Hidden Falls

Grand Teton National Park / Jenny Lake, Wyoming, USA

About Hidden Falls


Hiking Distance: 1.2 miles round trip (with boat ride); 5.2 miles round trip otherwise
Suggested Time: 1-2 hours (including boat ride)

Date first visited: 2004-06-26
Date last visited: 2017-08-13

Waterfall Latitude: 43.76572
Waterfall Longitude: -110.7509

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Hidden Falls was a satisfying 75-100ft waterfall at the far end of the scenic Jenny Lake, which fronted the signature skyline of the Grand Teton Range.

To our knowledge, this was the most accessible of the significant waterfalls in Grand Teton National Park.

Hidden_Falls_Jenny_Lake_078_08132017 - Hidden Falls
Hidden Falls

Apparently, legitimate waterfalls were surprisingly rare in the Grand Tetons, especially compared to the plethora of the many easy-to-see waterfalls in the neighboring Yellowstone National Park to the north.

Indeed, most of the Grand Teton Waterfalls were either too difficult to reach or were nothing more than temporary or unremarkable snowmelt cascades (in our opinion, at least).

I suspect that the falls got its name because it fell mostly unseen to all but hikers on the Cascade Canyon Trail as it was nestled in a deep canyon surrounded by tall trees.

Hiking Options with or without the Boat Shuttle

As the most accessible of the Grand Teton Waterfalls, Hidden Falls was also very busy.

Hidden_Falls_Jenny_Lake_004_08132017 - The boat and the dock for the short boat ride across Jenny Lake, which shortened the Hidden Falls hike
The boat and the dock for the short boat ride across Jenny Lake, which shortened the Hidden Falls hike

To reach the falls, we paid for one of the frequent boat shuttles (which left about every 20 minutes between 8am to 6pm) going across Jenny Lake.

This reduced an otherwise moderately long 5.2-mile round trip hike to a much more manageable 1.2 miles round trip.

With the shorter hike, it also made continuing the hike up into the scenic Cascade Canyon for more mountain scenery more attractive.

In fact, Julie and I did go up there when we first visited this place back in late June 2004.

Cascade_Canyon_024_jx_06262004 - The first time Julie and I visited Hidden Falls in late June 2004, we took advantage of the Jenny Lake boat ride and hiked partway into Cascade Canyon
The first time Julie and I visited Hidden Falls in late June 2004, we took advantage of the Jenny Lake boat ride and hiked partway into Cascade Canyon

There was also the option of taking the boat to the far end of Jenny Lake then hiking back.

Experiencing Hidden Falls in this manner would have made the hike more on the order of 4 miles in total.

Hidden Falls Trail Description – hiking to the falls beyond Jenny Lake’s Far End

From the boat dock at the far western end of Jenny Lake, we followed a well-used uphill trail.

It initially involved steps flanked by bush (many of which had huckleberries growing out of them) and tall trees.

Hidden_Falls_Jenny_Lake_015_08132017 - The dock on the far end of Jenny Lake
The dock on the far end of Jenny Lake

The foliage obstructed the mountains flanking Cascade Canyon.

That said, there were always enough of the peaks in sight to tempt us to take more photos or at least tease us into hiking further to get closer to those mountains.

About a quarter-mile up the 0.6-mile of hiking to reach the Hidden Falls, the trail crossed a trail junction.

Then, it skirted along the rushing Cascade Creek presenting more intermediate cascades and rapids as the trail switched between steps, dirt, and granite surfaces.

Hidden_Falls_Jenny_Lake_062_08132017 - A trail junction where going left would lead to the Hidden Falls viewpoint while going right would continue up into Cascade Canyon
A trail junction where going left would lead to the Hidden Falls viewpoint while going right would continue up into Cascade Canyon

Eventually, the trail crossed over Cascade Creek before curving back and encountering another trail junction.

We kept left at this junction to hike the remaining spur trail leading past a sloping field of boulders to a lookout for the Hidden Falls.

The path on the right crossed another bridge then would climb up towards a pair of Inspiration Point Overlooks (both looking back towards Jenny Lake).

Beyond the overlooks, the trail then entered Cascade Canyon where the 13,000ft peaks flanking the canyon itself would be clearly in view.

Hidden_Falls_Jenny_Lake_101_08132017 - It was pretty busy at the Hidden Falls lookout during our August 2017 visit
It was pretty busy at the Hidden Falls lookout during our August 2017 visit

There was limited space at the spacious lookout where the views of the Hidden Falls were choice, which meant that it could get a bit on the busy and claustrophobic side.

