and a half to reach the junction where we ate lunch.

If you are into a little more hiking, I encourage you to continue on to at least the first foot bridge. The view of the mountains is spectacular, combined with the river and the wildflowers it is perfect and compares to hikes in Glacier National Park. At the second footbridge we encountered more patchy snow. As we continued up the trail the snow increased and the trail disappeared. The overall direction of the trail is obvious as you are heading up a valley with a river to one side and steep mountains to either side. However, finding the exact trail took a little work.

If you elect to continue up to Solitude Lake in the next few weeks, take caution, and your time. I suggest good boots, and poles. The snow is from several inches to several feet. Before you start download the AllTrails map and or have GPS. We had both. We found this to be helpful to stay on the trail as we found maybe a dozen tracks in the snow leading in several directions. Note, we found the markings in the trees to be sparse. Because of the snow, I would rate the final portion of this trail to be hard.

We made the lake in approximately 4 hours from the boat dock. The lake was 90% frozen. At the lake my wife and I and one other hiker we met along the final 1/4 mile, congratulated each other and shared a snack. We took a few pictures and headed back. My opinion on the lake, wait until it starts to thaw and the trail opens up. It’s was awesome but the last push was steep and very slippery with us occasionally dropping to our hip in snow.

We quickly ascended as frankly we did not want to miss the last ferry across the lake and add three miles to this 17 mile hike. While this trail is an out and back, the vistas, abundant wildlife and flowers keep this trail a 5 star in both directions. We stopped several times to take pictures and an extended time to give first aid to fallen hiker. In all the assent took another three and one half hours from the lake. We made the ferry, loosened our boots and reflected on a great day.

I highly recommend this hike as it was one of the most amazingly beautiful hikes I have taken.

2 months ago

Beautiful beyond expectation. Began our hike at the String Lake Trailhead, proceeded through Cascade Canyon, and took the North Fork Trail beyond that headed toward Lake Solitude. The elevation gain is gradual. Beyond Cascade Canyon mostly snow covered, travelable, but would recommend poles, micro spikes, and truly on this day, needed snow shoes for the last 1/2 mile up to
Lake Solitude. We wore trail shoes which was fine, although slippery. 3/4 of a mile short of Lake Solitude our decision was to turn around at that point due to deep snow. Amazing views the entire hike. Quickly became a favorite and will undoubtedly hike again.

2 months ago

The view of the Grand Teton, Mount Owen and Teewonot across Lake Solitude and down the canyon is breath taking.

2 months ago

Without a doubt this is my favorite hike I have ever completed and let me tell you... the effort was so worth it. We took the ferry across Jenny Lake to avoid having to hike an extra couple of miles around. We got an early start as was recommended to us by park rangers. It's a steep climb to Inspiration point but after that, it's beautiful smooth sailing all the way through Cascade Canyon. There we saw multiple Marmots and even came very close to a bear (you might want to consider bear spray), we even saw a fox! At the junction things switch up. You'll be climbing a little more than you were before. As you walk through Lake Solitude trail, if you look back you will see one of the most amazing views you have ever seen. Before you know it you'll be at Lake Solitude.
My only words of advice are that you take PLENTY of water and some snacks or lunch. And very important to consider... make sure that you make it back in time before the last ferry departs or else you'll be stuck like us and be forced to hike that extra few miles around Jenny Lake. That's definitely the last thing you want after a day long hike. I will most definitely be doing this hike again on my next visit to the Tetons!

6 months ago

Breathtaking hike. Saw several moose and 2 bears. Be sure to dedicate an entire day to this hike, took us 8 hours.

6 months ago

Unbelievable. Best trail we were able to hike during our 10 day trip. Absolutely incredible views.

Arrived at Jenny Lake right at 8am to take the ferry, saved several hours of daylight to avoid the loop trail around the lake. I would say almost a necessity to knock out the whole hike in a single day.

Saw about 5 moose along the way.

Must do if you are in the Tetons and are looking to hike.

