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    Kevin Kelley added Trails to Hike

    3 days ago

    Kevin Kelley completed Zen Trail

    3 months ago

    Kevin Kelley reviewed South Leigh Creek, Granite Basin, Green Lakes Loop

    10 months ago

    My new favorite hike in the Teton range.

    This roughly 20 mile loop will take you into some magnificent high mountain basins strewn with lakes and streams. Some of the most gorgeous scenery in the region can be found on these trails.

    The first three miles is a gentle slope up through the South Leigh Creek canyon. At roughly four miles in, you'll encounter a rather long set of switchbacks, from which you begin to see the Grand Teton. These switchbacks carry you up the mountainside to a large open meadow (in which we saw several day beds). The trail then takes you to the far end of this meadow, at which point you head up the ridge before dropping into Granite Basin.

    The trail only takes you by one of the lakes in Granite Basin. However, it's a great place to stop and take in the scenery, and to filter some water. As lovely as this lake is, it only gets better from here.

    After the lake, you'll ascend up another ridge into a large plateau that sits right around 9500 feet. Several streams and lakes dot this plateau, and you'll also have some views of the Grand Teton again.

    From here, the trail drops down into the Green Lakes basin. You can either go directly toward Green Lake, or take the side trail that passes by the other lakes as well (highly recommended). I would recommend filtering some water at these lakes, as it will be several miles before you hit another water source.

    After passing the lakes, you climb up to the East shoulder of the mountain, and then switchback up to the ridge. The top of the ridge presents good views of the valley below.

    After following along the ridge for a way, the trail switchbacks down into Tin Cup Creek. Once you reach the tin cup trail, you turn back uphill for a short distance and cross the South fork of Tin Cup Creek. This is the last good water source, so filter from the stream if you are running low.

    The last portion of the route heads up the Beaver Trail and then down Beaver Creek to South Leigh Creek. This trail is not heavily used, and it's possible to lose the trail as you cross over the ridge. Plan on bringing a GPS with tail maps (it helps a lot!).

    Kevin Kelley reviewed Stinking Springs to Unnamed Summit

    10 months ago

    First 2.5 miles are easy switchbacks through sage brush. The trail then joins up with an ATV trail, and gets a little steeper and rockier.

    Kevin Kelley updated Alaska Basin, Hurricane Pass, Cascade Canyon

    10 months ago

    Kevin Kelley updated Devil's Staircase/Alaska Basin Loop with side trip to Hurricane Pass

    10 months ago

    Kevin Kelley reviewed Kelly Canyon Trail

    10 months ago

    A quick uphill walk or ride to the high point of Jefferson county. Views at the top are OK.

    Kevin Kelley completed Kelly Canyon Trail

    10 months ago

    Kevin Kelley reviewed Henrys Fork-Harriman State Park

    10 months ago

    There are several trails in this area, and one could easily spend an entire day covering all (or at least most) of them. OK for hiking, good for easy mountain biking, and great for cross country skiing in the winter. Watch for sand cranes, swans, and moose.

    Kevin Kelley reviewed Darby Canyon Wind Cave Trail

    10 months ago

    Good trail for kids about five and older. A consistent but fairly light climb, terminating with a waterfall and access to the wind caves.

    Kevin Kelley reviewed Table Mountain Trail

    10 months ago

    This is a trail that everyone should do at least once. Keep in mind, though, that weekend use in the summer is quite heavy, and parking may be difficult if you do not arrive early.

    My preferred route is to take the face trail up and down, which gets you up into the views a little faster. The view from the top is exhilarating, in that there's nothing but empty space between you and the Tetons.

    Since afternoon thunderstorms are not uncommon in the area, check the weather before you leave, and plan to start early.

    Kevin Kelley completed Table Mountain Trail

    10 months ago

    Kevin Kelley reviewed Indian Creek Loop

    10 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.

    Kevin Kelley updated Indian Creek Loop

    10 months ago

    Kevin Kelley reviewed Diamond Peak

    10 months ago

    The trail (or more accurately, route) is only 2.5 miles each way, but what a 2.5 miles! Diamond peak is one of the three ultra prominence peaks in the state of Idaho, and at the summit you're provided views of Borah peak (and the rest of the Lost River Range), the Lemhis, Beaverheads, and the Tetons.

