Surprise and Amphitheater Lakes Trail

HARD 100 reviews
#5 of 92 trails in

Surprise and Amphitheater Lakes Trail is a 9.2 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Moose, Wyoming that features a lake and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until September.

DISTANCE
9.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2867 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

birding

fishing

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

rocky

snow

no dogs

Wyoming Business Council Tourism Office, Frank Norris Jr. Travel Center, I-25 & College Drive , Cheyenne, WY, 82002-0660, Phone: 307-777-7777, Fax: 307-777-6472

2 months ago

Strenuous hike with a well-earned reward of two lakes and beautiful scenery at the top. We had a real surprise at Surprise Lake when a mama black bear and her two cubs joined us at the lake for their afternoon drink!

camping
2 months ago

Gnar

hiking
3 months ago

This hike was worth the challenge of getting to the top to see surprise and amphitheater lake. We started this hike out planning to go off trail to view Delta Lake, but it was snowing and making it up the boulder fields was almost impossible and too dangerous. We decided to hike up almost 3 more miles to surprise and amphitheater lake and we are glad we did. Before we went on this hike we read that black bears were known to be spotted very close to the trail. We encountered one adult black bear and then one cub an hour later who came right up to my dad. Make sure to bring some bear spray!

hiking
3 months ago

It was my first time in Grand Teton NP and this was definitely the highlight. A hard hike with the elevation and switchbacks but absolutely worth it. Great views on the way up and the lakes were spectacular. Plenty of snow in mid-July at the top and the lake was still half covered in ice. The scenery surrounding Amphitheater was awe inspiring. An afternoon storm rolled in on the way down and we got hit with rain, hail and some lightning but still had fun.

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

Hard hike but very pretty!

hiking
4 months ago

Four of us hit the trail at 8:30 am and made our way up the initial ascent quickly. Just after the fork for Valley Trail, we encountered a young black bear in the middle of the trail, but he ran off when we got closer as a group. My wife and I hiked ahead and managed to take a wrong turn towards Garnet Canyon (looks beautiful), which added ~1.5 miles to our trip, but we made it back and caught up with the others before reaching Surprise/Amphitheater Lakes. We were thankful to have started early since it was HOT, hazy (smoke coming in from the north), and packed later in the day. We spent an hour up top and took our time -- got back to the car close to 3 pm.

4 months ago

considering how hot and uphill this trail is, it was definitely a good idea for us to start early. the lakes at the top are totally worth the hard climb. we also saw a brown black bear eating berries close to the trail.

hiking
4 months ago

Really good hike if you're looking to get a good work out in. The incline is no joke! The lakes at the end are breathtaking. Very nice to sit, relax, and enjoy a sandwich and a snack or two!

hiking
5 months ago

The trail passes through lots of meadows thick with wildflowers, sagebrush flats, rich forest, and some naked rock, giving a nice, varied experience. The hike is strenuous. The last 1.5 mi of switchbacks are not shown on Google Maps. I heard there is a path to Delta Lake from this trail (my intended, moderately difficult destination), but the map at the trailhead didn't show it. What I thought could be its trail was closed for revegetation. So I continued to Surprise and Amphitheater Lakes ignorant of the elevation ahead. But it was worth it. Beautiful lakes set in the mountains. Some snow mounds were still left in the meadows alongside the trail by the lake (now in early August). Saw a black bear twice in forest alongside the trail.

5 months ago

Long uphill climb with tons of switchbacks. Not technical at all, gets monotonous. The views throughout are gorgeous though as are the lakes to make it worth while.

5 months ago

Stunning views, worth every switchback and sore muscles! When at Surprise Lake, make sure to go around the lake to get an amazing view of the valley!

hiking
6 months ago

Gorgeous hike! Worth every switchback!

6 months ago

Awesome hike. Be prepared to lose the trail when it is still snow on top. It was a moderate hike for me, but the last half mile was challenging because of the slippery mushy snow. And this is in July.

6 months ago

This is a must do. I felt the hike was moderate until the last half mile, because of the soft snow. Be prepared for the snow, even in July. Outstanding views.

6 months ago

Still lots of snow about a mile from the summit but the tracks are clear to follow. Make sure to bring good hiking boots, as trainers won't cut it!

6 months ago

Still one of my favorite hikes. The last 1.25 miles you will encounter snow intermittently at first, and then nonstop. Crampons and poles would be most helpful for the last part! Still beautiful, and always worth it.

6 months ago

The last part of the trail to the lakes was in the snow in the middle of june. Did not make all trail and came back. Forest in the first part and very beatifull views in the second part of distance to the lakes in the valley. Not very dificult elevation. Very good!

9 months ago

Amazing hike. Very hard but the view from the top and the lakes along the way are beyond worth it! I took this hike in the middle of July, it was very hot so lots of water was needed, we ran into a black bear on the trail but he wasn't to interested in the hikers. Lots of people throughout the whole hike in July as well. It was one of the best hikes in the Tetons I've ever took!

11 months ago

Excellent hike. Expect crowds in the summer.

Load More