Home » Day-Trip to Jenny Lake at Grand Teton National Park With Kids

Day-Trip to Jenny Lake at Grand Teton National Park With Kids

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Last Updated on August 10, 2023 by Leslie Stroud

If you haven’t yet been to Grand Teton National Park, know you are in for a treat! We’ve traveled the world with five kids in tow and still find Grand Teton breathtakingly beautiful.

We made our first trip to Grand Teton last year and loved it. With only one day to visit Grand Teton National Park, we opted for Jenny Lake based on recommendations from friends and followers.  We enjoyed incredible views and were surprised by some freaky weather!

One of our fall hikes with kids

*Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. Opinions shared are my own, and I only endorse products I support. By clicking on any of the links below, I may get a small commission if you purchase at absolutely no additional charge to you. I appreciate your support.*

Getting to Jenny Lake

Renting a car provides the easiest way to travel around Grand Teton National Park with kids, but you can also rent a private shuttle service or use the complimentary shuttle around the park

In a car, it’s easy to Google Jenny Lake as it’s a pretty popular spot! It took us only an hour from the town of Jackson Hole. Unfortunately, we got a bit of a late start, so we arrived in the afternoon.

We like driving when traveling with kids

You do have to pay to enter the park, but if you also plan to visit Yellowstone while in the area, get the weekly or yearly pass. It’s $35 per vehicle to enter for the day.

Parking at Jenny Lake

There was plenty of parking when we went to Jenny Lake. However, we were late in the day, and I’ve heard it can be hard to snag a parking spot. Come early or late (like us!)

You also have the option to wait for someone to leave OR park on the road and walk some extra steps.

Amenities at Jenny Lake

Outhouse toilets are available next to the parking lot and a gift shop. The Jenny Lake Lodge has some delicious dining; you’ll need a reservation.

Swimming is not allowed on the shoreline, just a head’s up.

Depending on the time of year, Kayak and canoe rentals are available.

The gift shop is excellent, and I recommend you come and visit it! But, watch out because you might spend too much!

Kids’ adventure into the wild at Yellowstone Bear World

Enjoying the Lake Views

Jenny Lake is stunning and worth the drive to take pictures near the parking lot. Kids can play by the shore while you snap a million photos for remembrance. Even with the impending bad weather, the view was still stunning. 

One of the best things about coming to Jenny Lake is you can fit your activity into your family. Playing by the lake is fun for little ones, or you can take the boat across. If you are up for hiking, unique and beautiful hikes are easily accessible.

Note: Opting for a tour can take a lot of stress out of your vacation. You’ll learn from a local, see hidden gems, and not worry about the logistics.

Lake view with kids

Boat Shuttle At Jenny Lake

Two ways to enjoy hiking at Jenny Lake are taking the ferry across or walking around the lake. We opted for the scenic shuttle boat. It cost about $70 for our family (prices are $18 for adults and $10 for kids), but it was an adventure for the kids. We had a great time!

Quick facts about the shuttle:

  • Rides run from May to September
  • Roundtrip tickets are $18 for adults (one-way is $10) and $10 for kids.  Seniors get a discount. 
  • The ride is about 12 minutes across unless the waves are thrilling!
  • There are usually at least two boats, so rides depart every 15 minutes or so.
  • Hours are typically 10 am – 4 pm, but can be 7 am to 7 pm in summer.

Hiking To Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point At Jenny Lake

When you are across the lake, you have a few options for hiking.  We opted for Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point, both of which are easy for kids to get to.  The views are gorgeous!

Hidden Falls

The hike to Hidden Falls begins from Jenny Lake

Hidden Falls may be the most popular hike in the park for a good reason. It’s easy, lovely, and an excellent little tour from the boat ride. The trail is relatively flat.

From the boat dock, hiking to Hidden Falls is only 1.3 miles roundtrip and easy for all kids. You’ll cross some beautiful bridges and streams, and it should take you only 30 minutes or so to get there.

Pay attention to the return time of the last boat shuttle. You probably won’t want to walk around the lake at the end!

Tip: Having bear spray is a good idea in all areas around Grand Teton and surrounding areas. If crowds are high, it shouldn’t be hard to let the bears hear you before you sneak up on them. If not, try to make noise; kids usually make this pretty easy!

Inspiration Point

 Inspiration Point features beautiful views across Jenny Lake

After Hidden Falls, the trail continues to Inspiration Point. While the distance is not very long, the course changes dramatically.

Going onto Inspiration Point took us about another 25-30 minutes and is much more demanding, elevation-wise. You’ll climb some steep stone stairs and need to hold little hands. Bribing younger kids works well for us, and I’d recommend you carry toddlers in a toddler carrier.

Watch the Weather

Trail in Grand Teton National Park is easy for kids!

When we arrived at Jenny Lake, it looked like it would rain, and I would not be swayed from hiking (even though my family was ready not to), so we pushed forward. It got a bit colder as we walked, and when we got to the top of Inspiration Point, we could see a storm coming.

We booked it down as fast as we could to the lake shuttle. When we arrived at the lake, it had started to snow! We were very unprepared for such a drop in temperature and froze as we waited for everyone else to get to the shuttle. The kids were crying and miserable!

We ran back to the car and fought the 5 inches of snow that fell in September!

Other Hikes in Grand Teton

While we didn’t try them ourselves, Taggart Lake Trail and Brandley Lake were both recommended to us by our followers.

Where To Stay?

Here are some of the accommodations nearby that you can check:

All the best!


✈️ Book your flight to Wyoming thru Booking.com, Skyscanner, Kiwi.com, or Expedia

???? Find a nice hotel near Grand Teton National Park on Booking.com, Expedia, or Vrbo, (we also love Tripadvisor and Hotels.com)

???? Discover other exciting activities in Wyoming from GetYourGuide, Airbnb Experiences, or Viator

???? Rent a Car on Expedia Rental Cars

✅ Get insured while traveling with World Nomads

???? Capture your best hiking memories with kids as we do with a GroPro, Sony camera, or our favorite drones: DJI FPV, Air, and Mini

???? Check out your travel necessities from a comprehensive list of all the 7Wayfinders Travel Must-Haves. Click Here!

Additional Reading

???? Things to do in Jackson Hole, WY with Kids in Summer

???? 10 Best Things To Do During Your Day Trip To Chartres, France with Kids

???? 30 Amazing Things To Do In The Azores With Kids: Ultimate Family Guide To São Miguel Island

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *