my little brother (ha, he’s 6’4″) and his fiance came for a visit! yeehaw – family time is the best. i always want to share my absolute favorite things when they come to visit out west, so when they said their sea level lungs were up for a hike, i knew Goodwin Lake Trail in the Gros Ventre Wilderness would be the best one for them!
this hike is gorgeous, with sweeping views of the Tetons, and ends at the base of Jackson Peak (which you can keep on truckin’ up). i probably hike this trail the most out of any other day hikes, since it’s moderate and you can take dogs!
we hiked in early July, and the temperature was absolutely perfect, with no flies, and hardly anyone out there.
i love starting this hike in late morning, or early afternoon, and usually give myself around 4 solid hours, with a 40 minute drive on each end.
– to get to Goodwin Lake from Jackson Hole, head East to the National Elk Refuge Road.
– take that road all the way to the end, and take a left before the houses. then you’ll take a right towards Curtis Canyon.
– this road turns into a pretty bumpy dirt road, which seems to only get worse every year, so definitely make sure you have 4 wheel drive.
– once you head up to Curtis Canyon, you’ll pass a lot of camp sites and eventually come to a fork in the road. typically, this is where you stay right all the way to the trail head parking lot.
– this year (2018), the road is in pretty terrible condition from snow melt and runoff, so we parked at the fork and walked up. it was an additional mile each way, but your car will thank you!
– the trailhead is to the left of the trail map!
– the hike is great because it starts at higher elevation from the car ride up, starting around 8,000 feet
– from the trailhead, it’s about a 6.2 miles out and back to the lake and considered moderate with a 1,400 elevation gain
– the first part through the valley and first section of the woods is steepest, and then it mellows out
– bring lots of water and snacks, because duh. a big section of the trail is wooded but sunscreen is always a must!
for a map and driving directions, click here.