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Paintbrush Canyon & String Lake Loop Trail to Lake Solitude

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Grand Teton National Park

Paintbrush Canyon & String Lake Loop Trail to Lake Solitude is a 20.4 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Moose, Wyoming that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until September.

Length 20.4 mi Elevation gain 5,721 ft Route type Loop
Backpacking Camping Hiking Nature trips Walking Bird watching Running Beach Forest Lake River Views Wild flowers Wildlife No dogs
Description
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Getting There

The trail is in excellent shape. After the picnic area and parking lot, the trail is no longer wheelchair accessible, but it is still wide and in terrific shape and offers more sandy beaches and outstanding views. You will cross over the stream that feeds the lake via a footbridge. From there you enter a mature forest. Be sure to watch for wildlife. Follow the trail signs until you cross another footbridge and you are back at the trailhead.

Park in the large parking lots at the String Lake Trailhead. There are no toilet facilities at the String Lake Trailhead, but you can find them at the nearby picnic area.

Grand Teton National Park P.O. Drawer 170 Moose, WY 83012-0170 Information (307) 739-3300 More information: http://www.nps.gov/grte/contacts.htm Wyoming Business Council Tourism Office, Frank Norris Jr. Travel Center, I-25 & College Drive , Cheyenne, WY, 82002-0660, Phone: 307-777-7777, Fax: 307-777-6472

Directions from Moose: Travel north on the Teton Park Road to North Jenny Lake Junction. At the Jct. turn left and follow signs to parking for the String Lake Trailhead.

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Reviews (103)
Photos (811)
Recordings (57)
Completed (487)
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Alec Birch
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BackpackingGreat!

Stunning!!! The climb/descent on the north side of paintbrush is fun!!

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Chelsea H.
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Hiking
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Bryan Holekamp
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Hiking

This is a great trail. I recommend coming back through Cascade Canyon after solitude lake. The mileage is similar, and the elevation gain is less. Plus, you get to see the other views of Cascade Canyon. The last ~0.5 miles to the overpass is the hardest part. It is steep with gravel and loose rocks (and above 10k feet in elevation). It is probably less safe going down then up this section. And if there is snow on the mountain, it would be very dangerous to climb without proper equipment. I hiked this trail early September; 1 day before the first snowfall. There was still a 30’ long snowbank to be crossed, but the rest of the trail was clear and in great condition. The top was a bit windy but not too bad. Almost no bugs!! Most of the trail is not steep (just the one section mentioned above). I’m sure it goes without saying, but the parking lots fill up quickly. I was very lucky to find a spot on the road at 11:00 AM. It’s best to go early.

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David Debano
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HikingIcyRockySnow

Probably the best hike I’ve ever done. We ended up hiking back down through Cascade Canyon instead of going back up to Paintbrush Canyon, mostly to avoid the extra elevation gain and the snow. Hiked on 8/9 and there was quite a bit of snow, especially in upper paintbrush canyon, sometimes knee high. We made it through with regular hiking boots and trekking poles, though it took us a lot longer than expected due to all the snow, so plan for at least 1-2 hours extra. Less snow back down through cascade canyon as it’s more traveled. In total this took us about 11 hours, so make sure to start early (would recommend starting by 7). We got a later start than we wanted and had to run the last couple miles to make it back before dark. All that said, the extra work of going through the snow made this hike even more beautiful and fun. The views in paintbrush canyon and at the divide were unbelievable and so worth it! We also saw an elk and 3 moose, which was pretty awesome. 100% would recommend this hike if you’re up for a long day, just be prepared with at least 3 liters of water, plenty of food, some trekking poles and maybe some extra socks if yours get soaked like mine did :)

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Sarah Otey
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Hiking

Didn’t do the whole thing - maybe about 6 miles of it. But well maintained and well marked.

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Malcolm Cox
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Hiking
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Lindsey Witt
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Hiking

Views were non stop! Snowfield was short and easy to cross without microspikes.

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Kristin Shaff
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Hiking

Best day hike in GTNP for anyone looking for a solid 20 mile adventure of beauty! Hiked 8/14/20 - perfect trail conditions. No sketchy areas as you cross the divide as the snow is mostly gone. Unbelievable weather. Views of the Grand and surrounding mountains - stunning. Hiked Paintbrush canyon, over the divide, to lake solitude then out Cascade canyon. Highly recommend this route (counter clockwise) for the best views and for avoiding uphill climb on shale rock as you cross the divide. Saw a bear! Tons of wildflowers. Took 9ish hours with plenty of stops.

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Ryan Seebach
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HikingGreat!
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Andrew Schlichting
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HikingSnow

This was a fail as far as reaching Lake Solitude and the divide, but still a great hike. We made it to about a mile or two from the lake, but had to turn around because the snow was too difficult. You need crampons/snowshoes and an ice pick to get over the divide right now because of the amount of snow up there. We had none of those. Even the area around Holly Lake was a challenge with the snow. That said, it was a beautiful hike and the weather was good. There was a lot of shade toward the bottom of the canyon. We also ran into two moose and had get off the trail to let them pass. Consider some bug spray as the mosquitos are nasty near String Lake.