The viewing area also opened out at the end towards a cliff face where we noticed rock climbers ascending it.

After having our fill of this lookout, we headed back to the boat and ended the short excursion in a leisurely two hours away from the car.

We especially took our time because both Julie and Tahia were at it again picking huckleberries.

Hidden Falls Trail Description – hiking beyond Hidden Falls into Cascade Canyon

Cascade_Canyon_024_06262004 - Julie continuing up the fairly steep climb beyond Hidden Falls en route to Inspiration Point and Cascade Canyon during our late June 2004 hike
Julie continuing up the fairly steep climb beyond Hidden Falls en route to Inspiration Point and Cascade Canyon during our late June 2004 hike

Beyond Hidden Falls, the trail continued climbing and really making it a sweaty and heavy-breathing affair.

The path was a little big rugged, but it was well-used and quite easy-to-follow.

Along the way, we got some pretty nice panoramas of the plains to the east as well as Jenny Lake itself, especially from the Inspiration Point lookouts.

The Inspiration Point was about 0.4 miles beyond the Hidden Falls spur, and the mouth of Cascade Canyon was around another 0.5-mile further.

Cascade_Canyon_041_06262004 - This was about as far into the U-shaped Cascade Canyon as we went before turning back during our first visit here in late June 2004
This was about as far into the U-shaped Cascade Canyon as we went before turning back during our first visit here in late June 2004

The climb was pretty steep, but it flattened out once inside the canyon.

Once inside Cascade Canyon, it was pretty much a scenic hike where the turnaround point is up to you (we maybe went another quarter- to half-mile in).

Authorities

Hidden Falls resides in Grand Teton National Park near Jackson in Teton County, Wyoming. It is administered by the National Park Service. For more information or inquiries as well as current conditions, visit their website.

