Lunch Tree Hill, Grand Teton National Park

A view out over Jackson Lake, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming from Lunch Tree Hill, a short uphill walk on a paved path above Jackson Lake Lodge:

long view out to Teton peaks

The photo below shows only part of Jackson Lake. The main Jackson Lake Lodge building is the tan rectangle at the top of the section of forest at the bottom of the picture, with the hotel cottages, parking lots and swimming pools below it. Lunch Tree Hill rises to the right just above the forested area.

Pilgrim Creek, Third Creek and Second Creek flow through the broad expanse of Willow Flats, (the center third of the photo) acres of freshwater marsh with streams dammed by beavers.

We’ve always seen elk, and often moose, and sometimes more with our binoculars and telephotos.

Mount Moran is the peak to the right in the picture of the Jackson Lake Lodge hotel area below. It’s not the highest peak, it just looks like it this picture:

aerial photo of Jackson Lake Lodge:

When we have sunset picnic dinners there we’ve had the top of Lunch Tree Hill almost to ourselves, most of the people wanting the view don’t know about the short walk to the top of the hill and instead crowd on the back deck of the lodge with crowds much bigger in the evening than this one from a Ranger program mid-day.

people looking out at view
Bear right across the deck and you can climb up to the hill top for less evening crowds, but no seating.

Can you spot the trail in the photo below?

Lunch tree hill and JLL main building from teton park road south of JL junction:

Since you will be at higher level than the hotel back deck you have more chances to look down at animals:

moose in willows

Check out the view from a Google maps 360 degree photo, with Jackson Lake Lodge and the path.

We leave Lunch Tree hill if a lightning storm starts, even very far away above the peaks, because it is not safe to be anywhere outdoors during a lightning storm.

dinner on Lunch Tree Hill Sept. 2010: mountain sunset and people watching, preparing dinner

Photographers should remember that the maximum intensity of sunset colors is often a while after the sun sets, so bring warm clothes/rain gear and stick around even if the weather is interesting. (We have never had a mediocre sunset, and no, these photos were not touched up, the colors really were that brilliant.)

lunch tree hill sunset 2005 mt moran: dinner at Lunch tree hill 2005:

sunset lunch tree hill Grand Tetons: lt hill rainbow: tetons sunset 2007 with beams thru clouds:

Teton brilliant sunset: Lunch Tree Hill sunset dinner:

Lunch tree hill photographers 2007:

2004 sunset two lunch tree hill: 2004 sunset one Lunch Tree Hill:

sunset Lunch Tree Hill Sept. 2009: Teton range above Jackson Lake and group of people in the foreground after sunset


We often stay well after sunset for views of the Milky Way.

Most students who come on our trips, who have lived in cities without dark enough skies to stargaze, have never seen the Milky Way.

Milkyway above row of pines

To print a larger copy of the profile below of Teton Range with the
names of peaks as seen from Jackson Lake Lodge (and two other viewpoints profiles) go to:

drawing of mountain peaks

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We sometimes just bring not-heated picnic food, but sometimes bring a stove and heat up at least some soup or chili.

There is takeout at Jackson lake Lodge that has tempted people many years, but if you get something hot, bring foil and a small towel to wrap it in to help keep it at least a little warm until you can finish eating it.

Pioneer Grill has takeout lunch / dinner from (2023) 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fountain ice cream specials. Dinner/lunch can include sandwiches, burgers, wraps, steak, chicken, trout. Salads including a taco salad and classic Caesar. Not all items are always available for take-out.


Tour the Pioneer Grill, and note the take-out window in the grill entrance room just off the hotel upper lobby.

Blue Heron Lounge grill and small plates, salads Menus.

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pop-up chairs: There is no seating up on Lunch Tree Hill, so pop-up chairs, perhaps lined with a sleeping pad for warmth, are recommended along with your warm layers of clothes to put on as the evening progresses and waterproof rain gear which can help keep you warm when the often expected evening breeze comes up. See advice for choosing clothes.

A suggested sandwich combo for gastro-nouveau dining:

extremely spicy hummus: breakfast items including a can of tuna, an avacado and a package of extremely spicy hummus

When we are about to leave, we check the area for microtrash
look for bandages, twist ties, fruit peels, bits of wrappers, stray potato chips, torn corners of candy bar wrappers and power bars, plastic bottle caps, bits of G.O.R.P. etc. and even clean up what other people left behind.

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The Willow Flats we look down on from Lunch Tree Hill are a major elk calving ground,
closed to people “from May 15 to July 15 or when posted.”
See the closure map below.

simple map

NPS notes: “The area known as Willow Flats is closed to public entry from May 15th to July 15th or when posted. This area is described as being the willows, springs and aquatic systems encompassed by the following landmark/boundary lines beginning at the Willow Flats Overlook: south on the North Park Road to the Jackson Lake intersection, then west on Teton Park Road to the Jackson Lake Dam, then northwest along the high water line of the Jackson Lake to Third Creek, then north along Third Creek to the abandoned Third Creek Bridge site, northeast on the old Third Creek trail to the GTLC cook site spur road and southeast along the Wagon Road to the Willow Flats Overlook. This closure includes the Wagon Road from the Jackson Lake Lodge to the cook site spur road junction.

•In addition, the signed section of the Teton Park Road (TPR) between Jackson Lake Dam and Jackson Lake Junction with dense vegetation along the road is closed to all stopping, standing, and parking. This is a year-round closure”

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When dining outside or at your campsite picnic table or just along the trail, keep all your food within arm’s reach so a critter will not steal any of it.
A squirrel robbing a pack you set down for just a moment may bite or pass disease:
photo says a squirrel robbing a pack may bite or pass disease

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After dinner, you can stop for a moment in the Jackson Lake Lodge parlor (main building, upper lobby) for access to WiFi that is free to anyone without a secret code,

(note his administrative assistant standing by at the left).

man working at a laptop with a grizzly bear standing nearby in a glass case

as is the WiFi at the main visitor center in Moose, Colter Bay laundromat, and the main Colter Bay restaurant.


Here are links to more info about Jackson Lake Lodge and other

Grand Teton National Park hotels, cabins, over-night accommodations




Grand Teton National park restaurants has links to menus and links to info about restaurants in Jackson, Wyoming.

Grand Teton National Park
al fresco dining:



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Grand Teton National Park boat launch access has maps and answers to questions:

When do Grand Teton National Park and Jackson Lake boat ramps open and close?
Where and how long can I park my boat trailer in Grand Teton National Park?
Can I bring my dog on my boat in Grand Teton National park?

and photos, details & maps about marinas and/or free boat launch ramps at Leeks Marina, Colter Bay, Jackson Lake Dam, Snake River Launch to Pacific Creek Landing, Snake River Launch and take out, Signal Mountain Lodge, and a String Lake launch ramp for non-motorized, hand carried boats

as well as details and maps of boat-in camping on Jackson Lake.
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