Jenny Lake is one of the key attractions of the Grand Teton National Park, an area of outstanding beauty in the state of Wyoming. The lake covers an area of 4.8 km2 (1.8 sq mi) and is believed to be approximately 129 m (423.2 ft) deep. The natural lake was formed some 12,000 years ago by active glaciers carving new shapes into the landscape.
According to a 2005 study, the water quality of Jenny Lake is quite exceptional. The study was conducted to test the water quality of all the Grand Teton National Park lakes. The results revealed pristine waters, completely unaffected by pollution. Access to the lake is available in late spring, summer and early autumn only. During the winter months, road access is closed.
The lake is a popular gathering point in the park as it offers a great number of recreational activities. Visitors can kayak, fish or take scenic cruises across the lake. Hiking trails lead from the lake into the Teton Range, exploring Cascade Canyon, the Hidden Falls, Paintbrush Canyon, Inspiration Falls and more of the surrounding area.
The Cascade Canyon Trail is undoubtedly one of the most popular hikes in the park. Suitable for people with some experience in hiking, the trail is 21.9 km (13.6 mi) long and can be challenging with rugged terrain at times. A steep climb leads to Inspiration Point, offering magnificent views of the landscape. From here, expert hikers can make the final climb to the summit of the canyon. The climb is certainly worth the effort, as the canyon is home to beautiful wildflowers and a cornucopia of wildlife, including moose, bears and birds.
For those in search of an easier walk, the Jenny Lake Trail is 11.4 km (7.1 mi) and loops round the lake with a gentler gradient.