Weekend Travelogues: first snow in the Tetons


A fall backpacking trip I took through the Grand Teton National Park, just in time for the first snow of the season. Keep reading to see more of my chilly mountain adventure:IMG_3597

One autumn weekend about eight years ago, I made the drive from my north Idaho college town to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Then up, up, and up on an overnight backpack into the Grand Teton National Park. On my drive into the park, the Tetons rose up through the low clouds:IMG_3538What was a drizzly rain on the hike in, became a beautiful first snowfall by nighttime.
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Before starting up the steep canyon trail, I stopped for a quick breather on the overlook, Jenny Lake spreading out below:

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We hiked through Paintbrush Canyon on the west side of Jenny Lake. Look at that perfect U-shaped glacial valley:

IMG_3585Near the top of Paintbrush Canyon, the snow set in and coated everything with a lovely chilling white glaze:IMG_3571Our destination was a National Park cabin used by the trail crews and rangers. It was all ours for the night. My hiking buddies worked for the park trail crew and use of the cabins was one major perk of their job. Inside was a large wood-burning stove and a few bunks, perfect for spending a snowy night in the wild. When I arrived, I dumped my heavy pack as quickly as possible. It’s there, sitting on the porch in the snow:
IMG_3574I woke in the morning to this icy forest view:IMG_3546During the night our cabin had melted and re-frozen enough snow to create glassy icicles hanging by the dozens from every corner:
IMG_3550The sunlight was rising in the blue morning sky, beginning to peek through the pine branches:IMG_3554

IMG_3559 IMG_3560 IMG_3562 Goodbye, warm log cabin, time to put the heavy pack back on and hike down the canyon: IMG_3557The blue skies came and went overhead as we hiked down past the towering mountains:IMG_3579One of my hiking buddies Brian, halfway down Paintbrush Canyon:IMG_3583The trail leading to the bottom of the canyon is a rocky cliff climb, see that hewn rock path?
IMG_3595After the hike down, we reached the valley floor. It was snow-free and felt like coming back to reality. The afternoon sun set early behind the tall Tetons on our drive out of the park:IMG_3540That was a quick two day trip in the Grand Tetons, I’ll post more of my Teton adventures in future travelogues, stay tuned! I hope you get to experience a magical snowstorm this season…this is my favorite part of the year!

My last travelogue: Greece Gravestones

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