Aspen Ridge Trail
Discover a swathe of wilderness densely populated with quaking aspens and lush evergreens in the Grand Teton National Park. The Aspen Ridge Trail is a scenic footpath that explores the south lateral moraine of the Ice Age Death Canyon glacier, exposing gobsmacking vistas of Phelps Lake and the bounding snow-dusted Teton Mountains.
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Route Description for Aspen Ridge Trail
The Aspen Ridge Trail boasts an immersive experience. Explore the primitive wilderness abundant with a diversity of flora and fauna while indulging in amazing alpine views. Similar to most hiking trails in the Grand Tetons, this scenic footpath explores bear country—so make sure you or someone you are traveling with has bear spray and knows how to properly use it. Make plenty of noise, and if you do have an encounter with any sort of wildlife, admire them from a safe distance. While this path is not heavily trafficked, nearby routes are, so the parking lot fills fast– arrive early. Note the National Park charges an entrance fee; refer to the NPS website for additional information.
Reconnect with nature and let go of your stress as you hike the Aspen Ridge Trail. Boasting a more secluded experience than most pathways in the park, this trail is ideal for those seeking a quiet, tranquil adventure. Explore in the early morning for the most solitude! Though picturesque year-round, this route offers the best scenery in the autumn when the aspens are golden and vibrant! While the Aspen Ridge Hike does not circumnavigate Phelps Lake, it offers wonderful views of the glacial pool and access to the shoreline, so don’t forget a swimsuit and towel!
Embark on your journey along the Aspen Ridge Trail from the parking lot off LSR Preserve Entrance Road. Setting out from here, you will follow the westbound trail to the Visitors Center, where you can pick up a map and discover the ecology and history of the area. From here, merge onto the Woodland Trail, which nears Lake Creek, before diverting hikers over the Moose-Wilson Road. Gradually climbing into the wilderness, you will soon encounter an intersection, veer left here, and you will be diverted onto the Aspen Ridge Trail.
This stunning path allows hikers to discover the beauty of the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve whilst providing tranquility in an otherwise frequented area. As the name suggests, the path leads adventurers up a ridge and through aspen groves. As you explore the more primitive and densely forested sections of the trail, it is important to be bear aware. Briefly nearing Kauffman Creek, the route will summit another ridge exposing great views of the Teton Mountains and the Gros Ventre Mountains. Meandering back down into the forestland, you will ultimately reach the trail’s end at Phelps Lake.
Turn right onto the Phelps Lake Loop and travel east along the shoreline. Here you will be granted an expansive view of the glacial lake and bounding granite Teton Mountains. Revel in the views of the Albright Peak in the north and Prospectors Mountain in the northwest. You will also notice Death Canyon directly across the shimmering lake. Cross the footbridge over Lake Creek, then divert right onto the Boulder Ridge Trail.
Beyond this point, the path will reroute trekkers away from the lakeshore and back into the woodlands. Mildly undulating through outcrops, the trail will treat you to views of Jackson Hole through the tree breaks. Wander beneath this lovely path back to the intersection with the Woodland Trail. Here, veer left and retrace your steps along this route back to the trailhead and parking lot.
Phelps Lake is one of the many shimmering glacial lakes in the Grand Teton National Park. Located at an elevation of 2,022 m, the picturesque pool sits beneath Albright Peak, Prospectors Mountain, and Mount Hunt. A crowd favorite for swimming and cliff jumping, there is also a popular network of hiking trails worth exploring.
Standing at 3,218 m, Albright Peak is a prominent mountain in the Teton Range. Located within the limits of the Grand Teton National Park, this snow-capped peak is named for Horace M. Albright, the second director of the National Park Service. Towering above Phelps Lake and Death Canyon—Albright Peak boasts picture-perfect scenery.
Insider Hints for Aspen Ridge Trail
- The parking lot usually fills by 9AM, so arrive early to secure a spot
- Mosquitos are relentless, wear bug spray!
- Pack a swimsuit, you will be tempted by the shimmering alpine pool
- Make sure at least one person in your group has bear spray and it's educated on how to use it properly
- Pick up a map at the Preserve Center
- Bring your camera, the views of the Jackson Hole and the Teton Mountains
Getting to the Aspen Ridge Trail Trailhead
The Aspen Ridge Hike departs from the carpark off the LSR Preserve Entrance Road.
Aspen Ridge Trail Elevation Graph
Weather ForecastCheck Area Weather
Aspen Ridge Trail Reviews
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