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837 Tetons - Grand Teton Loop
Sunset Lake to
Jenny Lake

Tetons from Hurricane Pass

Grand, Middle, and South Teton from Hurricane Pass

Continued from Grand Teton Loop - Death Canyon to Sunset Lake

After a brief stop at Sunset Lake and a promise to ourselves to return, we began the climb to Hurricane Pass. The climb was moderate, but we had already hiked close to 12 miles that day.

It was about 1.5 miles and 900 feet elevation gain to Hurricane Pass. We knew that there was supposed to be great views of the Tetons at or near the Pass, so as we climbed toward the Pass we stopped often to take photos of the mountains. We were afraid our current view was going to be the best that we would see. Well, we were wrong. Hurricane Pass was a very special place. The views of the Tetons were large and grand. The mountains were intimately close to the pass. The panorama was reason enough for the hike.

approaching Hurricane Pass

Approaching Hurricane Pass

We actually shared the pass with about 12 other hikers. Some were backpacking and some were day hiking. One fellow hiker even asked did we want him to take a photo of us with the Grand in the background! Everyone seemed very happy to be at the Pass, but we only stopped for a few minutes. We still had miles to go...

Schoolroom Glacier

Schoolroom Glacier from the Outet

Descending from the Pass we immediately saw the dusty green glacial waters of the small lake at the bottom of Schoolroom Glacier. The trail into the South Fork of Cascade Canyon was in good shape and it was a good thing, because our eyes were scanning everywhere except on the trail and where our feet were landing. In about .85 mile we reached an unmarked side trail to a small green lake at the foot of the glacier. We climbed up to the lake from along the outlet and had a unique eye level view of the lake on the approach. The lake is about 500 feet below the Pass.

We met one group on the trail - a father with two teenagers, a boy and a girl, they were climbing to the Pass. The boy was running up the trail and the poor girl and dad were struggling to keep up. If we had been hiking with them, we would have redistributed some of the group's pack weights to take advantage of the son's energy! Everyone should experience the fun.

One of the many cascades in the South Fork

One of the cascades

The South Fork of Cascade Canyon is long. The camping zone has a multitude of camping sites. A hiker I met at Jenny Lake claimed that there were 19 sites in the zone and that seemed like a reasonable answer. The sites were marked along the trail. There was also a group site and a horse camp. The trail parallels the creek through most of the canyon with outstanding views of the cascading creek, Table Mountain (to the west) and Mount Owen and Grand Teton (to the east). From Schoolroom Glacier it was about 5 miles through the South Fork to the junction with the trail from the North Fork of Cascade Canyon. Our distance from Sunset Lake was 7.25 miles and 19 miles from Death Canyon Trailhead. The South Fork seemed like a good place to camp.

From the junction the trail meanders through the Canyon. There are no switchbacks, steep climbs, or descents, but at this point of the trip, we were only focusing on the finish. We had walked through Cascade Canyon a few times before, but it seemed like it was much longer this time than ever before : - ). It was only 3.85 miles of easy trail to Inspiration Point, a major tourist hiking attraction overlooking Jenny Lake, but our pace had slowed to a crawl.

Inspiration Point overlooking Jenny Lake

Inspiration Point

We knew Inspiration Point would be crowded, but we were not ready for what we experienced. There were people everywhere! We literally walked in a line down the trail for .40 miles to Hidden Falls. It was not much fun.

At Hidden Falls I talked Amy into taking the Horse Trail, a detour around Jenny Lake (the regular trail was closed), instead of riding the boat across the Lake. It was only .50 miles downhill to the boat, but who wanted to ride a boat after a great hike? Well, if we had it to do over, we might have!

The Horse Trail was hot, very dusty, and made two climbs. We had once before hiked the trail in the other direction, but we were not quite as tired as we were this time. The moderate trail tested us.

We probably didn't ace the test, but at least we passed. We arrived at site 15 of Jenny Lake Campground, a little more than 12 hours after our start and we traveled just over 26 miles.

Happy to be resting at our campsite, we settled into a simple dinner, we didn't want to take the time to cook or cleanup, and then went to bed as soon as possible. We still had to get up early the next morning and finish the hike to our car parked at Death Canyon. We could only hope our bodies would feel better after a good nights sleep ...

Happy Grand Teton Loop - Part Two - trails


Teton Loop part 1

Teton Loop part 2

Teton Loop part 3

Grand Teton National Park - Backcountry Camping

Grand Targhee National Forest


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