Phelps Lake is a natural lake in Grand Teton National Park, western Wyoming. Formed by the glacier that carved Death Canyon, it stretches 2.4 km (~1.5 mi) in length and is 1.2 km (~0.7 mi) at its widest point. Once a part of the Rockefeller family retreat, it is the sixth largest lake in Grand Teton and nestles at the base of Prospectors Mountain in the Teton Range at a surface elevation of 2,021 m (~6,631 ft).
The water is freezing even at the hottest time of the year, but is so clear you can see the fish and rocks at lake’s bed. And the fishing is good – the lake teems with brook trout, whitefish, lake trout and cutthroat trout. Pelicans, bald eagles and ospreys will keep you company – they too are frequently observed fishing here.
At the very mouth of Death Canyon, the lake feels quite isolated, and there are fewer facilities here than the more popular Jenny Lake which has a huge campground. But nature compensates and for those who want to brave a dip in Phelps Lake’s icy waters, there’s a natural diving board called Jumping Rock on northern shore with a 6-9 m (~25-30 ft) drop.
There are numerous trails numerous in the area, many of which are short and easy to follow. One of the most popular is a 3.2 km (2 mi) hike on the Death Canyon/Phelps trailhead between Teton Village and Moose.