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    Amphitheater Lake

    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    16.9 km
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    1,070 m
    User Ratings
    These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
    Overall Rating
    This is the average user-submitted overall rating on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest.
    Physical Difficulty
    This is the average user-submitted rating on the physical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
    Advanced (Diamond)
    Suitable for advanced experience level looking for a solid adventure.
    Technical Difficulty
    This is the average user-submitted rating on the technical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
    Intermediate (Square)
    Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
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    Directions to Trailhead
    View from the Amphitheater Lake Hike in Grand Tetons

    The Amphitheater Lake Trail in Grand Teton National Park is one of the top hikes in the whole region. After several switchbacks you will find yourself in the most tranquil of alpine lakes, and the views of Grand Teton and other magnificent peaks are hard to miss!

    View Amphitheater Lake on Map

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    Route Description for Amphitheater Lake

    You access this hike via a gravel road with some potholes, however all two-wheel drive vehicles should be able to make it. Go slow! This parking lot is very busy as many mountaineers and climbers use it to access fun routes past both Amphitheater Lakes and Garnet Canyon. Get here early, or be prepared to have to walk for a while to get to the trailhead.

    The trailhead is at the end of the road, where there are pit toilets. The first part of the hike remains flat, but you will quickly start the “meat and potatoes'” of the climb. For nearly 5.0 km there are switchbacks through the forest, occasionally popping out from the trees with views down across the valley. You will also be able to see Bradley and Taggart Lakes below you.

    There is an abundance of wildlife along this trail. Some of the adorable animals include chipmunks, squirrels, grouse and marmots. However, along some of the long switchbacks we did see a mother bear with two cubs – the most dangerous bear one can see. Take heed if you are hiking by yourself, and try to stick close to other groups.

    At the first junction you will arrive at a point towards Bradley and Taggart Lakes. Continue right towards Amphitheater Lake and Garnet Canyon. Follow several more switchbacks until you reach another junction. From here turn right towards Surprise and Amphitheater Lakes.

    This trail will climb even further and gain even more elevation as you approach these high alpine lakes -- switchbacking up you will pass up a lush, steep gully. This is where we first saw a mother bear, so make noise and stay vigilant.

    You will first come to Surprise Lake, a small lake surrounded by the ridges leading up to the Tetons. Continuing a few hundred meters further you will find Amphitheater Lake, a much larger lake with a far more beautiful backdrop. Directly above Amphitheater Lake is Disappointment Peak, which many climbers ascend with some moderate scrambling. You might also be able to spot Grand Teton and Mt. Owen in the background, as well as Teewinot Mountain and its long sloping ridge on your right.

    There are many rocks to sit on around Amphitheater Lake, making it a great spot to relax! Take care when you go down, as the trail is quite steep in sections.

    Insider Hints for Amphitheater Lake

    • To extend the hike, climb up the ridge on the left of the lake to get a view over to Middle Teton and down to Garnet Canyon.
    • This is a quintessential lunch spot for avid hikers. Bring a warm coat and your favorite picnic to bask in the beauty of the Tetons.
    • Some even go swimming in Amphitheater Lake. If you are daring and have no fear of cold water, bring a towel and go for a dip!

    Getting to the Amphitheater Lake Trailhead

    From Colter Bay drive south along the John D. Rockefeller Parkway, turning right onto Teton Park Rd. Keep going along Teton Park Rd. for approximately 22.5 km then turn right (west) at the Lupine Meadows Junction. Alternatively, from Moose, drive 11.0 km north and turn left at the Lupine Meadows Junction. You will continue along Lupine Meadows Rd. until it ends.

    Route Information

    • When to do

      June through October

    • Backcountry Campsites


    • Toilets


    • Family friendly


    • Route Signage


    • Crowd Levels


    • Route Type

      Out and back

    Amphitheater Lake Elevation Graph

    Weather Forecast

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    Amphitheater Lake Reviews

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