Explore the most popular backpacking trails near Alta with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

If you are going to make this much effort go to Table Rock. This is just as hard without the view of the Tetons at the end.

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.

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!).

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.

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.

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

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.

Amazing, extended views of the entire valley, and in wet years, the best wildflowers in the park. Also pass directly by Buck Mountain and Static Peak. Scramble up static peak for a view of the cathedral group. Not as heavily trafficked as Cascade Canyon. Finish with a dip in Phelps Lake.

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.

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!

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!

hiking
Sunday, April 02, 2017

hiking
Sunday, September 04, 2016