Friday, December 4, 2009

Cascade Canyon

The most strenuous part of the hike into Cascade Canyon was leaving Inspiration Point and moving up into the canyon. Jenny Lake sits at 6783 feet, while the canyon floor is at approximately 8,000 feet. We took our time moving over the rocky trail, pausing often for snacks and cool downs. It was a hot day (temps were in the 80's and low 90's the whole trip) and we did our best to not overheat.

Lisa cooling off in Cascade Creek.

The scenery was spectacular. Firs. Cold mountain streams. Crystal blue skies. Could it get any better?

Oh, sure it could! As we moved farther up into the canyon the peaks came more fully into view. I believe this is Teewinot Mountain, still with some snow above the treeline, even on July 18.

As we crested a rise, the full canyon came into view. I was dumbfounded. Pictures don't do this place justice.

Cascade Creek flowed down the south side of the canyon, cold and clear.

We'd made it about halfway down the Canyon Creek Trail when we decided to stop for lunch. I don't think I've ever eaten lunch in a more amazing place!

There were a few other people enjoying this spot too, and we learned from a couple of young men that there were two bull moose at the end of this trail, where the Lake Solitude and Teton Crest trails meet the Cascade Canyon trail. We really wanted to see some bull moose, but we also recognized our limits. We were out of shape, and had already hiked about 8 miles up into altitudes we weren't used to. We both felt pretty good but knew that the farther out we hiked, the farther back. So we lingered here for a spell, relaxing under Teewinot, enjoying this place.
Interestingly enough, Grand Teton Mountain is not visible from down in the canyon. Its view is obscured by Owen and Teewinot Mountains which lie somewhat to the north of the big peak. One would have to climb up the south side of the canyon to see Grand Teton.

Before heading back down, I cooled my toes in Canyon Creek. More liked numbed them, actually--boy was that water cold!

Another picture of Cascade Creek as we headed back to Jenny Lake. The views were just a good leaving as they were coming.

We passed a couple of younger girls hiking up into the canyon, and we asked them to take a picture of us. So here we are, hot, sweaty, and thrilled to be alive. (As I recall, we were so tired it took a great deal of effort to climb up these rocks!)

One last look at Teewinot and Owen Mountains. As promised, the weather took a turn, cooling and clouding up. We decided to take the ferry back across Jenny Lake as we were both done in.

In all we hiked about 12 miles, gaining nearly 1200 feet in elevation. Not bad for two poorly conditioned flatlanders like us. But we had the next day to recover, as we were leaving the Tetons and driving up to Yellowstone.
We went back to Moose Junction and had some dinner, then started the drive back to Driggs. But the Tetons had one more jewel to reveal that day....


  1. fabulous pictures! i had forgotten how amazing this place is-when can we go back!?

    thanks for reminding me of the raw beauty that is the grand tetons!

  2. Wow, splendiferous imagery here. And Lisa with a top-knot. Cool!
    Moose Junction was the first place I ever saw a moose, how apropos is that? I love these photos. How do I order a print?

  3. Dewy: Just tell me what you want, but remember, I'm not done yet!

  4. this is a fun bunch of posts to follow and lovely pics to view. really perks up my eyes which are otherwise surrounded by various shades of taupe in the office!
    I'd have been a bit nervous to run into a bull moose, much less 2. When I was in MT there was a moose family on the ranch which were neat to observe but we certainly kept our distance!


  5. Wow, what gorgeous scenery...what a beautiful made me feel as tho I was Right There...Thank you, Thank you!