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Really tough start. Totally worth the varied climates and terrains.

My wife and I did this hike in 3 days for our first backcountry camping trip. While we did a copious amount of planning and research for the Yellowstone portion of our trip later that week, we most assuredly did not for Grand Teton, and took whatever walk-in permit the park had available. Needless to say, we were not prepared for how demanding this hike would be.

We started our journey from String Lake and made our way up Paintbrush Divide, where we found an incredible campsite on a ledge overlooking Leigh Lake to spend our first night.

All was well, until on day 2 I was hit with a bout of altitude sickness. Moving a few feet per minute, it was the most miserable 4 miles of hiking I've ever experienced—rounding every corner and seeing more incline was a constant blow to my psyche. Once we reached the top, however, it was all worth it, as the views were breathtaking. As soon as we started heading down the backside into Cascade Canyon, I immediately felt like myself again. We stopped at the pristine Lake Solitude to fill up and made our way down the trail a bit to set up camp for the night.

Day 3 was a slow descent back towards Jenny Lake, where we were ecstatic to see the first signs of the parking lot, barely able to contain our excitement at the thought of taking off our hiking boots and dropping our packs.

TL;DR This was an absolutely stunning hike—we just weren't prepared for the physical toll it would take.

backpacking
7 months ago

Incredible track with some spectacular views. Completed this loop in 4 days. Day 1 - Island Lake, Day 2 - Summit Fremont Peak, Day 3 - Hike from Island to Cook Lakes and down to Pole Creek Lake, Day 4 - Hike to Elkhart Park.

Long and steep but worth the effort. Varied terrain and beautiful views

hiking
7 months ago

This loop heads up the North Fork of Indian Creek, follows through a few basins, and then comes back down the South Fork of Indian Creek.

You'll encounter several stream crossings on this trail. Bring a pair of water shoes.

In the early season, the snow runoff creates many waterfalls, particularly on the North Fork. The last portion of the trail on the South Fork is ATV accessible.

trail running
7 months ago

Fantastic day! Highly recommend.

The meadows and wildflowers are some of the best parts of this hike. You could also do this hike via Granite Canyon and I would think it would be the same level of difficulty. it is a lot of ups and downs which got annoying with the elevation but it is very isolated up there.

With some minimal corridor maintenance and if your prepared for the bugs easily a five star hike

This was an intense but truly awesome hike. I was among a group of 10 friends and we hiked the whole route on the same day (July 19, 2017). The amount of snow the Tetons got this past winter (approx. 65 total feet), made it a bit hairy on the last slope as you approach the saddle which is the highest part of the hike. Once over the top, you can look down and see Lake Solitude, which was surprisingly still frozen! You can also see Table mountain, and of course The Grand! Because of snow on the way down, we had to climb down a boulder field at one point, but once you make it down into the canyon the views of the Tetons are beautiful and it's pretty much a nice gradual grade out. Look for moose when you start seeing the tall weeds next to the river. If you are short on water there are lots of places to fill up. We began filling up on the back side of the saddle as we descended into the canyon. Water was clear and ice cold! Trekking poles are a must in my opinion, and bring bear spray as our group spotted one in the forest on the way up. And don't forget trail etiquette: hikers on the way up have the right of way. Just politely stand off to the side and allow them to pass.

Lots of adventure will be heading your way on this trail, from bears and moose, to sketchy snow crossings and boulders tumbling down at you on the Solitude Lake side of paintbrush divide....expect the unexpected! and get it done!

Did this as a day hike in 10 hours. Wear shoes that are good for snow or have an ice ax. Views were spectacular. Saw one bear, another couple said they saw two bears in paintbrush canyon that I met at lake solitude. Great as an overnight or one long day.

Love this place!

Did a 3 day trip with an overnight at Upper Paintbrush and Alaska Basin, definitely the best hike we did in the US. It's long, about 35 miles and heavy, especially steep trail and heavy (smokey) air conditions but it was all worth it. You can start at string lake but we took a boat to the beginning of cascade canyon and a boat back.

backpacking
8 months ago

Beautiful hike to do in the summertime, the flowers were in full bloom! We did this loop over two days and one-night camping in the backcountry. It was strenuous, especially over two days, so pack well and be prepared. If I was to do the hike again I would take an extra two days for the whole loop. You also get to see the Grand Tetons and the familiar landscape from behind - a view that most visitors to the park don't get to see, so it's definitely rewarding! There is also plenty of water along the trail, so just remember to bring a water filter or chlorine tablets and you're good to go. Do it!

