We packed up from Bridge Bay Campground (in Yellowstone) bright and early to hightail it down to Grand Teton National Park. The campgrounds in the Tetons are all first-come, first-serve and we wanted to make it as easy as we could to get a spot. Thankfully, it was early enough in the season that there were several openings at the Signal Bay Campground (we didn't try nor were we interested in the uber-popular Jenny Lake Campground).
We then stopped by the Ranger Station to get some recommendations. We were hoping to sneak in an easy hike before lunch and the Taggart Lake/Beaver Creek loop was a perfect call. With just over 400 feet of elevation gain, this is a pretty easy hike in the park. It was cleared from snow in mid-June and the scenery was delightful, even with thick clouds keeping the Tetons range from full view.
The trail can be a bit tricky to follow at the beginning but your gut will probably steer you in the correct direction. Follow the wide dirt road along the fence, and then head generally left. The trail starts off relatively flat and then ascends after a footbridge crosses the rushing water of Taggert Creek. You'll see signs directing you off to the right to Bradley Lake (we didn't take this option because of time but it looks like you can add a trip to Bradley Lake with 2.5 miles, extending this short hike into more of a half-day hike.)
Once at Taggart lake, you'll be happy you packed a snack and bug spray. Enjoy a rock or a fallen tree trunk and take in the view of the Tetons across the lake. You can then either retrace your steps back to the car or take the slightly longer and less crowded way back around. We'd recommend this longer return route. It's not much longer and getting away from the crowds is always so refreshing. The scenery was lovely with rolling hills and some pine forests. Supposedly moose like to frequent some of the areas with willow in them.
The trailhead for this hike is pretty far south in the park, easily accessible from Jackson Hole and south of the major crowds at Jenny Lake. I'm guessing this loop could get pretty busy in season but a start by 8 or 9 am should get you a parking spot.
Total Distance: 3.8 Miles, Elevation Gain: ~425 feet