"one of the hikes that started it all for me" Top 5 Page for this destination Wyoming Things to Do Tip by richiecdisc

Wyoming Things to Do: 159 reviews and 314 photos

  me at Lake Solitude in 1994
by richiecdisc
  • me at Lake Solitude in 1994 - Wyoming
      me at Lake Solitude in 1994
    by richiecdisc
  • moose off trail, my camera sucked back then! - Wyoming
      moose off trail, my camera sucked back then!
    by richiecdisc
  • Kristin and I hiking the Loop in 1994 - Wyoming
      Kristin and I hiking the Loop in 1994
    by richiecdisc
  • heading up Painbrush Canyon in 1994 - Wyoming
      heading up Painbrush Canyon in 1994
    by richiecdisc
  • starting at String Lake in 1994 - Wyoming
      starting at String Lake in 1994
    by richiecdisc

Though I was truly introduced to hiking in New Zealand the previous year, the summer of 1994 was the year I really fell in love with it. Three long day hikes were the cornerstones to my eventually wanting to backpack. One was in Olympic National Park in Washington State, another was in Rocky Mountain National Park and perhaps my favorite was the Paintbrush Canyon/Cascade Canyon Loop in Grand Teton National Park.

It is very long 19 mile trek that climbs over 4000 feet as it encompasses going over the Paintbrush Divide at nearly 11000 feet. If you are looking to see a lot of amazing landscape all in a day this is the walk for you. It is possibly the most scenic hiking loop in the US National Park system. You will see both Holly Lake and Lake Solitude along with two incredible glacial valleys and amazing views of the Tetons and surrounding peaks. You also take in a great hike altitude pass that will leave you breathless as you cross it.

This is a long day hike so start early and be certain you are in shape for it as it's a killer. I will never forget this day hike. No sooner did we begin the hike, we saw a large male moose with rack just off the trail. The climb up was steady but we were in great shape and carrying very little so we pretty much flew up the Paintbrush Divide. Lake Solitude was amazing and all I can remember is wanting to spend more time in Cascade Canyon, it that beautiful. But when you do big day hikes like this, you don't have time to stop and really smell the paintbrush.

We did this loop as a three-day two-night trip in 2008 and it was far more pleasurable. It was also free camping. All we had to do was carry all our gear 19 miles and over an 11000 foot pass! Check out my Grand Teton National Park page to read details on how to do this great backpacking trip!

These photos are from the 1994 hike.

Directions: Start at String Lake in the Tetons and start by walking up the Paintbrush Divide Trail. It's steep but easier going in this direction and down the Cascade side.
othercontact: Buy the usefull Teton Trails at

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Dec 17, 2009
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