Travel Log: Paintbrush Canyon -or- Our Last Weekend in the Tetons

Everyone, I am sure, has been waiting with bated breathe to hear why we left the Tetons. I am going to offer the politically correct explanation here for now: there were things going on within the company that we did not agree with and did not want to be a part of.  We came to the decision that we would have a lot more fun, make more money, and be more comfortable back in Washington.

Thankfully, before we left, we got a great hike in Paintbrush Canyon. I was writing a post about it before, but the chaos delayed my post. So, I am just going to post the originally planned text below.



Since we arrived, Gus and I have been itching to go on one big, messy, all-day hike. On Tuesday, we finally did.

The weather is finally warming up, making some serious elevation climbs a possibility. So we decided to pack up our (barefoot) sneakers and Lara Bars to head up 2600 feet through Paintbrush Canyon to Holly Lake.

The canyon was amazingly beautiful. At the beginning, you gradually gain elevation while hiking through pine trees, small streams, and wild flowers. As you climb further up into the canyon, your visibility clears and you can look up at the peaks that cradle the trail. Often in view are massive waterfalls created by the snow melt.

Gus enjoys the snow more than I.

By the time we had climbed for about three hours, we started to hit snow fields. This meant I watched Gus scurry across the tundra while I scrambled up whatever boulders I could find in order to stay on dry ground.

At the final half mile, we came up to a massive, uphill snowfield. Unfortunately, scrambling up this was beyond my skill/confidence level, so I encouraged Gus to go on and take a peak at the lake without me. It was a bit frustrating to get so far up and not meet my goal, but hiking definitely fits the cliché: it’s about the journey, not the destination.

As we headed back down, we were tempted to jump into some of the frigid but stunningly clear mountain streams. Unfortunately, we were dead tired and lacking a change of clothes.

At nearly the end of the trail, we had to extend our hike because we came upon a black bear sauntering our direction. We had to back up our path slowly, and circle around String Lake to reach our car.

The end result was sore muscles and a satisfying post-hike picnic in Jackson. It was incredible, though, and I am so excited for our next opportunity to hit the trail!




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