Phelps Lake Trail

MODERATE 474 reviews
#7 of 103 trails in

Phelps Lake Trail is a 7 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Jackson, Wyoming that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until September.

Distance: 7.0 miles Elevation Gain: 725 feet Route Type: Loop

backpacking

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

no dogs

Directions from Moose: Go left at the Moose Wilson Road and travel southwest on road to Death Canyon Trailhead.

hiking
snow
19 days ago

Snowshoes out to Phelps Lake yesterday. Trail has been heavily used by snowshoeing and cross country skiers. Trail was well marked despite the snow levels. Hikers need to go prepared for very cold winter conditions in backcountry. It was 9 below zero at the start of our hike. Beautiful lake scenery made the hike worth the effort.

recorded Phelps Lake Trail

hiking
muddy
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Sweet Hike. Beautiful scenery. Not a lot of elevation gain so an "easy" moderate rating. Saw four cinnamon colour phase black bears. Needless to say a couple of anxious moments were had establishing that they were in fact black bears. Trail in excellent condition and well signposted.

hiking
3 months ago

Walked the track counter clockwise saw 2 moose, near and on the track .... so had to double back a bit until they passed.... saw mule dear and a red headed wood pecker working on a tree . Great walk and great views all the way round.

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike, easy flat, and lots of views. We saw Deer, Elk, a Bear, and Moose. Good times

hiking
4 months ago

This is a beautiful hike along the lake. The views are spectacular all the way through. Would recommend starting the loop around the lake clockwise instead of counterclockwise (go left instead of right at the trail sign right at the lake from the woodland trail). Make noise and bring bear spray as there are lots of berries (and bear poop) along the trail. Saw a black bear, two eagles, and five snakes on this trail. This hike is worth the time; a loop with the current trail detour for bear activity was around 8 miles start-to-finish and took a little under 4 hours.

hiking
4 months ago

beautiful, easy hike. mostly level. saw 2 bears, a few moose. ate lunch on the beach past the campsites. huckleberry point is a must. enjoyable hike for all takers.

4 months ago

Had so much fun; so rare to find a hike like this that’s so easy but with such high return in the form of beautiful views. Lots of people were swimming in the lake but it was too cold for me. 1 bear sighting in the distance. We went on a Saturday morning and arrived at the trailhead at 10:40 (I know I know, but I *had* to check out a particular French bakery in Jackson first!) We ended waiting til 11:15 to get a parking spot. (NPS rangers were there ensuring order and preventing people from making up parking spots so there really wasn’t any way around the wait at that point). So go early or go late! (We returned to our car around 3pm and there wasn’t a wait anymore). The parking was really the hardest part of this hike. :) good tree cover, I didn’t need sunscreen. No issues with mosquitoes either. Such a magical place.

hiking
4 months ago

This trail is beautiful! We did the Lake Creek Trail to the lake, and the Woodland Trail back. I would say this section of the trail was easy, not moderate. We saw a deer and a black bear!

hiking
4 months ago

Did this yesterday with a trip up to the Overlook which I recommend. That is the only section with elevation and even this is not much. Nice “off day” hike with several spots to stop for lunch and enjoy the views.

hiking
4 months ago

Easy and nice trail. Beautiful lake with great opportunities for swimming. Did not see any wildlife today. Would do it again.

hiking
4 months ago

Easy trail. Takes about 4 hours to complete and that’s with stopping to cliff jump along the north side of the lake. Hiked early September and the water temperature was awesome.

hiking
4 months ago

Not sure why this was moderate. Pretty easy trail for the most part.

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful trail with a gorgeous crystal blue lake at the end. Definitely an easy hike. Mostly flat. I think going the woodland trail to the lake is the prettiest.

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful Hike! The trail was well marked and well traveled. We hiked 7.3 miles around the lake with our 1 year old. We stopped for lunch at the sandy beach area the water felt awesome! We saw three snakes, a grouse, and a yelliw bellied marmot.