    Approach the beginning of the route by taking Pass Creek road off of HWY 28, just before reaching Lone Pine. Shortly after turning onto Pass Creek road, you'll turn right (uphill) and follow that road as far as you can. You will need to pass through a couple of gates. Make sure you close them once you're through. A four wheel drive vehicle with good clearance is recommended.

    The route itself is fairly obvious. You'll head up the shoulder and then follow the ridge on the East side of the mountain. Once you obtain the ridge, you'll be presented with some spectacular views of "The Riddler" to the Southwest (some of the most intense geologic folding you'll ever see). Getting up to the ridge involves a steady upward haul up loose scree. Once on the ridge, you're on solid rock.

    In the last 3/4 mile to the summit, there are about nine pitches of class 3 scrambling with moderate exposure. One pitch is borderline class 4. In the hot summer months, the route should be devoid of snow or ice. If going earlier in the year, you probably should bring ice axe and crampons.

    Early in our ascent, we heard a strange rumbling noise, and then spotted a large herd of antelope running across the mountain in front of us.

    I'd recommend starting up the mountain early in the morning, as afternoon thunderstorms are not uncommon in the area, and you don't want to be anywhere on this mountain when they arrive.

    Kevin Kelley updated Diamond Peak

    10 months ago

    Kevin Kelley reviewed Webber Creek Trail

    10 months ago

    An incredibly beautiful, hidden gem of a trail. The trail itself has a nice moderate uphill climb. The canyon at the end is breathtaking. Well worth the effort.

    There's a good amount of shade, and plenty of spots to filter water.

    Kevin Kelley completed Webber Creek Trail

    10 months ago

    Kevin Kelley reviewed Mount Borah Trail

    10 months ago

    One of my favorite hikes in the area. Not only is it a rigorous uphill battle with some nice exposed class 3 scrambling, at the end you find yourself at the highest point in the state!

    I'd recommend going in August, and starting at the trailhead early in the morning before daybreak. If you can make it to the tree line in time, you'll see the shadow of Borah creeping across the valley below. Also, an early start will get you to the top before the heat of the day arrives in full force, and give you time to get off the top before any afternoon thunderstorms arrive.

    Chicken Out Ridge isn't as bad as it sounds. As you ascend the ridge, travel up through the obvious notch, after which you can traverse around the right side until you reach the transition between the brown rock and the grey rock. At that point, stick to the top of the ridge (avoid the temptation to try and traverse around the ridge on the right side). The downclimb to the snow crossing is simple, as the holds are obvious and bomb proof. There will be a well beaten path across the snow by August. Earlier in the season an ice axe and maybe crampons would be advisable.

    The last push to the summit involves some mild scrambling, and there's a lot of loose material - so watch for rocks dislodged by anyone ahead of you.

    Kevin Kelley completed Mount Borah Trail

    10 months ago

    Kevin Kelley reviewed Little Elk Creek Trail

    10 months ago

    Nice trail up a neat little canyon. In the second half, watch for mountain goats on the West side of the canyon. At the top of the canyon, you can bushwhack your way up to the top of Mount Baird (ascend and follow the obvious ridge that will be on your right side). You can also crest over the ridge at the top of the trail and head down into Waterfall Canyon or Austin Canyon.

    Kevin Kelley completed Little Elk Creek Trail

    10 months ago

    Kevin Kelley reviewed Moody Swamp to Red Butte

    10 months ago

    I've hiked this one with my kids twice, and neither time did we run into any other hikers or ATVs.

    The trail is mostly shaded, and can at times be quite dusty. In the dusty sections, watch for animal tracks (deer, moose, coyote, and black bear).

    The route shown on the description is different from the one that I take. Where the map shows the trail following the 226 road, you can actually continue on straight, and approach the summit from the West.

    Kevin Kelley completed Moody Swamp to Red Butte

    10 months ago

    Kevin Kelley reviewed Webster's Dam/Manmade Falls

    10 months ago

    A fairly easy trail. The portion by Moody creek and the falls is on the green and shady side, and provides some nice single track.

    Kevin Kelley reviewed Cress Creek Trail

    10 months ago

    If you're looking for a quick hike with some younger kids, this trail is OK. The first third of a mile up to the creek is handicap accessible (which means it is no problem even for the little kids). The loop portion is a little steep in places, but nothing too drastic.

    This trail is heavily used, particularly during summer weekends. Parking can at times be tricky.

