Two Ocean-Emma Matilda Lake Loop – 13.3mi / 21.4km
This long loop takes you to the highlights of these two beautiful lakes as well as a stop at Grand View Point, a wonderful overlook of both lakes.
From the parking lot, follow the trail down to the shore of the lake and cross over the bridge at the outlet. The trail follows along the north shore, alternating between open meadows and forests of aspen, fir, and pine. The forests provide shade while the meadows provide wonderful flowers and views of the lake backdropped by the Tetons.
Towards the head of the lake, tall willows become the dominant vegetation. At the trail junction, stay right to begin gently climbing towards Grand View Point. At the next junction, stay left where the trail begins to steeply climb through the trees.
A few views on the way up give you a chance to catch your breath. After a handful of steep switchbacks, the trail levels out giving you a bird’s-eye view of both lakes. Traverse the top of the ridge, passing the summit. As you start to descend, views of Jackson Lake and the Tetons appear to the west.
Travel down through the woods and continue straight, through the junction heading south. On the moraine separating Christian Pond and Emma Matilda Lake, you pass through sagebrush meadows and the forests that line them. Take a left to head to Lookout Rock which is a fantastic viewpoint of the western section of the lake.
From here, the trail roughly follows the shoreline with filtered views of the lake through the trees. The trail leaves the lake and climbs up the cool, forested ridge. As you descend, you pass through a section where a strong wind gust blew down a large swath of trees giving you a glimpse of the lake.
Cross the outlet of the lake to reach the junction with a trail that heads to Pacific Creek Road and serves as an alternative trailhead. Stay left at this junction as you begin to head north through a mixed forest of aspen, fir, and pine. As you climb, intermittent meadows give you views of the lake.
Continue to climb through more trees to reach a junction with the trail that heads northeast to the Two Ocean Lake Trailhead. Take this trail northeast 1mi/1.6km through a large meadow, then it drops into the trees back to the trailhead.
Trailhead: Approximately 1.2mi/1.9km north of Moran Junction on Hwy 287, turn north onto Pacific Creek Road. After 2.1mi/3.4km turn onto the dirt road heading north towards Two Ocean Lake. The trailhead is at the end of the road.
Elevation Gain: 2,000ft / 600m – Elevation Loss: 2,000ft / 600m
Click here for blogs and video on Two Ocean Lake
Click here for blogs and video on Emma Matilda Lake