"A great destination with a surprise along the way"
Amphitheater Lake is an excellent and popular destination in Grand Teton National Park. The trail to Amphitheater Lake may feel like a grind for some due to its continuous uphill grade, however, this very scenic subalpine lake is well worth the extra effort. The trail to this quaint gem in the Tetons can be reached via the Lupine Meadows Trailhead.
Aside from the first few tenths of a mile, there is not much flat ground to be had along the trail to Amphitheater Lake. The trail's initial climb is relatively moderate and gradual. It will take you through a a pretty standard conifer forest for this region of the country. You will reach your first intersection with another trail at about 1.7 miles, from here continue straight to Amphitheater Lake, as directed by the sign. After a series of long, traversing switchbacks, the next intersection will occur at approximately 3.1 miles. This intersection gives one the option of taking the Garnet Canyon Trail to the left, or continuing on to the right towards Amphitheater Lake, continue right. From this intersection the trail becomes relatively steep and relentless until one nears the diminutive Surprise Lake. Surprise Lake is definitely worth the very short detour, however, do your part to help preserve this already stressed landscape and obey the signs related to off-trail travel in this area. Amphitheater Lake is just another .5 miles further up the trail. Enjoy this awesome destination for as long as is needed and return the way you came. An early start is recommended to beat the crowds and the heat along the exposed sections of trail leading to Amphitheater Lake.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.