4 months ago

Got lost on this trail today and ended up getting on Medow trail. 7 mile hiked turned into 18. Had to call park ranger office. Felt embarrassed. Saw bear and moose on way back eventually... All and all a good but extremely tiring stressful hike... Direction sign could of been better also.

hiking
4 months ago

amazing views! This was a very nice easy trail. We hiked the Lake Loop Trail and took the boulder trail out. The lake felt amazing. Perfect hike for kids we had our 1 year old with us. We saw 3 snakes, grouse, and tons of squirrels and chimpmunks and one yellow bellied marmot. Would have loved to have tried the jumping rock but it was full of kids when we hiked by. better luck next time. The earlier you get there the better.

hiking
4 months ago

Love this hike. Easy, fun to take kids. Jumping off the rock is a great time. The views are amazing.

hiking
5 months ago

Started from white grass trailhead. Easy hike in and around the lake. A little uphill on the way back but not bad at all. Saw a mama and cub about 300yds from TH. Lots of scat around! Be bear aware esp in huckleberry bushes!

hiking
5 months ago

Great trail, not very difficult. Really fun jumping rock!

hiking
5 months ago

Easy trail with some elevation to and from the lake. The jumping rock is sweet. Water feels great!

hiking
5 months ago

We hiked this trail as our first long hike in the park and it was well worth it! We hiked clockwise around the lake. The sandy beach at the opposite end was an incredible payoff and helped refresh us for the hike back. We had our first siting of a Mama Bear and her cubs near the trail to Huckleberry Point.

hiking
5 months ago

Beautiful glacier lake with gorgeous views. The trail is easy and chill. Go to the right to find the giant jumping rock! The water is deep enough and wasn’t too cold, just be brave and don’t think about it. :)

hiking
5 months ago

Rough but totally worth it once you make it down to the water! Make sure you have a bathing suit with you and plenty of water

backpacking
5 months ago

Do Not Camp Overnight Here!!! We stayed overnight at Phelps lake during a week-long loop of the Teton Crest and surrounding areas. This was the only spot where we had problems with bears. NPS unwittingly built the "backcountry" campsites (2 miles from a trailhead) in a wildlife/bear corridor. This is easily recognizable even to a novice naturalist and it demonstrates disgusting incompetence of NPS, who failed to recognize the ecology of their own lands. As such, we had several bears (black and grizzly) pass our tent in the night that we scared off. Due to the lake's close proximetry to a nearby trailhead, it gets a significant amount of traffic, including many campers who aren't familiar with leave no trace. We found snuff boxes, fuel cans, etc., littering our site (probably also contributing to the bear issue). The NPS placed the Phelps Lake "backcountry" campsites in one of the worst spots on the lake. Backcountry sites could be easily relocated to to the other side of the lake, which would take overnight campers out of the wildlife corridor. Otherwise Phelps Lake is a great place for swimming, fishing, good views, etc., minus the poorly placed campsites. Would not recommend.

hiking
5 months ago

Very nice little loop, getting out early is a must to avoid other traffic and see more wildlife. It’s a very serene environment around the lake. Plenty of deer, saw a little cub too but no momma, probably a good thing. We came in at 6:30 and there were only a couple over-night campers & 1 other group on the trail. On the way out there were crowds of people. There’s a little beach at the tip of the lake too, it does not lead back to the trail. We had to cross through some swampy deer bedroom to get back to the trail LOL. Great way to start the day!!

hiking
5 months ago

Perfect for all ages! Easy trail, little elevation, beautiful views!

hiking
5 months ago

The trail is very beautiful and is not very strenuous. The best time to come is early morning before 7:30 AM, before the crowd shows up. Moreover, you are more likely to see grizzly and black bears early morning as they are seeking shelter during late morning sunrise and away from the tourists. I saw one grizzly and her pup and two black bears. But they’re very easily scared.

hiking
rocky
5 months ago

Beautiful trail! Lots of trees and trail side water. Quiet and saw several deer.

hiking
5 months ago

One of my favorite lakes in this national park. The trail wasn’t crowded, not too many bugs, quick 4 hour hike and there is a cute sandy beach at the end so it’s definitely worth it!

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