Tetons Backpacking '09
- Jackson, WY
- Grand Teton National Park, WY
Details and Ratings
- Trip Cost: ~ $192
- Trip Value: ~ $24 per score point
- Destinations Rating: 5 out of 5
- Fun Rating: 3 out of 5
- Overall Score: 8 out of 10
I got the idea of doing a backpacking trip to the Tetons on my visit there the prior month. I proposed the idea to Steve soon thereafter. He liked the idea, and so the trip was born. Steve added a third person to the trip when he invited his friend, Bob. The route I had picked for the trip was the Paintbrush Canyon/Cascade Canyon loop, which would require a night of camping in Paintbrush Canyon, a summit of 10,700 feet on a pass called Paintbrush Divide, a descent into the North Fork of Cascade Canyon, and then through the main Cascade Canyon. We didn't get an ideal camping permit, so we camped a few miles lower in Paintbrush Canyon than we had planned, and the weather on the second day was fairly miserable. Overall, however, the trip was a rewarding and memorable experience.
Daily Reports and Photos
8/13/2009 - Drive to the Jackson Area
After work, I rushed home, packed up the car, stopped at REI to buy a pack cover (since the weather forecast indicated wet weather on Saturday), and picked up Steve at his house. (Steve's friend, Bob, lives in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. He would meet us in Jackson on Friday.)
We drove towards Jackson without any set plans for the night. We had to drive at least partway to Jackson tonight to ensure that we would get a camping permit for Friday night.
Although I didn't intend to, I missed the turn towards Teton Pass near Swan Valley, Idaho. This missed turn ended up being advantageous because along US-89 there were a number of primitive campgrounds along the side of the road. We chose one of those at around midnight and camped there for the night.
8/14/2009 - Short Hike into Lower Paintbrush Canyon
We woke early in the morning, quickly packed up, and drove towards the Grand Teton National Park visitor center to scure a camping permit for the night.
We were able to secure a camping permit, but, unfortunately, the Holly Lake and Upper Paintbrush Canyon camping zones were full, so we settled for the Lower Paintbrush Canyon camping zone. A bear box was included with the permit, which was very nice because none of us has one.
After an excellent breakfast in Jackson at the Bunnery, Steve and I stopped at the Albertson's just outside of town to get some final supplies. There we met up with Bob and headed back toward Grand Teton National Park.
At the visitor's center, we split up the supplies and re-packed our packs. Bob parked his car across the street from the visitor's center so we could take one car into the park. We parked at the overflow parking lot near the String Lake Trailhead, walked towards Leigh Lake, and up into Paintbrush Canyon.
Less than three hours after we started, we arrived at the furthest campsites in the Lower Paintbrush camping zone. It wasn't even 3:00 PM. We filled the time by setting up camping, playing frisbee on the mountainside (not ideal), cooking dinner, walking back down the trail a bit, and just relaxing. We went to sleep before it even got dark because we basically ran out of things to occupy the time.
8/15/2009 - Paintbrush Divide/Cascade Canyon Loop
- Hiked up to the Paintbrush Divide
- Hiked down to Lake Solitude
- Snowed or rained the whole way down from the Divide.
- Clear weather in Jackson Hole, however.
- Showered at our suite at the Kudar Motel
- Drinks at the Tavern, dinner at the Cadillac Grille and another drink at the Silver Dollar.
- Another good breakfast at the Bunnery
- Visited Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
- Rode the tram to the top
- Checked out Corbet's Couloir
- Drove home to Salt Lake City