Day 54 – 59 Tetons!

Day 54

Mallard Lake was nice and had good Sunrise views. Though it had no mallards that I saw. Though I did see a pair of loons. Anyhow, it was a decent camp. Nicer than my current campsite, at least.

Sketch my friend drew of me. Pretty close to reality.

Quickdraw and I easily made it back to Old Faithful for the breakfast buffet. Less exciting the second time around, but tasty nonetheless. My shoes did come. And the replacement pole section as well. I’ve been looking forward to both of those for many miles.

New marsh crossing: unsupported boards that pop up and try to smack you like a rake in looney toons.

Due to procrastinating, I didn’t leave myself a ton of time to get to my campsite. I finally left around 3:00. Relatively easy hiking except for the mosquitoes, which were the worst I’ve seen so far on trail.

Warning: Grass meadows are not as simple as…


…they appear.

Anyhow, rolled into camp shortly before dark. Unlike Glacier campgrounds, nothing is labeled and it took awhile (and some luck) to find the bear hang pole.

Leaving Yellowstone tomorrow.

Day 55

So much river fording today. I had hoped to get more miles in than I did to set up better for later in the Tetons. Alas, while flat, with the numerous fords, marshes, and mosquitoes, progress was slower and more costly than expected.

Iris Falls. Which I was glad to see *after* the two upstream fords.

Southwest Yellowstone has a lot of large rivers, as it turns out. I was surprised, given how close it is to the divide.

Sometimes the hot spring is in the middle of the trail.


Inadvertently slow chased this loon down the trail for a couple hundred yards.

I’ll need to make up the short fall over the next few days. I’m excited to be going back up a ridge, though. There are fewer water crossings and mosquitoes. More climbing, obviously, but that seems easier after today (he says while laying down in a tent).

River crossing #5 or 6 for the day.

Day 56

Well. That wasn’t easier. Steep ups and downs equal to anything in Montana. In some places it was a clear trail. In others, it was a general sense of direction. Fair amount of bushwhacking today. Practice, I guess, for tomorrow, where there’s a deliberate section of bushwhacking down to lake solitude.

One of the clearer sections of trail (not being sarcastic).

Beautiful views. I got to look back at the mountain ridge off in the distance that I was on a week or so ago.

Nord pass. Gentle rolling climb. At times alarmingly steep descent.

Aside from seeing a group of horsepackers this morning, I’m alone out here. It’s generally pleasant, though it makes the points where I lose the trail (or it just stops) a tad more intimidating.

Day 57

Well. Camped safely, if not especially legally, after a trying day.

The easy part of the bushwhack.


The ridgewalking scramble.


So close yet so far.

The bushwhack from the Teton Crest Trail over to Lake Solitude was hard. The first couple hours went as expected. But the final descent to Lake Solitude didn’t – the portion of the ridge where I’d expected to descend was much more of a cliff than the topo suggested. I did (clearly) find an alternate route down. Though not without getting cliffed out (i.e., descending, realizing it turns into a cliff, and backtracking) a couple times.

There’s a way down, somewhere.

Eventually made it down to Lake Solitude. The lake is the only place on the CDT where I’ve hiked before. It was 5:30 before I got down there, so I went for a quick swim before heading out. I still have seven or eight miles to hike to get outside Grand Teton NP, so I couldn’t delay much, unfortunately.

Obligatory Grand Teton picture.

I was going to get to the border (Hurricane Pass) just before dark. But I snatched defeat from the jaws of victory by, in my haste, taking a wrong turn and going most of the way up the wrong pass. That was pretty demoralizing, since by the time I noticed, I would have been at the pass had I not missed the turn. Retreated by headlamp down to the trail junction and checked out the last designated campground and found it unoccupied. Decided that was preferable to tired night hiking up a pass.

Thank you to the Grand Teton National Park trail crew for having the best maintained trail thus far.


Sunset view. Albeit while hiking up the wrong pass, oops.

Day 58

Possibly the same deer that startled me when hanging my bear bag in the dark the night prior. Looked up just to see eyes staring at me before realizing it was a deer.

Last day in the Tetons! It’s one of the sections I’ve been looking forward to since leaving Glacier. It’s been very beautiful, especially the national park, but also very difficult.

Closest I’ve been to a glacier in a long time.

Just when I thought it was done, Philip’s Pass, the very last pass before Jackson, had a 50 yard or so super steep section at the top. The whole time thinking that if I slip, the best-case scenario is sliding back down to the bottom of the ramp. Really glad for the new shoes in Yellowstone.

Hurricane Pass. And rare opportunity for a non-selfie.

I’m looking forward to a bit of town food tomorrow and an easier day in general.

Not town food but it’s warm.

Camped at a mountain bike trailhead just off the Teton Pass highway. Wishing I had camped a mile back, oh well. The map made the trailhead seem further from the road. Not my favorite campsite, but hey, milkshake tomorrow.

I submit this campsite for my ‘What were you thinking?!’ Award for the trip.

Day 59 pt 1 – Jackson

Unsurprisingly,  not a great campsite, but it worked.  Booked it down a very nice downhill mountain bike area.  Complete with old highway turn bike path.

Sunrise over Jackson and the Gros Venture mountains, the next stage

Road wall into town was busy and reminiscent of Anaconda at times.   Though with a bagel shop mid way.

Passing the… sentries? Mascots?

Closer to Jackson, I got onto its rather nice bike network.

Welcome to Jackson. Home of a very nice multi use path network.

Now currently engaging in the time honored thru-hiker tradition of… squatting in McDonald’s charging my power bank (and blogging).  I need to hit the REI and Albertsons prior to hiking out of town.  Attempting to pull off a hero resupply, hiking in and out on the same day.  Everything is conveniently located, so I think I can manage without an issue.

Looking forward to the next stop, Pinedale.  I’ve heard it’s a good place to zero.  Feeling a bit beat up after the Tetons.

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