Explore the most popular camping 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.

Did It one day, no ice axe or crampons needed, but I’ll still say you need them so there’s no one on the trail again for the next group.

hiking
5 days ago

Incredible views and well-marked trail. The first and last couple of miles by the lake were pleasant as well. I'd recommend starting as early as possible to beat the rush because the trails get crowded near midday because it seemed more like a freeway than a wilderness hiking trail in the early afternoon (and this wasn't on a weekend). Also, the only think that classifies this hike as "hard" might be the distance as it is technically not difficult to complete, at least now that the snowpack has dwindled from June levels.

Hiked on 7/10. Absolutely breath taking view. We saw a baby grizzly around 1.5 miles into Cascade Canyon but never saw the mother as we backed away and waited for it to cross the trail. Also saw a moose and marmots. Hike was an easy up hill in which we never needed to stop to catch our breath. Trail was super easy to follow and had a few snow crossings. The snow was packed down and not deep at all but made for some fun as we had just come from Arches National Park. The trail was very lightly trafficked on the way out as it was early in the morning. One other couple up at the lake. Saw more people the last mile on the way back. We took it easy and went slow and spent an hour at the lake. Round trip time was roughly 6 hours. One of our favorite hikes at the park.

hiking
10 days ago

7/7/18 - This is a breathtaking hike. We started at the String Lake Trailhead making the hike somewhere around 16-18 miles round trip. Mile markers showed inconsistent mileage. We started around 11 AM and finished around 7 PM. We saw marmots but no larger wildlife although we saw fresh bear scat on the trail. Carry bear spray. The last 1.5 miles of the trail have snow patches covering the trail. We crossed them without poles or crampons with no issues. The lake is beautiful and full of melting ice. We watched a man swim to an island in the lake as the “crowd” (15 people) cheered for him as he swam through the icy water. The whole hike is peppered with gorgeous views but be careful looking up while walking - you’ll likely trip over a rock.

hiking
12 days ago

7/5/18 - absolutely amazing! Everything about the hike was beautiful, with views beginning in a denser forest, open up to the canyon, back into the forest and following the creek the entire time. The last 2.5 from the fork up to lake solitude were challenging with several snow crossings. The last ascent was completely snow covered and the lake is just starting to melt - it was absolutely worth it and doable with the right boots and poles.

Wildlife count - countless marmots, 7 moose including a calf, and one young grizzly at the top of the lake. Absolutely need bear spray and stay in a group. The grizzly at the top got within 100 yds of a group of people. There were several other hikers who mentioned 2 other black bears at points on cascade canyon and the stretch to lake solitude.

hiking
14 days ago

We did this hike on 9/17/17 and in reverse of what is shown (Up Cascade Canyon and down Paintbrush Canyon). This hike is epic and definitely worth doing if in the Grand Tetons. There were some sections of snow especially at the higher elevations which required some caution crossing, but nothing too dangerous. This is a must do hike and can be done in a day.

hiking
16 days ago

A challenging but beautiful hike. Starts with a steep climb up through a forest and flattens out into a very gradual climb through Cascade Canyon. Once you hit the North Folk you will pass through another dense forest and emerge to an Alpine clearing which offers some truly lovely scenery. As you continue to climb, the greenery gives way to snow fields (as of late June) which can be tricky to navigate -- poles are highly recommended.

We ended up turning back just short of the lake, with the final ascent to the ridge over the lake in sight. My friend and I kept falling through snow (waist-deep in some areas) and the safety margin just wasn't there for us. I also regularly fell through knee-deep snow which covered icy streams underneath, totally soaking my boots/pants. Would suggest starting the hike very early, so that you can reach the snow fields before the sun is beating down at full strength. NB my friend and I are big guys (6'5") so if you are lighter, this should be less of an issue. Most of the snow was at ankle level and lighter hikers were able to make it to the Lake without issue -- just be aware that the snow levels do get deeper as you get closer to the lake.

