Explore stunning glacial lakes, high mountain peaks, aspen groves, and alpine tundra on one of these classic trail runs near Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
The jagged peaks of the Tetons may be one of the most recognized skylines in all of North America. A subrange of the iconic Rocky Mountains, the Teton Massif is nearly 40 miles long from north to south and according to geologists, is the youngest range in all of the Rockies. If you haven’t yet, start planning your next runcation to Jackson Hole, a region best explored by trail runners between May and October.
Whether you’re a novice trail runner or spend most of your time on the road, the pristine glacial lakes nestled along the eastern slopes of the mountains are the place to start. Each of these adventures is on a well-maintained path with minimal climbing and views that are nothing short of epic. Consider an early morning start and enjoy the mountain peaks reflecting off the water as you run along the eastern shores of these stunning lakes. For a detailed list, this guidebook showcases the top 6 lakeside runs within Grand Teton National Park.
Are you planning a visit to one of Jackson's highly-acclaimed resorts? Arguably one the most recognized in the west, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort boasts an incredibly diverse network of trail. Beginning in Teton Village, the Lower Faces loop is the perfect opportunity to get some exercise between plans. If you’re looking for a climb, the Wildflower Trail is one of the most popular hikes on the entire mountain and great for trail runners as well. Most opt for a one-way run to either the midway point (Sweetwater Gondola) or to the very top (Bridger Gondola), then take the lift back to the bottom. Beginning at the top of the Bridger Gondola, the Cirque Trail skirts the ridgeline and climbs to the summit of Rendezvous Mountain at 10,450’. The Aerial Tram is a popular summer attraction that connects the base of the mountain to the Rendezvous Mountain, a massive 5,000’ climb on a mere 12-minute ride. For the adventurous runner, consider the epic Granite Canyon route utilizing the tram.
Across the valley and minutes from downtown Jackson, the Snow King Mountain Resort is a summer favorite and a staple destination for trail runners. While the Slow Trail to the summit of the 7,800’ peak is a popular hike, the Snow King Mountain Loop is a great run that traverses a ridge and offers impressive views of downtown Jackson and the Teton Ridge to the northwest.
Sometimes synonymous with the Snow King Trail System, Cache Creek is home to another impressive network just minutes from downtown. Several connecting trails also mean you can access any of these trails from your front door. For an easy run, start with the Putt Putt and Hagen Trail Loop, a classic 10k along mountainside meadows and through stands of pine and aspen. More challenging, the Cache Creek and Skyline Loop is just over 13.1 miles and explores one of the region’s newest ridgeline trails. If you’re seeking solitude, head across the road and plan a few hours atop Crystal Butte, a quiet out-and-back to what many would consider one of the best vistas this side of Jackson Hole.
If you’re seeking an epic adventure, say 13+ miles, check out this guidebook highlighting the four must-do epic trail runs anywhere in the Tetons—including the infamous Teton Crest Trail, a traverse that ranks with the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim, the Adirondack Great Range, and the infamous Wonderland Trail.