Trip report

Tetons/Yellowstone Vacation

Vacation Trip DATE: 08/22/2020 - 08/31/2020

Trip/Event Location: Jackson Hole, WY

Trip Leader(s): Gandalf

Max # People: 9

Trip Guiding / Event Fee: Yes, but only to cover shared expenses, and I too am paying

Difficulty Level: Moderate to Strenuous

The Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks are calling to us! If you have interest in spending a 9 nights/10 days’ vacation exploring, hiking, and sightseeing the spectacular Grand Teton

Driving directions to the location and spot to meet at:

Directions will be provided by the owner a few weeks prior including the code to enter into the keyless entry lock. 

Trip Report/Photos
Featured Photo

A week of hiking in a mountain majesty! 

The Grand Teton National Park lived up to its reputation as one of the nation's most pristine and scenic parks! The wildfires on the west coast provided a haze for our first two days but then it cleared up. We were blessed with sunny days throughout our vacation except for our last day which did not matter since we were flying back. We initially had nine members signed up but due to COVID-19 concerns and restrictions, only Jon and I were able to make it.

The house we were renting was actually higher than Mt.Washington at 6,288 feet! To acclimate to these higher altitudes, the first four days we hiked up to elevations in the range of 8,500-9,500 feet. We then bumped it up to elevations between 10,000-11,000 feet. Using this approach, the altitude did not affect us whatsoever. 

We spent the first four days doing classic hikes in the eastern side of the National Park, with each hike a little longer and a little higher to adapt to the altitude. We explored all of the Tetons wonders, from canyons to vistas, to valley meadows and carpeted forests!

Then the next three days we explored the high alpine terrain that included a 4,000 foot ascent to Table Mountain at 11,100 feet, Rendezvous Peak [Jackson Hole Ski Area Summit] at 10,450 feet and finished with a spectacular climb through Paintbrush Canyon to Paintbrush Divide [10.700 feet] on our most challenging hike at 16.4 miles with 3,500 foot ascent! For our last hike, we found time for some skinny dipping in Phelps Lake!!!

August 23rd - Update #1

We arrived yesterday to our awesome house we are renting enjoying Teton Brewing Beer and chilling outside. Today we did a moderate hike along Two Ocean Lake and Emma Matilda Lake. Unfortunately the California wildfires are obscuring views of the Tetons mountains so we are disappointed and hoping this will change later in the week.

>>View Photos

August 24th - Update #2

We finished yesterday enjoying an awesome dinner cooked up by Jon and watching the sunset. Today we embarked on a stunning and memorable hike in Cascade Canyon starting with a scenic boat ride across Jenny Lake. We took a short side trail to enjoy the views of the 200 foot Hidden Falls, climbed a rugged and rocky section of trail reaching Inspiration Point with outstanding views of Jenny Lake, and continued into Cascade Canyon through boulder trails and past a series of ponds! 

>>View Photos

August 25th - Update #3

We finished yesterday enjoying an awesome steak dinner cooked up by Jon and then relaxing in the hot tub! Today we did a 9.6 mile moderate/strenuous hike to Surprise Lake and Amphitheater Lake. It ascended steeply for 3,000 feet on long, sweeping switchbacks through sage-covered meadows, forested moraines, and alpine tundras. We leveled out at 9,700 foot Amphitheater Lake surrounded by a steep-walled cirque of craggy rock walls topped by towering peaks!

>>View Photos

August 26th - Update #4

Today we hiked in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest hiking gently uphill into South Teton Canyon surrounded by lush chest-to-head-high past peak wildflowers in large meadows with granite cliffs rising above both sides of the valley! We then climbed very steeply up Devil's Staircase through meadows and scattered trees to the Teton Shelf at 8,500 feet. From this grassy bench sheer granite cliffs towered 1,500-2,000 feet above us as we got a bird's eye view into the Alaska Basin! The distinctive profiles of the summits of Grand Teton, Middle Teton and South Teton tower above the ridge. This was our best hike thus far!

>>View Photos

August 27th - Update #5

oday we got an early start for a 4,000 foot ascent up to the stunning Table Mountain at 11,106 feet! It was a demanding, very strenuous hike, that gave us awesome views of the Tetons that many people don't get to see. The top of Table Mountain offers the best vantage point in the Tetons for close-up views of the massive west face of Grand/Middle/South Tetons, upper reaches of Cascade Canyon, and the U-shaped glacial valleys and canyons west side of the Tetons. This hike is widely regarded as one of the most outstanding in the region!

>>View Photos

August 28th - Update #6

After yesterday's difficult hike we had an easier day hiking up 1,500 feet from the Jackson Hole Gondola to the top of Rendezvous Mountain at 10,450 feet! We used the Cirque Trail hiking across a rugged alpine environment and at the summit we had some of the best views of the surrounding area! We finished our hike back at the Gondola Station with a couple of local beers soaking in the views!

>>View Photos

August 29th - Update #7

Today we did a 16.4 mile strenuous hike up Paintbrush Canyon with a 3,800 foot ascent through dense forest that eventually transitioned to the rocky backcountry of the central Teton Range! We topped out on 10,700 foot Paintbrush Divide with spectacular 360 degree views of lakes, valleys and the Teton peaks. It was a long day but this was one of most amazing hikes we have ever done!

>>View Photos

August 30th - Update #8

For our last day we first visited the Teton Range one last time and got in some fantastic pictures! We then did a relaxing 6.5 mile loop hike around Phelps Lake with towering mountains surrounding us! We came out at the west-shore beach where we had it all to ourselves for some skinny-dipping and sunbathing! We spent the last night at the house enjoying the hot tub, having another delicious dinner prepared by Jon and sitting outside the deck with a glass of wine enjoying the evening. This was a fantastic vacation and we cannot wait to return!!! 

>>View Photos

>>View Our SmugMug Photo Gallery [lots more pictures] Scroll thumbnails from left to right to view in sequential order, some pictures are captioned and click on any photo to make them larger.

~ Mike Boisvert and Jon Normand

- The Trip Has No Photos -

What Members Are Saying About This Trip/Event

  • Jon and I had an awesome time! - RollingRock
  • Very much enjoyed reading trip report and seeing the pics! Fell in love with Tetons and hiked around Jenny Lake in the summer of '77 as part of a college field course. On a return visit in the mid-1980s, drove a back road out of the park where a rancher had erected 4 road signs (to be read in the Burma Shave verse manner): "Inconsiderate" "Sons of Bitches" "Throw their Beer Cans" "In the Ditches". Hopefully your beer cans were disposed of in an environmentally sound way! - phoenix

Members That Participated


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