Did this hike my first day in the mountains not being used to the altitude- BIG mistake! As one other reviewer mentioned, this trail has many switch backs and what goes down, must come back up.
It is an absolutely gorgeous hike down to the suspension bridge and the river, but if you are even borderline beginner, this is not the hike for you as the way back is quite strenuous. Bring water and there was a multitude of bear scat along the way so bear spray would be a good idea.

That shit was hard. We really needed crampons and ice axes at top of paintbrush but hey, we didn't fall off and lived to tell the tale

Hard on the way up. Great trail all around. At the bottom, take the sign to mammoth 3 miles. My nat Geo map showed a .8 spur to meet up with Howard Eaton and cut a mile off. Don't do it! Had to get a ride back to mammoth!

One of my favorite hikes to this day! Completed last August. Started about 8:30 AM and finished around 4:30 PM with a lunch break at Lake Solitude. The incline is slow and steady and only becomes noticeable as you are approaching paintbrush divide (from either direction). There was an afternoon storm, so come prepared with a pack-able rain jacket/pants. We were the only ones not soaked. It only added to the adventure. Everything about this hike is incredible. Would do it again in a heart beat.

I did this on June 30th 2017 and in the lower Paintbrush canyon campsite the snow begins and the trail was not to find until after lake solitude. It was super icy on the pass and an ice axe would be helpful. started at 07:30 on string lake, 11:30 at iced Holy Lake, 13:30 at Paintbrush divide, 14:30 at icy Lake solide and 17:15 back at string lake Parking area. Was a very hard 10hrs and dangerous trail because of the icy conditions. Bring crampons and at least sticks to be on the safe side. The awesome view is worth it.

Great, well-marked trail with little traffic. We left Mammoth at 1:00 pm and back in the car by 6:00 pm. Saw 8 elk, wild flowers and had great views. Saw no one else on trail after 1/2 mile. Cold at the top, bring a fleece and long pants.

This trail was recommended by the park rangers for the snowy conditions at end of May. (first I wanted a two night backpack of the Grand Teton loop).
And it was pretty amazing, did winter camping at Holy Lake, practiced with crampons and ice axe (safety) and learned that the best way up on snow is straight. At the divide, used the route to get up the unnamed mountain on the RHS - well worth it, glorious views including a front seat for viewingGrand Teton.
Going straight down Paintbrush divide - required braking with an ice axe for ~200ft elevation but quickened the slow snow route by a lot.
After that, pretty straighforward down. I also very liked a point in Cascade canyon where the river gets wide and you can have an island for yourself.
Was much more crowded in the Cascade canyon side, there was also a moose.

Itinerary:
Day1: Jenny Lake trailhead 3pm. Winter camping at Holy Lake campground @8pm (permit required).
Day2: 7am starting, 10am reaching the divide (much slower going up in slow with a backpack), enjoying views, 12am going down and getting back about 3pm.
It's doable in a day with snow, but would reserve at least 12h for it.

We only hiked the first two miles of this trail. The high water in the lake prevented going further. We only planned on doing the first three miles anyway. Road to trailhead washed out about a quarter mile from the start, we had to park back at the Half Moon Lodge. Moderate hike for the first two miles, but very scenic.

backpacking
10 months ago

Beautiful loop heading to the summit of Fremont peak. The trail highlights dozens of stunning views. Perfect for a 3 or 4 days hike.

Awesome trail with some challenging spots. Great views!

Monday, December 05, 2016

One of the most beautiful places I have ever been!!!

skiing
Sunday, November 27, 2016

SO DOPE!

hiking
Monday, September 19, 2016

Beautiful place!

hiking
Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Some of the best views of the Tetons! The climb isn't too bad, we finished the trail in just under 9 hours same day. If I get to come back, I would love to camp here too!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Went up Moran and Middle Teton...... Breathtaking

hiking
Monday, August 22, 2016

One of the best single day hikes I've done. I would recommend beginning at the Leigh Lake trailhead and going up Paintbrush Canyon then down Cascade Canyon. You'll see three lakes (Holly, Solitude, & Jenny). The paintbrush divide (8 miles in) was my personal favorite spot along with inspiration point (18 miles in). The first 8 miles is all climbing with the steepest climbing as you reach Paintbrush divide. You cross a snow bank and have a small scramble around a corner of the switchback as you reach the top. That was enough excitement for me but then you reach the top and it's definitely worth it. It's all downhill from there with the most demanding downhill as you descend to Lake Solitude. Once past Lake Solitude the trail is more gradual downhill and you can really make some time cruising down Cascade Canyon. My Garmin clocked in at just over 8 hours with my moving time being just over 7 hours. I started at 10:30 and finished at 6:30 but I would recommend starting earlier. I saw no wildlife except two trail runners who I thought were crazy for running this trail. I will try and do this every summer, it was amazing!

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