Protip: There is a black bear who has taken a liking to hanging out in the forest above the North Fork of Cascade Canyon; we saw him both on the way up and on the way down. On the way down, he was actually walking on the trail itself, and we had to make noise for quite a while before he finally moved uphill to let us pass. Bear spray is a must through this section, and if you are alone I would wait to pair up with other hikers before proceeding. We also saw a huge moose majestically lumbering through this forest section -- pretty cool.

hiking
28 days ago

This is probably a great hike for the late summer when all of the snow pack is gone and the lake is not frozen over. As of June 20, 2018, the last 2.3 miles of the trail was mostly deep snow and the lake was frozen over except some of the edges. Unless you have run out of hikes in the area, skip this one until later in the season. We've experienced better hikes in GT NP. We did see a couple of moose 1/2 mile from the boat dock. A few minutes after we passed through, a black bear was on the trail just six feet from some hikers.

hiking
1 month ago

6/16/18. This is an awesome trail with abundant wildlife and vistas. My wife and I started on a rainy morning using the boat to cross Jenny Lake to the trail head. The trail starts up a steady incline on a highly trafficked path through the forrest. Then transitioned to an wooded and wildflower covered valley which followed the river up to the the trail junction. We stopped along the way to remove our rain gear and take several pictures. Along the way we encountered a cow moose moose and her calf, several marmots, an elk and several species of birds. It took us an hour and a half to reach the junction where we ate lunch.

If you are into a little more hiking, I encourage you to continue on to at least the first foot bridge. The view of the mountains is spectacular, combined with the river and the wildflowers it is perfect and compares to hikes in Glacier National Park. At the second footbridge we encountered more patchy snow. As we continued up the trail the snow increased and the trail disappeared. The overall direction of the trail is obvious as you are heading up a valley with a river to one side and steep mountains to either side. However, finding the exact trail took a little work.

If you elect to continue up to Solitude Lake in the next few weeks, take caution, and your time. I suggest good boots, and poles. The snow is from several inches to several feet. Before you start download the AllTrails map and or have GPS. We had both. We found this to be helpful to stay on the trail as we found maybe a dozen tracks in the snow leading in several directions. Note, we found the markings in the trees to be sparse. Because of the snow, I would rate the final portion of this trail to be hard.

We made the lake in approximately 4 hours from the boat dock. The lake was 90% frozen. At the lake my wife and I and one other hiker we met along the final 1/4 mile, congratulated each other and shared a snack. We took a few pictures and headed back. My opinion on the lake, wait until it starts to thaw and the trail opens up. It’s was awesome but the last push was steep and very slippery with us occasionally dropping to our hip in snow.

We quickly ascended as frankly we did not want to miss the last ferry across the lake and add three miles to this 17 mile hike. While this trail is an out and back, the vistas, abundant wildlife and flowers keep this trail a 5 star in both directions. We stopped several times to take pictures and an extended time to give first aid to fallen hiker. In all the assent took another three and one half hours from the lake. We made the ferry, loosened our boots and reflected on a great day.

I highly recommend this hike as it was one of the most amazingly beautiful hikes I have taken.

Beautiful beyond expectation. Began our hike at the String Lake Trailhead, proceeded through Cascade Canyon, and took the North Fork Trail beyond that headed toward Lake Solitude. The elevation gain is gradual. Beyond Cascade Canyon mostly snow covered, travelable, but would recommend poles, micro spikes, and truly on this day, needed snow shoes for the last 1/2 mile up to
Lake Solitude. We wore trail shoes which was fine, although slippery. 3/4 of a mile short of Lake Solitude our decision was to turn around at that point due to deep snow. Amazing views the entire hike. Quickly became a favorite and will undoubtedly hike again.

The view of the Grand Teton, Mount Owen and Teewonot across Lake Solitude and down the canyon is breath taking.