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Seph R
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Hiking

This was amazing. Do it.

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Kimberly Nolan
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Hiking

Completed this trial August 10 as an out and back hike from Paintbrush Canyon trailhead to Holly Lake, then beyond to Paintbrush Divide, totalling just under 18 miles. Trail is in excellent condition and the views down Paintbrush Canyon were equally as impressive as on the ascent. 5 snow fields which my husband and I crossed without complication using trail shoes and trekking poles. Unbelievable views at the top on the Divide. Go to "Nolan Ventures" channel on YouTube for a detailed video of this hike.

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Brian Helbig
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Hiking

Good trail. Saw some bears and moose. Lake Solitude is great. I took a small alternate route to see Hidden Falls, which I recommend.

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Michael Brodka
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Hiking

Beautiful hike. There was intermittent snow on the trail beginning at Lake Holly and covered the divide. Ice ax was a must to get up and over. Once on top, the views were stunning, you get great views of the western side of Grand Teton and Solitude Lake. I did the loop through Cascade Canyon in two days and was worth the trip.

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Jenna Singleton
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HikingBugs
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Paul Elliott
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HikingSnow

this canyon hike is an excellent hike if you love variety. Meadows, lakes, woods, rock fields, multiple cascading creeks and waterfalls. it is definitely a moderate hike and the trail is well-maintained. about a mile from Holly Lake, the snow is still covering the trail at up to two feet deep. you will need gps to continue to find the trail on the way to Holly Lake. the views of the lakes from the canyons is amazing! very few mosquitos too! this is a must hike in the Tetons!

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Victoria Leslie
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just completed today. camped in north cascade. did the loop clockwise and highly reccomend it. I think it would be pretty hard the other way if you are backpacking. perfect hike!

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Simon Guérard
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Hiking

If you are going to pass the pass, you should really come down through cascade canyon to make it a loop! Still, a gorgeous day hike

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Simon Guérard
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Hiking

This is a gorgeous hike! But I'd HIGHLY recommend you going down through the other canyon (cascade canyon). I don't think it will add distance, it might even reduce it, and reduce the total elevation gain. AND you get to do a loop instead of seeing things twice. Still, paintbrush is great!

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Starr Hullinger
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Backpacking

Hiked up to the backcountry campsites in lower Paintbrush Canyon for an overnight, and it was one of my favorite camping trips to date. The views the whole way are gorgeous, I mean, you are in Grand Teton National Park after all. For anyone camping in the area, there are many campsites along the way, but the last, highest campsite in lower Paintbrush by far has the best views looking out over the valley, and up into the mountains behind. Plenty of extremely friendly wildlife, (they're cute but please don't feed them!) a doe surprised us by walking right up to me and my little sister and all around our tents for a couple hours. There's a family of hoary marmots that are very entertaining to watch. Overall, a great backpacking trip, I can't speak for the rest of the trail that goes up to the snowy pass, but I'm sure it's got even better views and great times to be had.

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David Lee
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Backpacking

Awesome hike. We stayed below Holly Lake. It is tough but well worth the work.

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Savanna Shelnutt
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Hiking

Stunning wildflowers and water features! It takes a while to get to the really fun part, but it’s so worth it.

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Kristen E
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We were there in late June and we were not able to do the full hike because of the snow. But it was gorgeous. Mountain peaks, clear mountain streams, wildlife (moose, marmots, deer). If you can snag the upper campsite of the lower Paintbrush trail, it was spectacular.

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Geo Pad
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Great hike! My party crossed the pass on 7/26/17. Most of the path on the way to 10,700 was snow covered. highly suggest to cross in the morning when there is no rain. Check out the weather daily. Enjoy!

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James Rock
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Hiking

Can someone who has done this hike in June 2017 let us know the snow conditions on the route? Do I need more than crampons? I have only done this wonderful hike in August and want to be prepared as I hope to do it on July 3. Thanks --Jim

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Matthew Yim
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Hiking

Great scenery and hike

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Sam Yarolimek
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Camping

Favorite hike of my life so far! Absolutely beautiful. We started at String Lake TH, went through lower and upper Paintbrush Canyon to Holly Lake. After that it's about 2-2.5 miles to the divide. Sketchy at the end of July with snow patches but we knew it was doable without an ice axe. Check the trail condition! Stunning views the whole way. Hard hike to Holly Lake. We camped in lower paintbrush, which is definitely underrated! Saw a moose there.

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McAuley Rovito-Duda
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Hiking

We took paintbrush canyon all the way to the paintbrush divide. We camped in lower paintbrush camping zone because the upper was full- which I'm glad happened because the view from our campsite (the last one in the lower camping zone where it says 2 sites and it's the higher up one on the rock faces you have to hike up a bit to get to) was gorgeous with views of Leigh and Jackson lake. It took us a while to get to the divide and once you do, the trail gets a little sketchy with all loose rock and a little bit of on all fours climbing and just one snow field. (No need for ice axes in August) but it is well worth it once you get to the top because of the views of the cathedral group (The Grand, Mt. Owen and Mt. Teewinot) it is a difficult hike with a 4,000 vertical ft climb, so not for beginners. But it is WELL worth the struggle.

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