Delta Lake is definitely a hidden gem in Grand Teton National Park. It is not on the official National Park map that they give you at the entrance; but it is certainly a must do hike! This hike leads to the most incredible aqua blue glacial lake right under Grand Teton. The trail is about 7 miles round trip with a 2400 ft elevation gain.
The trail head begins at Lupine Meadows, the same trail that leads to Amphitheater and Surprise Lake. The first mile of the hike leads through heavily forested pine trees with a steady incline. Things start to get steeper as you reach a small ridge; I was really hoping I would see a bear looking down the ridge into a small meadow but of course I didn’t. Once you reach the top of that ridge, the switchbacks start and things get a little more intense. There is quite a bit of elevation gain on this hike, about 2400 feet, which is why things get a little more intense. But in all honesty, this hike didn’t feel that steep to me, maybe/hopefully I’m in better shape. HA!
The switchbacks continue for about another two miles until you come to the junction of Garnet Canyon and Amphitheater/Surprise Lakes. Keep right towards Amphitheater and Surprise Lake for one last switchback. The reason this trail isn’t as popular as it should be is because the trail to it is not maintained. You definitely have to keep your eye out for the small unmarked trail leading down a hill. We had read that it is very easy to miss this junction, but if you watch carefully you won’t miss it. The trail continues through more pine trees until you reach the first boulder field. This isn’t very difficult just make sure you keep your eye on the cairns that other hikers have provided to make things a little easier. The last stretch of the hike through the second boulder field is definitely the most strenuous because of how steep it is. There is a very small trail on the left side of the boulder field that we took to avoid boulder hopping. Once at the top of the boulders, you are greeted with the most amazing view; Delta Lake!
We hung out at the lake for quite a while, I didn’t really want to leave because of how beautiful it was. There were also a few groups around us that were jumping in. We were both wearing two jackets so there was no way that we were about to jump in. Maybe on a warmer day. This has definitely been one of my favorite hikes of the summer and I can’t wait to do it again.