Leap off into the air and jump into a cool glacial lake below. If that sounds ideal to you, then you’ll want to visit Phelps Lake Jumping Rock ASAP! This 30 foot boulders sits on the shores of Phelps Lake in the Tetons. It is the ⭐️ perfect spot ⭐️ for cliff jumping aficionados and thrill seekers.
I have been cliff jumping in more than 15 places this summer alone and this was my favorite spot by far! There’s nothing quite like jumping off a rock, feeling yourself fall through the air, and having the time to wonder when you’ll hit the water below 👙. I’ll be honest it’s quite nerve wracking, but that’s what makes it so fun!
It’s definitely the tallest of any cliff I’ve jumped off, but luckily it’s a popular spot! So, you can see others leap off the rock before you go. Also, be wary of holding anything in your hands❗️❗️ That’s how we lost a Go Pro to the depths of the lake below.
Phelps Lake can reach temperatures as low as the 40s, so make sure to test the waters before you jump. It can be dangerous to suddenly submerge in waters that cold.
Find out everything you need to know about this popular swimming spot below. Find out how to get there, what to pack, and things to consider! Have a fantastic time visiting this exciting location.
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Table of Contents
Phelps Lake Jumping Rock Details
Things to Know Before You Go
💵 Grand Teton costs $35 for a private vehicle that covers 7 day. You can also use any of the annual passes like the America the Beautiful Pass to get in.
⚠️ Moose-Wilson Road is closed from November through May. You will not be able to access this hike during that time. Also, it is currently under construction, so you can only access all of Moose-Wilson road on the weekends.
🚗 This trail gets very crowded and the road to Death Canyon is rough. You will want a car with high clearance to get to the Death Canyon trailhead.
☀️ Weather changes quickly in the Grand Tetons, especially up in the mountains. Make sure that you stay updated and that you take the proper precautions. If there are signs of bad weather, then stay in the lower elevations.
🐻 The Tetons are bear country, so make sure to stay bear aware and make loud noises when hiking on the trails. Use the rule of thumb when viewing wildlife, so that you stay the correct distance away. Pack bear spray in case of emergencies.
🦮 Pets are allowed in the park, but they are not permitted on any of the hiking trails, beaches, swim areas, or inside Park buildings. They must be on a leash at all times.
⛺️You can camp overnight at Phelps Lake. There are campsites located above the shoreline of Phelps Lake. Make sure to pack in and pack out everything that you need. You must get a backcountry camping permit in order to stay at the campgrounds around the Phelps Lake Jumping Rock area.
🍃 Remember to follow the Leave No Trace Principles. As always, you want to leave nature looking better than you found it.
Where is Jumping Rock?
Phelps Lake Jumping Rock is located on the shores of Phelps Lake in Grand Teton National Park. This is on the Southern end of the park in the Moose area. The road is closed for most of the year, so you can only access this spot from the months of June through October. Also, the lake gets very chilly, so summer is the best time for a cool dip 💦.
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How to Get to Phelps Lake and Jumping Rock?
There are two ways to get to the main jumping rock. You can either go to the Death Canyon trail or the Phelps Lake Loop trail. They are both moderately challenging treks 🥾 that gain a significant amount of elevation. So it’s truly up to you to decide which route you would prefer.
Phelps Lake Loop Trail
If Moose-Wilson road is open, then you can drive to the Laurence S. Rockefeller Preserve. The trailhead leaves from this large parking area. You will walk for a little more than half a mile before crossing the Moose-Wilson road again on foot 👣.
Once you are back on the trail, you can either continue around the lake to the East or the West. Either way, the hike to the rock will take about 3 or 4 miles in total to get there. The rock is on the Eastern shoreline and it is very obvious once you get there. The boulder 🪨 is extremely tall and juts out over the lake below. Most of the time, you will see other visitors climbing on top of this intimidating rock.
Death Canyon Trail
Drive on Moose-Wilson Road, until you see the sign for the Death Canyon Trail. This road gets very bumpy and rough, so you will want high clearance to drive there 🚗. Once you get to the end of the bumpy road there will be parking. Many people park along the road, because the end has extremely large crevices.
Start on the Death Canyon Trailhead and hike up 1 mile until you get to Phelps Lake Overlook trail . Once you get to that point, you will see the lake below and your final destination. Continue down the trail until you see a sign 🪧 at about 1.7 miles for Death Canyon. At that junction, you will turn off the Death Canyon trail and instead you will turn towards the lake.
You will continue to descend into the valley below. Once you’ve reached the shoreline of the lake, you will want to turn left. Continue for another .5 miles or so to get to the large jumping rock. There you will see the rock looming over the water below. it’s time to try the ✨thrilling jump✨ into the cool waters below!
What should I bring?
You always have to be prepared when you go trekking in the mountains. Weather changes quickly and thunderstorms ⛈ can roll in before you even see the clouds. It’s very dangerous to be near Phelps Lake during a thunderstorm. Make sure to look out for any inclement weather before you go on your hike. I have compiled a packing list of the things you should bring to go swimming and hiking below.
- Comfortable Hiking Boots or Shoes with Good Grip
- Day Pack
- 1-2 Liters of Water
- Snacks and Food
- First Aid Kit
- Layers including rain jacket
- Change of clothes
- Hat to block sun
- Hiking Poles
You can read more about my favorite gear here!
Jumping Rock is the most fun place to swim in the Tetons. There’s nothing more thrilling than taking a leap off the boulder and feeling yourself fall through the air. It’s a fantastic way to spend a hot day in this magnificent park. So, make sure to add it to your bucket list!
Let me know in the comments if you enjoyed this guide!
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