FJR Fall Full Circle 2009
August 29, 2009 - Grand Teton's 22 mile hike (Paintbrush Cascade Lake Solitude) - Part I



  Even though this two-month “FJR Fall Full Circle” journey will likely exceed 10,000 miles on two-wheels, it's the mileage on my own two feet that I dedicated most of my time and efforts in regards to the pre-departure planning.  Once I decided I'd be camping in Grand Teton National Park, I researched hiking trails in the area.  I came across a loop called “Paintbrush Cascade Canyon” that was considered to be “very strenuous” and also offer “spectacular scenery.”  Oh, and the rangers I talked to said that doing this as a day hike is “not very common” as the vast majority of folks who complete this trail are backpackers who spend at least 1 night on the trail.  The National Park Service states this information about the hike: 19.1 miles long, reaches a 10,700 foot peak with an elevation gain of 4,840 feet, 14 hours to complete, and an ice axe is necessary until mid-August.  (Is that a hike or what?!)

I planned to do this loop as a day hike.  Since it's the end of August I didn't need to tote an ice axe along thankfully.  Given my experience this past week hiking the peaks in Lassen Volcanic National Park as well as Crater Lake National Park, I've learned I can expect my finishing time to be considerably less (by at least 40%) than what they state.  Sunrise here is currently 6:45am and sunset is 7:55pm, so whoever takes 14 hours to complete the trail will be spending part of their time in darkness, not something I was all too thrilled about doing.  I was told most people start and end from the Jenny Lake Lodge, but I started from the Jenny Lake Campground since that is where I'm camping.  A shuttle boat takes hikers and tourists across the lake to various trails; by taking the boat you shave 2 miles off your hike (not to mention saving daylight time for the bigger hikes!).  I took the shuttle across, but hiked back after making a detour to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point, two popular hikes.  This added distance put my total mileage for the day around 22 miles.... WOOT!

Something tells me that once this page hits various search engines that it will be well viewed especially by backpackers.  Let me state that I'm not backpacker nor am I photographer; I honestly know very, very little about both.  That said, I don't do too bad with a camera a journey.  Feel free to link to this page if you'd like, but all photos are indeed copyrighted. (The trail isn't going anywhere if you'd like to go take your own pictures ya know.)  As with all my “Journey Reports”, I'm hoping the photos allow others (especially my 86 year old family Matriarch) to feel as if they can virtually join my journey.

When I was researching this hike I read several reports about the hike and each one showed a several photos.  I wondered why all the reports included words like “spectacular” but only had a few photos to accompany the report.  My camera says I took 369 photos while on this Paintbrush Divide Cascade Canyon Lake Solitude Loop, below is 100 of them.  Suffice to say anyone wanting to see what this hike is really about can now do so! I'll edit this with a full report as soon as I can (I've got more hiking & riding to do!):

Yes, that really is pinkish colored snow (a result of algae growth in the summer):

Yellow-bellied marmot:

 Having a great time!:


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