Hidden_Falls_Jenny_Lake_003_08132017 - We were very lucky scoring a pretty close parking spot to the Jenny Lake Visitor Center during our August 2017 visit. From there, we walked towards the Boat Dock
Hidden_Falls_Jenny_Lake_016_08132017 - The boat about to approach the dock at the far western end of Jenny Lake where we'd then begin our hike to Hidden Falls during our August 2017 visit
Hidden_Falls_Jenny_Lake_021_08132017 - Julie looking for huckleberries with Tahia almost immediately after we started hiking to Hidden Falls
Hidden_Falls_Jenny_Lake_028_08132017 - Tahia on the Hidden Falls Trail, which was a little bit slow going on the way there because it was mostly uphill, but it also had a lot of nice mountain scenery along the way
Hidden_Falls_Jenny_Lake_031_08132017 - Context of Julie and Tahia continuing the uphill hike between the Jenny Lake boat dock and the Hidden Falls lookout
Hidden_Falls_Jenny_Lake_033_08132017 - Tahia getting in the act as she was hooked on searching for huckleberries along the Hidden Falls Trail
Hidden_Falls_Jenny_Lake_034_08132017 - Closeup look at a small butterfly sitting on a flowering plant alongside the Hidden Falls Trail during our August 2017 hike
Hidden_Falls_Jenny_Lake_035_08132017 - Closeup look at a bee pollinating and doing its thing alongside the Hidden Falls Trail during our August 2017 hike
Hidden_Falls_Jenny_Lake_037_08132017 - Tahia continuing on the uphill hike leading up to the Hidden Falls lookout during our August 2017 hike
Hidden_Falls_Jenny_Lake_039_08132017 - Context of Julie and Tahia continuing up the rock steps on the Hidden Falls Trail during our August 2017 hike
Hidden_Falls_Jenny_Lake_042_08132017 - Looking back at the Hidden Falls Trail, which now followed along Cascade Creek
Hidden_Falls_Jenny_Lake_043_08132017 - Looking towards some intermediate cascades on Cascade Creek on the way up to Hidden Falls during our August 2017 hike
Hidden_Falls_Jenny_Lake_044_08132017 - The Hidden Falls Trail was a very busy trail during our August 2017 visit as you can see here
Hidden_Falls_Jenny_Lake_048_08132017 - This rocky and fairly open part of the Hidden Falls Trail also revealed the Cascade Canyon Trail, which you can see towards the topright of this photo providing some sense of scale of how much more climbing would be necessary to get up to Cascade Canyon
Hidden_Falls_Jenny_Lake_050_08132017 - Looking upstream at more intermediate cascades on Cascade Creek en route to the Hidden Falls lookout during our August 2017 hike
Hidden_Falls_Jenny_Lake_059_08132017 - Looking back at the context of the Hidden Falls Trail with some backing mountains during our August 2017 hike
Hidden_Falls_Jenny_Lake_063_08132017 - This partial view of Hidden Falls was the first glimpse we had of the aptly-named waterfall during our August 2017 visit
Hidden_Falls_Jenny_Lake_066_08132017 - Finally examining the Hidden Falls as seen from the lookout during our August 2017 visit
Hidden_Falls_Jenny_Lake_108_08132017 - The short spur leading to the Hidden Falls lookout passed by this sloping boulder field
Hidden_Falls_Jenny_Lake_080_08132017 - More zoomed in and long-exposed shot of the Hidden Falls as I took advantage of the threatening thunderstorm and railing at the lookout during our August 2017 visit
Hidden_Falls_Jenny_Lake_094_08132017 - Towards the very end of the lookout area for Hidden Falls during our August 2017 visit, we saw this cliff face, which had people climbing it as they were apparently part of some kind of climbing school
Hidden_Falls_Jenny_Lake_096_08132017 - It was quite busy around the Hidden Falls lookout during our August 2017 visit
Hidden_Falls_Jenny_Lake_103_08132017 - Looking back at the Hidden Falls looking hidden as we started on our way back down to the Jenny Lake boat dock to wrap up our August 2017 visit
Hidden_Falls_Jenny_Lake_104_08132017 - Looking across the footbridge over Cascade Creek where we could have continued to Inspiration Point and Cascade Canyon but opted not to during our August 2017 visit
Hidden_Falls_Jenny_Lake_108_08132017 - Looking across a large boulder field on that spur trail leading to the Hidden Falls lookout during our August 2017 visit
Hidden_Falls_Jenny_Lake_114_08132017 - Looking up at a different context of the Cascade Canyon Trail climbing high up above while we headed down below to the boat dock on our August 2017 visit from Hidden Falls
Hidden_Falls_Jenny_Lake_115_08132017 - Closer look at some more berries growing alongside the Hidden Falls Trail during our August 2017 visit
Hidden_Falls_Jenny_Lake_124_08132017 - Julie and Tahia on the return hike of our Hidden Falls visit in August 2017, which was pretty much all downhill now
Hidden_Falls_Jenny_Lake_131_08132017 - Julie and Tahia continuing closer to Jenny Lake and the boat dock down there on our August 2017 visit
Hidden_Falls_Jenny_Lake_137_08132017 - Looking down at the boat dock on the far end of Jenny Lake, which already had quite a few people waiting there on our August 2017 visit
Hidden_Falls_Jenny_Lake_140_08132017 - Looking up at some thunderstorm clouds threatening to dump its load over the Teton Range as we were concluding our Hidden Falls hike in August 2017
Hidden_Falls_Jenny_Lake_144_08132017 - The return trail from Hidden Falls went down a different path towards the boat dock
Hidden_Falls_Jenny_Lake_145_08132017 - Julie and Tahia approaching the boat to get back across Jenny Lake and end our Hidden Falls visit in August 2017
Hidden_Falls_Jenny_Lake_150_08132017 - Looking back towards the contour of Cascade Canyon as we boated back across Jenny Lake during our August 2017 visit to Hidden Falls
Hidden_Falls_Jenny_Lake_156_08132017 - Looking to the north side of Jenny Lake as there was a cascade tumbling down, which I believe was the Ribbon Cascade, which was in a fairly low flow state in August 2017
Hidden_Falls_Jenny_Lake_158_08132017 - Looking back towards the thin Ribbon Cascade while we were cruising Jenny Lake back towards the Visitor Center vicinity on our August 2017 visit
Hidden_Falls_Jenny_Lake_177_08132017 - Context of some of the sharp mountains of the Teton Range from the southern end of Jenny Lake after having been deposited back to the main visitor center and boat dock area on our August 2017 visit
Hidden_Falls_Jenny_Lake_179_08132017 - Last look back at the boat across Jenny Lake before we returned to the car and ended our Hidden Falls visit in August 2017
Jenny_Lake_015_jx_06262004 - Looking across Jenny Lake towards the Ribbon Cascade prior to taking the boat ride across Jenny Lake on our late June 2004 visit
Cascade_Canyon_003_06262004 - While on the boat across Jenny Lake, we noticed this thin cascade on our first visit to the area in June 2004, which I believe was the bottom of the Ribbon Cascade
Cascade_Canyon_005_06262004 - Partial view of Hidden Falls while approaching it during our late June 2004 visit
Cascade_Canyon_006_06262004 - View of Hidden Falls when we first showed up during our visit on June 2004
Cascade_Canyon_010_06262004 - Another look at Hidden Falls from the official viewpoint during our June 2004
Cascade_Canyon_017_06262004 - Context of the official viewpoint as seen during our June 2004 visit to Hidden Falls
Cascade_Canyon_020_06262004 - Another look at Hidden Falls fronted by foliage during our late June 2004 visit
Cascade_Canyon_002_jx_06262004 - This was our view of Hidden Falls when the weather started improving later in the morning of our visit back in June 2004
Cascade_Canyon_022_06262004 - Above the trees looking back at Jenny Lake on our first visit in late June 2004. I believe this was one of the Inspiration Points
Cascade_Canyon_028_06262004 - Looking across Jenny Lake from Inspiration Point during our first visit to this area back in late June 2004
Cascade_Canyon_014_jx_06262004 - Looking across Jenny Lake from Inspiration Point as a boat was going across it in late June 2004
Cascade_Canyon_029_06262004 - Julie being distracted by the lakeside views at Inspiration Point before entering Cascade Canyon during our late June 2004 visit
Cascade_Canyon_030_06262004 - Julie continuing beyond Inspiration Point and hiking into Cascade Canyon during our late June 2004 visit
Cascade_Canyon_032_06262004 - Looking over Cascade Creek towards the mountains flanking Cascade Canyon during our hike in late June 2004
Cascade_Canyon_035_06262004 - Continuing our hike into Cascade Canyon during our hike in late June 2004
Cascade_Canyon_036_06262004 - Entering the mouth of Cascade Canyon during our hike in late June 2004
Cascade_Canyon_023_jx_06262004 - Julie noticing some plants where we weren't sure if they were poison oak or not during our visit in late June 2004
Cascade_Canyon_044_06262004 - Context of Julie hiking in Cascade Canyon during our visit in late June 2004
Cascade_Canyon_028_jx_06262004 - Looking towards the snowy peaks of mountains flanking Cascade Canyon during our hike in late June 2004
Cascade_Canyon_054_06262004 - Looking back into Cascade Canyon as we headed back down from there during our hike in late June 2004
Cascade_Canyon_055_06262004 - One more look at Hidden Falls on our way back to the Jenny Lake boat in late June 2004
Cascade_Canyon_061_06262004 - Looking back at some upper cascades tumbling down to Hidden Falls during our first visit in June 2004, when we were headed back down from Cascade Canyon
Cascade_Canyon_070_06262004 - Looking across Jenny Lake at the context of Ribbon Cascade from the return boat ride after having had our fill of the Hidden Falls and Cascade Canyon back in late June 2004

