As I climbed there were lots of false summits and the beginning of smoky skies. Look back at the blue skies in the previous photo. I liked how these two mountains nearly mirrored each other. Looking back toward Sunset Lake. I’d definitely made the right decision for me staying on the Alaska Basin Shelf. The “lake” was really just a pond.
I was beyond sad reaching Hurricane Pass only to find the Tetons cloaked in smoke and the sun position not working in my favor. It had taken me less than an hour to reach the summit and I didn’t find it a significant challenge.
As I dropped over the north side of Hurricane Pass, I nearly cried knowing with the smoke I wouldn’t be able to explore the glaciers and lakes as originally planned. I have asthma and am extremely sensitive to smoke.
The remainder of the trail is in GTNP therefore all camping is by permit only. Skipping the trek to Avalanche Divide and Icefloe Lake meant I’d need to spend the bulk of the day in the smoke in my camp zone. I decided instead to change my route and return to my car via Cascade Canyon rather than Paintbrush Canyon.
Previous days . . .
- Part 1 – Coal Creek to Moose Creek
- Part 2 – Moose Creek to Death Shelf
- Part 3 – Death Shelf to Alaska Basin
- Date(s) Hiked: 9/1/17
- Mileage: about 14 (didn’t track)
- Elevation Gain/Loss: unknown but it was an ascent to Hurricane Pass and then primarily descent to the String Lake parking area
- Trail Conditions:
- Tree obstacles: minimal if any
- Overgrowth: wildflowers and some bushes
- Signage: good
- Terrain: good
- Water: plentiful
- Camping: restricted by GTNP permits
- Solitude: moderate (saw only a few people between Sunset Lake and the Cascade Canyon / South Fork junction, but then saw tons and tons of people on the Cascade Canyon trail)
- Bugs: biting flies were around at lower elevation, plus bees and grasshoppers
- Precip: None on this day
- Temp: Hot at lower elevation
- Jan’s Cherry Picker Delight Scale: 3- cherries (out of 5) (would have been much higher without smoke; the Cascade Canyon was surprisingly nice with the waterfalls and mixed forest)
- Grand Teton National Park (GTNP)
- GTNP Permits
- Caribou-Targhee National Forest
- Jedediah Smith Wilderness