Lake Solitude

This is another must do. It can be done as a day trip or an overnighter. Cascade Canyon is one of the most beautiful parts of the park in my opinion. You get amazing views of the mountains, awesome wildflower filled meadows, the crystal clear Cascade Creek, and a lot of wildlife, and great camping spots. To get on the trail, take the shuttle boat across Jenny Lake to the West-shore boat dock. If you haven't seen Hidden Falls (or even if you have) take the short detour to check that out. The crowd will thin out dramatically after you pass Inspiration Point. Follow the trail 4.9 miles up Cascade Canyon unitl the junction where the trail splits into South and North Forks of Cascade Canyon. Take a right up the North Fork. Lake Solitude is 2.7 miles from this point.

Topo map

South Jenny Lake Visitor Center
15.0 miles round-trip via the shuttle boat
19.0 miles round-trip without the boat ride
North Fork Cascade Camping Zone
Elevation gain: 
Cascade Canyon


Thone's picture

I did this hike on August 13th. I took the Jenny Lake shuttle boat across at about 9:00am. After you get past Inspiration Point, the switchbacks stop and the trail is just a gradual incline the whole way. You almost don't even realize you're climbing. About two miles up Cascade Canyon, I saw a huge bull moose laying down in the willows by Cascade Creek. Unfortunately he wouldn't stand up for me to get a good picture of him. The trail was completely free of snow until Lake Solitude. The lake was still partially frozen and there was a little bit of snow around. I didn't go over Paintbrush Divide, but I could see the switchbacks from the lake and it looked free of snow. That portion of it is south facing though. I got back to the parking lot at Jenny Lake at about 5:00pm. I would definitely recommend this hike! The canyon is beautiful and Lake Solitude is amazing.
Hiking Cascade Canyon
Lake Solitude Sign
By Thone