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Hidden Falls was west of Jenny Lake and beneath the mouth of Cascade Canyon.

The turnoff for the Jenny Lake Boat Dock and Visitor Center was about 13 miles southwest of the Moran Junction a short distance off the Teton Park Rd (the so-called Inner Loop Road) just past the junction with the Jenny Lake Rd.

Even though there were quite a few parking spaces in lots flanking the Jenny Lake Campground Road, it was still very busy and congested.

So we saw plenty of people parking on the road shoulders along this road.

The nearest parking lot to the Jenny Lake Visitor Center and Boat Launch was at the end of this road.

The Moran Junction was about a mile south of the turnoff for the Jackson Lake Lodge and about 4 miles west of the Moran Entrance Station for the Grand Teton National Park.

For additional context, this junction was 34 miles (45 minutes drive) north of Jackson and 21 miles (30 minutes drive) south of Flagg Ranch as well as 92 miles (about 2.5 hours drive) south of West Yellowstone, Montana.

Jackson was about 88 miles east of Idaho Falls, Idaho, 127 miles (2.5 hours drive) south of West Yellowstone, Montana via Ashton, Idaho, 156 miles (4 hours drive) south of Gardiner, Montana, and 280 miles (4.5 hours drive) north of Salt Lake City, Utah.

L shaped sweep revealing Hidden Falls

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Tagged with: jackson, jenny lake, signal mountain, grand teton, grand tetons, wyoming, snake river, jackson lake, jackson hole, waterfall, rockies, rocky mountains



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Johnny Cheng

About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
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