North Fork Cascade Canyon to String Lake Trailhead (11 miles)
We scrambled up onto a large boulder overlooking our campsite and ate breakfast. We packed the remaining food into our now almost empty bear can, just enough for our final day in this awesome backcountry.
Campsite in North Fork Cascade Canyon
Chris’s altitude headaches and fatigue from previous days were completely gone. He was thankful to be back to normal.
A storm loomed in the forecast, so we packed up a little earlier than usual. We wanted to make sure to cross Paintbrush Divide, our high point for the day, before the storm broke loose. Marmots basked in the sunlight as we set off.
Lake Solitude, though early in our day’s walk, was so nice that we opted to stop and and enjoy the view for a while. The water was clear enough to watch fish moving in its depths.
Sunset Lake to North Fork Cascade Canyon (8 miles)
The fourth day of our honeymoon backpacking trip greeted us with a glorious sunny sky once again. We ate and packed up. Chris was feeling much better — not perfect, but definitely improved from yesterday’s altitude headaches and fatigue.
We left Sunset Lake around 9:30 and headed north on the Teton Crest Trail. Today’s scenery remained impressive. In fact, we think it got better. Just 5 minutes into the day, we walked through an amazing wildflower patch. Anna was beaming.
Walking through a wildflower patch on the Teton Crest Trail
We climbed, pausing to take photos. Or maybe photography breaks were an excuse to catch our breath.
Climbing away from Alaska Basin
As we neared Hurricane Pass, the Grand Teton poked out dramatically over the ridge.
Death Canyon Shelf to Sunset Lake (4 miles)
The sun hit our tent. We quickly woke and crawled out, eager to see the light pour into the canyon below us.
Chris stretching on Death Canyon Shelf
It’s not every day you wake up on the edge of a canyon. We drank in the view, then went back in the tent and enjoyed our honeymoon suite.
Campsite on Death Canyon Shelf
It was a hard campsite to leave, but we did have a few miles to cover. We ate breakfast, packed up, and started walking.
Marion Lake to Death Canyon Shelf (5 miles)
On the second day of our Teton Crest Trail honeymoon hike, we slept in and had a leisurely morning. Breakfast by Marion Lake was tasty. Food always seems to be extra delicious in the backcountry. The scenery was hard to beat!
We weren’t the only ones enjoying a lakeside breakfast. As we ate, Chris spotted movement on the far shore. It was a mother and baby moose. As Mom ripped and munched on leafy shrubs, her youngster plopped down in the mud nearby. We’re guessing this was the same pair we had spotted from across the valley yesterday.
Moose by Marion Lake
After breakfast, we packed up camp and started hiking north. A short but steep uphill got our blood flowing.
If you’re a longtime reader of this blog, you know a beach honeymoon isn’t our style. Instead we decided to hike the Teton Crest Trail and visit the Canadian Rockies. We made sure to keep things somewhat relaxed, though. One of our gifts to ourselves was to delay blogging until we got home. In the next few weeks we’ll be doing some blog catch up from the honeymoon, which took place from late August through mid-September.
On a cold rainy Monday morning in August, we waited for the Colter Bay Visitor Center in Grand Teton National Park to open. At 8 AM sharp we eagerly handed our desired Teton Crest Trail itinerary to the backcountry ranger. We were in luck and snagged one of the few first-come first-serve permits! Our five-day Teton Crest Trail hike would begin the following day.
Day 1: Rendezvous Mountain to Marion Lake (6 miles)
Early Tuesday morning we drove to the String Lake trailhead, where we planned to finish the hike. A local taxi company shuttled us to our starting point, the tram in Teton Village. Everything went smoothly, except the weather wasn’t cooperating. Thick dense clouds clung to the mountains, making us realize that we might not get much visibility for the day.
We ate breakfast, got tickets, and rode the Jackson Hole Aerial Tram to the top of Rendezvous Mountain, elevation 10,449 feet. This was another honeymoon treat — without the tram, we’d have been doing the 4,139 foot climb on foot, with five days of food on our backs.
Tram from Teton Village
Wonderfully, by the time we reached the top, the clouds had burned off. After exiting the tram we found a small sign that said “Top of the World”. It looked like it. After a few pictures, we were off, and feeling great!