“Lakes, wildlife, and viewpoints - what more do you need?!”
— Tom Robson
Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Follow the north shore of Two Ocean Lake and the south shore of Emma Matilda Lake, crossing over Grand View Point
- the best Teton Range viewpoint in the park.
Start this run from the access point off of the Wilderness Access Rd and head north on Emma Matilda Lake
trail. The first part of Emma Matilda Lake
winds uphill for a half-mile from the parking area to a large meadow favored by mule deer. Continue northwest, along the lakeshore until an intersection with Emma Matilda - Two Ocean Connector
- Turn right here.
Follow this connector through a forest where wildlife is certainly hiding somewhere behind the dense trees. Once you reach the Two Ocean Lake
trailhead, turn right and start your journey along this beautiful lake! The northern shore is split into two trails - take the higher of the two routes, as the low route is a horse route and has no structures over streams and wet areas. The majority of the northern shore winds through meadows and has consistently awesome views. At the western end of the lake you'll reach an intersection with Grand View Point Trail
- turn right to begin the tough climb to the viewpoint.
Head south and start the steep climb to the top of Grand View Point
. Just prior to reaching the point, the trail levels off at what might be confused as the summit. Keep chugging, though as this is just a false summit! Walk a little further and you'll eventually reach the summit.
From the top, enjoy an outstanding view of Mount Moran (12,605') and the rest of the majestic Teton Range, although some of it is obscured by the trees. As an added bonus, turn your eyes to the east and enjoy an amazing vista of Two Ocean Lake
, its associated meadows, and the wilderness beyond.
The trail descends gradually from here and passes an intersection with two Grand View Point Connector
on the right, and then heads south to a four-way intersection. Stay straight here to enter Emma Matilda Lake
. This southern section travels through densely populated forest filled with spruce and fir trees and eventually brings you back to your parked car.
Flora & Fauna
The aquatic habitats along these lakes and their adjacent forests, marshes and meadows fulfill the needs of many forms of wildlife. Diverse and abundant vegetation offers excellent food and cover. Look for moose, river otters, beavers, muskrats, coyotes and mule deer.
Additionally, the sagebrush flats seen on the southern end of this run offer more than 100 species of grasses and wildflowers flourish along with sagebrush. Lack of cover makes large animals conspicuous. Look for pronghorns, coyotes, bison, badgers, elk and Uinta ground squirrels.
History & Background
Emma Matilda Lake
is named after the wife of William O. Owen who was the first, along with three other climbers, to ascend to the summit of Grand Teton in 1898.