10 months ago

Definitely worth the trek! The final stretch up from Cascade Canyon is definitely snowy right now but the gorgeous lake makes slightly soggy shoes more than worth it :)

11 months ago

Lake solitude is beautiful!! Worth the trek

Thursday, August 10, 2017

this trail has everything you ever need: wildflowers, meadows, creeks, forests, peaks, waterfalls, wildlife (3 moose, pikas, beavers, marmots, a deer), topped off with a beautiful lake. it was definitely hard, especially towards the end, but well worth it. we took the 7:30 shuttle ferry and the trail didn't feel overly crowded all day.

Monday, July 31, 2017

We recently went to the Grand Tetons and this was our main hike for the trip. We did around 15 miles since we took the ferry across Jenny lake. I'll start with a little of our hiking history. My wife and I hike around our home in the Appalachian mountains. Most of the trails are around 5 miles max unless you do the appalachian trail or the tanawha trail. So we aren't exactly in the best of hiking shape, but we're fair. We did 9 miles in the Rocky Mountains before this. But we decided to do the cascade canyon trail since it would be around 9 miles. But after hiking to the trail fork and eating lunch we decided to try it. This was definitely a little too much for us but we powered through and we're so glad we did! This trail is gorgeous the entire way, we saw 3 moose, and amazing views. The lake at the top was still frozen over in late July! This trail is the best way to see a lot that the Grand Tetons has to offer and if you only have limited time to see it all, this is the trail to take if you are able. The cascade canyon trail is very smooth and an easy gain. Lake solitude is more intense with more of a gain and harder terrain but the views and end goal make it worth it. Best trail we've ever been on!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Originally we had decided to hike up Cascade Canyon and stop at the junction and not go up to Solitude Lake. However, the 4.5 miles up to the intersection is pretty smooth despite the net 2K gain in elevation. Along the way we saw Moose and Elk. We decided to take the trail towards Solitude and we were going to turn at some point. However, the scenery kept getting better and better. We kept going and the trail still had some significant snow patches as we got closer to Solitude (that added some fun, although poles were a must especially on the way down). The lake Solitude bowl was still snowed out and the Lake partially frozen. Overall this 14-mile round trip was probably one of my best hikes ever at any park and I would recommend it as a must if your in the Tetons.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Best hike ever. Lake was frozen and we had to hike through some snow but worth it all the way!

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

If you want the awe and wonder of the Teton Mountains completely surrounding you, this is the perfect hike. NOT easy, especially in June. Expect to see bears, moose, marmots, and other wild creatures, but if you are prepared with bear spray and are willing to hike through the snow (lots of it) with your trekking poles and good shoes with waterproofing, you'll be good to go. Great views and workout. The frozen lake was just starting to thaw. We took the Jenny Lake shuttle rather than adding the extra 3 miles. We had a picnic lunch on a boulder facing the lake before starting back down the mountain. Felt like cross country skiing on the way down at this time of year. One of our favorite hikes of all time.

Monday, July 03, 2017

Amazing hike. Not heavily trafficked once you pass inspiration point. Saw moose, bear, marmots and more. Spectacular views everywhere. Also after the first 2 miles there is just a steady incline. About 1.5 miles after the split the trail disappears into snow. On June 27th it was incredibly difficult to navigate without proper gear to stabilize footing. We did not make it to the Lake we turned back about a mile short according to GPS. We were told by another couple that the Lake was completely frozen over however.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Was just up here yesterday, June 17th. Pretty clear up to the forks, the creek was extremely high. Saw tons of marmots the whole hike. A little bit past the fork.. tons of snow. Pretty well packed, couldn't see the trail much. Relied on gps and a set of foot prints and looking at the lay of the land. Won't be coming back up till the snows melted late summer but it was so worth it!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Did this hike in early September. Views in the canyon were absolutely amazing. One of the most beautiful hikes I've done. Temperature/conditions varied quite a bit along the way, so recommend bringing layers.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

beautiful hike

Monday, September 05, 2016

Great hike. Packed a lunch and ate it in the snow around the lake! The temperature varied greatly on this hike so be sure to take a fleece.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Solitude Lake was a great trail with outstanding views of the Tetons. The last 3 miles are a little tough though with steep vertical incline for 3 miles until you reach Solitude Lake. The lake is amazing with great views. However, on the day we went, the second half of the trail was covered with bugs and horseflies. The second half was a little rough with all the horseflies and bug spray will not prevent them from coming towards you. I think we didn't come on a good day for this hike but if there was better conditions, I think the hike would be a whole lot better.

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