WY – Teton Crest Trail, Grand Teton National Park (Part 4)

This day’s objective was Hurricane Pass. I’d heard this was the toughest climb on the Teton Crest Trail. I got an early start in hopes all my climbing in the Winds prepared me for this one. 

There was a group ahead of me so it was nice to monitor their progress against mine. The pass didn’t look very intimidating to me. 

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. 

The view from Hurricane Pass looking back to the south. 

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. 

This was my decision point. Of course, I had to say NO! This day was not to be mine. I’ll be back under better conditions to explore this beautiful place. 

Skies were deceiving. There were a lot of smoke particles in the air. I was hacking and wheezing. 

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

I enjoyed several waterfalls on my exit hike.

Check out this rock wall. I passed a trail crew who I thanked immensely for their work. 

Final decision point. To the right is Cascade Canyon, to the left is Paintbrush Canyon. To the right I went . . .

Previous days . . .

Hike Details:

  • 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)





One thought on “WY – Teton Crest Trail, Grand Teton National Park (Part 4)

  1. Pingback: CO – Rocky Mountain NP, Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP, Colorado NM – Jan's Jaunts and Jabberings

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