Without a doubt this is my favorite hike I have ever completed and let me tell you... the effort was so worth it. We took the ferry across Jenny Lake to avoid having to hike an extra couple of miles around. We got an early start as was recommended to us by park rangers. It's a steep climb to Inspiration point but after that, it's beautiful smooth sailing all the way through Cascade Canyon. There we saw multiple Marmots and even came very close to a bear (you might want to consider bear spray), we even saw a fox! At the junction things switch up. You'll be climbing a little more than you were before. As you walk through Lake Solitude trail, if you look back you will see one of the most amazing views you have ever seen. Before you know it you'll be at Lake Solitude.
My only words of advice are that you take PLENTY of water and some snacks or lunch. And very important to consider... make sure that you make it back in time before the last ferry departs or else you'll be stuck like us and be forced to hike that extra few miles around Jenny Lake. That's definitely the last thing you want after a day long hike. I will most definitely be doing this hike again on my next visit to the Tetons!

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.

Breathtaking hike. Saw several moose and 2 bears. Be sure to dedicate an entire day to this hike, took us 8 hours.

hiking
5 months ago

Unbelievable. Best trail we were able to hike during our 10 day trip. Absolutely incredible views.

Arrived at Jenny Lake right at 8am to take the ferry, saved several hours of daylight to avoid the loop trail around the lake. I would say almost a necessity to knock out the whole hike in a single day.

Saw about 5 moose along the way.

Must do if you are in the Tetons and are looking to hike.

hiking
9 months ago

Definitely worth the trek! The final stretch up from Cascade Canyon is definitely snowy right now but the gorgeous lake makes slightly soggy shoes more than worth it :)

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!).

backpacking
10 months ago

Lake solitude is beautiful!! Worth the trek

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.

hiking
11 months ago

this trail has everything you ever need: wildflowers, meadows, creeks, forests, peaks, waterfalls, wildlife (3 moose, pikas, beavers, marmots, a deer), topped off with a beautiful lake. it was definitely hard, especially towards the end, but well worth it. we took the 7:30 shuttle ferry and the trail didn't feel overly crowded all day.

hiking
11 months ago

We recently went to the Grand Tetons and this was our main hike for the trip. We did around 15 miles since we took the ferry across Jenny lake. I'll start with a little of our hiking history. My wife and I hike around our home in the Appalachian mountains. Most of the trails are around 5 miles max unless you do the appalachian trail or the tanawha trail. So we aren't exactly in the best of hiking shape, but we're fair. We did 9 miles in the Rocky Mountains before this. But we decided to do the cascade canyon trail since it would be around 9 miles. But after hiking to the trail fork and eating lunch we decided to try it. This was definitely a little too much for us but we powered through and we're so glad we did! This trail is gorgeous the entire way, we saw 3 moose, and amazing views. The lake at the top was still frozen over in late July! This trail is the best way to see a lot that the Grand Tetons has to offer and if you only have limited time to see it all, this is the trail to take if you are able. The cascade canyon trail is very smooth and an easy gain. Lake solitude is more intense with more of a gain and harder terrain but the views and end goal make it worth it. Best trail we've ever been on!

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

hiking
Sunday, July 16, 2017

Originally we had decided to hike up Cascade Canyon and stop at the junction and not go up to Solitude Lake. However, the 4.5 miles up to the intersection is pretty smooth despite the net 2K gain in elevation. Along the way we saw Moose and Elk. We decided to take the trail towards Solitude and we were going to turn at some point. However, the scenery kept getting better and better. We kept going and the trail still had some significant snow patches as we got closer to Solitude (that added some fun, although poles were a must especially on the way down). The lake Solitude bowl was still snowed out and the Lake partially frozen. Overall this 14-mile round trip was probably one of my best hikes ever at any park and I would recommend it as a must if your in the Tetons.

hiking
Monday, July 10, 2017

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.

on Lake Solitude Trail

hiking
Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Best hike ever. Lake was frozen and we had to hike through some snow but worth it all the way!

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