S: Yellowstone & Teton Crest Trail
FC: Yellowstone & The Grand Teton's August 2011
1: Established in 1872, Yellowstone National Park is America's first national park. Located in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, it is home to a large variety of wildlife including grizzly bears, wolves, bison, and elk. Preserved within Yellowstone National Park are Old Faithful and a collection of the world's most extraordinary geysers and hot springs, and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. | Yellowstone, as a whole, possesses close to 60 percent of the world's geysers. The Upper Geyser Basin is home to the largest numbers of this fragile feature found in the park. Within one square mile there are at least 150 of these hydrothermal wonders. Of this remarkable number, only five major geysers are predicted regularly by the naturalist staff. They are Castle, Grand, Daisy, Riverside, and Old Faithful. There are many frequent, smaller geysers to be seen and marveled at in this basin as well as numerous hot springs and one recently developed mudpot (if it lasts). Great Fountain. Its splashy eruptions send jets of diamond droplets bursting 100-200 feet in the air, while waves of water cascade down the raised terraces. Patience is a virtue with this twice-a-day geyser, as the predictions allow a 2 hour +/- window of opportunity. | Yellowstone Historical North Entrance
8: Much of the Teton Crest Trail cuts a serpentine path through Grand Teton National Park and the adjacent Jedediah Smith Wilderness, rarely dipping below 8,000 feet. It's a rugged mountain environment with jagged spires, alpine meadows, glaciers, lakes and vistas provide a challenging and rewarding hiking adventure. The full route of the Teton Crest Trail is 39 miles, from Teton Pass on Highway 22 to String Lake in Grand Teton National Park, just north of Jenny Lake. After about 10 miles from the southern starting points you leave the Jedidiah Smith Wilderness and enter Grand Teton National Park to Marion Lake. | The trail continues north from Marion Lake to Fox Creek Pass (9,650), which drops onto the scenic Death Canyon Shelf, a broad bench below the crest of the Meeks Mountain range overlooking Death Canyon. The trail continues from there with 3.+ miles of incredible views and fairly level hiking to Mt. Meeks Pass (9,726') which drops into the head of South Teton Creek at the edge of the Alaska Basin (9,500') 2.2 miles below. The ascent the from Alaska Basin up Hurricane Pass is a bit grueling, the first half mile leaving the Alaska Basin is a series of switchbacks to Sunset Lake. The next section is an 800 foot elevation gain with a view at the top of Battleship Mountain to the west. | Cresting Hurricane Pass requires a catching of your breath not only from the altitude and climb, but from the most incredible views. Due the east were the Grand Teton (13,770'), Middle Teton (12,804') and South Teton (12,514') peaks, towering over and only about a half mile away. The view overlooks Cascade Canyon which drops hundreds of feet below, plus spectacular views of Mt. St. John, Mt. Moran, Teepee Pillar Nez Perce, Cloudveil Dome, Avalanche Divide and The Wall. | From Hurricane Pass descends South Cascade Creek trail, to South Fork Cascade Camp ground. From here, follow the North Cascade Trail and up to Lake Solitude (elev 9035 ft), and a fantastic view of glacial moraine lake in a classic U shaped valley with the giant Grand Teton towering over. From Lake Solitude begins the climb over Paintbrush Divide (10,720') from the trail headed out of North Cascade Canyon, with miles of switchbacks above as it ascends Paintbrush Divide for a gain of 1500-foot of elevation. It is a glorious stretch of trail though, as the Grand Teton is right in front of you on every southerly heading switchback. | Beautiful views of the peaks around Mt. Moran and several large ice fields to cross as you descend Paintbrush Canyon through the alpine country. At 9,200-feet lies Holly Lake camp ground, with a beautiful view of Jackson lake far below. The hike out is mostly down hill, and bear can often be seen in the woods among the thick huckleberry bushes.