Looking for a breezy yet rewarding hike in Grand Teton National Park? The 3.8-mile Taggart Lake Loop is perfect for you. It’s a simple walk, one with an incredible lake and a full view of the Teton Range. For relaxed walks in Grand Teton, there really isn’t a better choice.
- Distance (mi): 3.8
- Elevation gain: 428=3
- Elevation (actual):
- Minimum: 6,626 feet (at the trailhead)
- Maximum: 6,976 feet (at Taggard Lake)
- Time to complete: 1-2 hours
- Trailhead/parking lot: Taggart Lake Trailhead Parking Lot
- Trail links:
We chose to take the trail clockwise, which is the opposite of the way the trail is marked on AllTrails and the Hiking Project. Not that it really matters – this is a very wide, easy to follow trail with lots of people on it heading in both directions.
We took the clockwise route, simply because there is a small hill to climb on the counterclockwise route just before you hit the lake. Because our legs were tired from previous hikes, the clockwise route let us walk down that tiny hill rather than go up it. It really is a tiny hill – you can see it on trail maps, and it comes off as rather steep, but I have no memory of it just a few weeks after hiking it!
If you take the counterclockwise route, however, you’ll have better views of the Teton range on your way to the lake. Going clockwise means the mountains will be hidden behind trees the majority of the time.
On the trail, you’ll walk through a lot of birch trees, which are a delight to see in any season. The white bark of the birch is stunning just about every time you see it. There are also a couple of open meadows on the trail – if you get there around dawn or dusk, there’s a decent chance you could see a moose!
The trail itself is quite pretty, although not as breathtaking as trails like Paintbrush Canyon or Cascade Canyon. But that’s okay, because that really isn’t the point. This trail is all about getting to Taggart Lake.
Taggart Lake is simply incredible. It’s not a crystal blue alpine lake, but it is a gorgeous place with impeccable views of the Teton Range. The lake sits southeast of Grand Teton, giving you a great view of Grand Teton, Mount Owen, and Teewinot Mountain, while Shadow Peak obscures your view of Middle and South Tetons.
If you’re hiking to Taggart Lake and looking for solitude, just know that this is a very popular place in the park. It’s easy to get to, which means there will be kids and all sorts of people there hanging out. When I was there, everyone was pretty respectful and the noise was kept to a minimum. But, if you want a spot all to yourself, I suggest getting there early or being patient and waiting to snag a spot away from the rest of the hikers.
My wife, best friend, and I spent about 3 hours sitting in front of the mountains after we got there. It was one of the most peaceful parts of the trip – we barely broke a sweat getting there, and once we arrived there was nothing to do but chill.
Taggart Lake is one of the most popular hikes in Grand Teton National Park for a reason:
- It’s easy to get to,
- It’s got incredible views,
- And it’s the perfect place to have a picnic.
If you’re heading to the park, I’d highly suggest putting this hike on your itinerary!