    Kevin Kelley completed Cress Creek Trail

    10 months ago

    Kevin Kelley reviewed Waterfall Canyon Trail

    10 months ago

    If you're heading to the upper Palisades lake, it's 100% worth the extra effort to head up Waterfall Canyon.

    I would recommend planning your hike for late June or early July. There is a spring fed waterfall that runs year round, but if you can catch the end of the spring runoff, a second spectacular cascading waterfall will be tumbling down the opposite wall of the canyon.

    As with all areas in the Snake River range, watch for black bears. They tend to be shy and avoid people, but if you're lucky you'll spot one grazing for berries on the hill sides.

    If an out and back hike is not your thing, you can follow the trail up through the top of the basin and catch the Waterfall Crest trail and Lake canyon trail back down to the lower Palisades lake (although note that these parts of the trail are a little more strenuous, and the trail down Lake canyon is pretty easy to lose).

    Kevin Kelley completed Waterfall Canyon Trail

    10 months ago

    Kevin Kelley completed Upper Palisades Lake Trail

    10 months ago

    Kevin Kelley reviewed Upper Palisades Lake Trail

    10 months ago

    First of all, when the description says heavily used, it's not joking around. The first four miles of the trail (to the lower lake) will see a lot of traffic on the weekends in the summer, mostly due to the relative ease of the trail and the views along the way. Beyond the lower lake, the traffic drops off quite a bit.

    The first four miles offer views of the creek. Mountain goats can often be seen on the canyon walls. The lower lake isn't anything too spectacular, though there is a nice resting area.

    Between the lower and upper lakes, keep an eye out for moose in the marshy areas. At roughly six miles in, the trail splits. If you enjoy water crossings, you can continue on up Palisades creek. Otherwise, you'll cross the bridge and take a few switchbacks to the upper lake.

    The trail along the upper lake will have you in the direct sunlight. However, once you reach the far end of the upper lake, there are several great camp sites. The forest service has even installed a vault toilet.

    If you've come this far, the additional three miles up waterfall canyon is worth the effort, particularly in the late spring or early summer when the snow runoff produces a second cascading waterfall on the opposite side of the canyon. One can even take the waterfall canyon trail up to the top of the basin, where it connects with Austin canyon (which can take you over toward Big Elk Creek) and the Waterfall Crest trail, which at the crest connects to the Sheep Creek trail and the Lake Canyon trail, the latter taking you back down to the Lower Palisades lake (caution: this trail will likely be overgrown and GPS is strongly recommended).

    Kevin Kelley reviewed Union Falls Trail

    10 months ago

    I would rate this trail moderate, not hard as in the description.

    Coming from the Ashton side, there's about 25 miles on dirt roads, and it will take some time to get there. About one mile in, you will need to ford the Fall River. Depending on the time of year, the river can be anywhere from knee deep to thigh deep. As far as water crossings go, this one isn't bad at all. Trekking poles help a lot.

    Beyond that, the trail is pretty straightforward, kind of rolling up and down the hills. There's generally plenty of shade, and plenty of spots to filter water.

    The falls, located about 7.5 miles from the trailhead, are worth the effort. This is the second largest waterfall in Yellowstone, and is named for the two streams that converge at the waterfall.

    Expect mosquitoes and horseflies from late June through early September (bring plenty of bug spray). Bear spray is also recommended.

    Kevin Kelley completed Union Falls Trail

    10 months ago

    Kevin Kelley reviewed Big Elk Creek Trail

    10 months ago

    A great trail for a hike with younger children. The trail is quite easy for the first four miles or so, with lots of nice views of the creek. There's plenty of shade along the way, and for those so inclined, several good options for campsites within the first three miles. Beyond the three mile mark, look for mountain goats on the steep canyon walls.

    At about five miles in, the trial splits, giving the more adventurous hiker several options, including the South Fork and the Siddoway Fork. The latter connects with Austin Canyon and Neeley Cove.

    Kevin Kelley completed Big Elk Creek Trail

    10 months ago

    Kevin Kelley reviewed Menan Butte Trail

    10 months ago

    Offers some nice views of the surrounding area on clear days. Nice wildflowers in the spring (May). You will likely see several common sagebrush lizards, and can sometimes spot deer in the evenings down in the crater. The trail is mostly sand and lava rock. There is no shade. It's about 3/4 mile from the trailhead to the rim, and the 2 miles around the rim.

    Kevin Kelley completed Menan Butte Trail

    10 months ago