Location: Grand Teton National Park
Distance: 18 miles Loop (see below)
Elevation Gain: 3800 ft
Highest Point: 10,700 ft
Time: 8.5 hours
An odyssey in reverse
Yet another extended family of ours wanted to visit Yellowstone NP this summer, I, now an experienced traveler to this area, planned this epic trail into the itinerary for me while my family enjoyed the grandeur of Grand Teton in more leisurely ways. Statistics of this trail is daunting – 20 miles, 3800ft climb with majority above 8000 feet, but reality was somewhat gentler. Maybe I was better conditioned (by ONP’s 19 mile High Divide earlier this year) or the statistic was not accurate.
Inspired by an episode of Seinfeld – “the betrayal”, I photo narrated this trip in reverse order.
Mile 18 – 17 Exclamation Mark (Inspiration Point to Boat Dock)
At this point, I had given up witnessing large mammals as I entered the busiest section of the trail. Lo and behold, a bull moose entertained an appreciative crowd 400 yards from the dock. The boat ride back was calming and restive. 2.5 hours ahead of schedule, I took a leisurely nap on Jenny Lake shore to conclude this grandiose odyssey.
Mile 16-11 Re-introduction to Humanity (Cascade Canyon)
Terminal sections of most long and arduous trails tend to be the pits. Not this one, Cascade Canyon has been known as the premier GTNP trail for good reasons – easy, varied scenery and water cascades of assorted sizes and contour, and on this sunny Saturday, it also garnered a mass of humanity.
Mile 10-8 Nirvana (Paintbrush Divide to Lake Solitude, 10,700 to 9,000 ft)
Words fail me in moment like this, but there’s always Emily Dickinson.
“Beauty is not caused. It is.”
Mile 9-5 Into Thin Air (Holly Lake to Paintbrush Divide 9,400 – 10,700 ft)
Mile 4-1 Morning Glory (String Lake TH to Holly Lake)
It was a glorious morning drive from Colter Bay village to Jenny Lake. I was dropped off at 6:30 am with a planned pick up at Jenny Lake VC at 5:30pm cutting off 2 miles of the loop.