The largest of the glacial lakes in Grand Teton National Park, Jackson Lake sets the scene for some of the park’s best sailing, windsurfing, fishing, and paddling opportunities, all against the backdrop of the towering Teton Range. The Jackson Lake Lodge, a National Historic Landmark, stands on the lake’s eastern shore.
The vision of snow-capped Teton peaks reflecting off the waters of Jackson Lake ranks among this national park’s most stunning sights. Other than the lodges, the majority of facilities are at Colter Bay, where there’s a marina, visitor center, campground, and store.
Most guided tours of Grand Teton from Jackson Hole, Cody, or West Yellowstone include a stop at the lake, along with other popular park attractions such as Jenny Lake, the Snake River, Chapel of the Transfiguration, and the Maud Noble Cabin.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Jackson Lake is a must-see for first-time visitors to Grand Teton National Park.
- Don’t forget to bring sun protection, especially if you’re spending time out on the lake.
- Bring along a swimsuit and towel in the summer months for swimming on the lake’s beaches.
- Several paved paths around Jackson Lake, including the Colter Bay Marina and Jackson Lake Dam trails, are wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
Jackson Lake takes up a large part of the center to the northern part of Grand Teton National Park. Most visitors to the lake either drive independently or join a guided tour. The lake is accessible from the Colter Bay Visitor Center, located 25 miles (40 kilometers) north of Moose, Wyoming.
When to Get There
The best time to explore the natural wonders of Grand Teton National Park, including Jackson Lake, is during the warmer months of mid-May and late September. Expect most roads and facilities, including Jackson Lake Lodge, to be closed during winter.
Jackson Lake’s Elk Island
Of the more than a dozen islands that dot Jackson Lake, Elk Island is the largest. Those looking for a unique backcountry experience within the national park can camp at one of two campsites on the island or rent a kayak to paddle out for the day. Sightseeing cruises of the lake often stop at the island for breakfast or dinner.