After five days of rock climbing at City of Rocks National Reserve, Idaho, our arms needed a break; so, Suzy and I spent the last three days of our August, 2009, vacation hiking at Wyoming's Grand Teton National Park. Our first day's hike took us up Cascade Canyon. Still low in the canyon, and surounded by more tourist than my comfort level allows for, we took the short detour to see Hidden Falls.
Further up the trail now, I started feeling better with a little more room to breath, but it was becoming obvous that the weather was eventually going to turn bad. The sun broke out here and there, but the clouds were always near by, slithering around low on the mountain ridges.
As we approached Storm Peak, we heard distant shouts and realized that climbers were somewhere in the area. You would need a microscope to see them in this shot of the Guides Route, but we could see them quite well through our bonoculars. After a while, we continued our hike, but hours later, on our way back down the trail, we just happen to run into the second group of climbers coming down the scree slope to the trail. We own a copy of the DVD " Farther Than The Eye Can See - Mount Everest ", so we were overwhelmed as we recognized and greeted Erik Weihenmayer, who, in 2001, became the only blind man to summit Mount Eveverest.
It seemed like everytime we turned there was a another small stream cascading down the canyon walls. These two shots, taken from slightly different view points, show one of the streams along the south wall.
This is the South Fork of Cascade Creek, where the trail turns north, following the North Fork, towards Lake solitude. We eat a light trail lunch here as we discused whether to continue or turn back. We hadn't taked the shuttle boat across Jenny Lake, so our total milage for the day was already going to be at about 13 miles, and Lake Solitude was still a few miles away. At this point, the rain had increased enough to make us pull out out rain jackets, so with a brew at Dornan's in mind, we turned back.
As cool as it is, I don't actually remember taking this picture, but the time stamp on the file, 12:21 PM, places us still at the North and South Fork junction of Cascade Creek.
We played around in Jackson the next day to give my sore knees a rest, but hiked down Granite Canyon on our third and final day in the park. What made this hike so cool, was taking the new Teton Village Tram to the summit of Rendezvous Mountain, and hiking the 14 mile, 4,000+ foot drop, down through Granite Canyon and back to Teton Village.
The hike down Granite Canyon must be a floral photographer's dream, as the fields of wild flowers were never ending. I could't help wondering how beautiful it would have been a month earlier, in July, closer to the peak of the bloom.
Roughly half-way down though, I realized that we hadn't seen even a distant waterfall yet, which surprised me. Finally, though it wasn't quite what I was looking for, we came across this little one.
Somewhere around ten miles into the hike now, the clouds had rolled in, my camera was packed up, and the day's highlights seemed to be behind us. Suddenly, as if on queue, the sun broke though just as this waterfall came into view. Now how cool is that!
This gloomy morning shot of Mount Moran, from the Colter Bay Village, was really taken on our rest day, between hikes, but it seemed like a good closing photo. This was not a good day for hiking anyway; the clouds remained low on the mountains, and notice the ever-so-slight dusting of fresh snow. It was unpleasantly cold for a mid August summer day.
Teton Classics: 50 Selected Climbs in Grand Teton National Park
Climber's Guide To The Teton Range
Guide to the Wyoming Mountains and Wilderness Areas: Climbing Routes and Back Country
BN Out-of-Print Bookstore