Last Big Hike in the Tetons

I took advantage of the still great weather and made another hike that I had really wanted to take last year, but wasn’t able to.  I decided to hike up to Holly Lake.  The beginning of the hike started over near String Lake.  IMG_7454





It then went up and crossed over the outlet from Leigh Lake.  I was surprised that there wasn’t more water than this, but I don’t think I’d been down here this late in the season before. IMG_7458



I don’t know why, but I expected the hike up Paintbrush Canyon to be similar to Cascade Canyon since it was only one canyon over, but it ended up being quite different!!  Where Cascade Canyon was really open and you can see towards the end of the canyon much of the way, this was full of trees and much more closed.  IMG_7462The fall colors were everywhere though!  It was so beautiful to see!!!!  IMG_7475

IMG_7482The trail didn’t travel along the side of the creek until you got quite a bit further up. 


Every once and a while you’d get to a point where you could see out of the canyon and got a glimpse of Jackson Lake.  They were doing some prescribed burns in the area, so everything looked a bit hazy.  IMG_7484The leaves were just incredible to see the further I got up the canyon.  IMG_7488






Down towards the mouth of the canyon, every once and a while you get a quick look at Leigh Lake.  IMG_7491



And then you’d get ducked back into the canyon again.  Once the trail went along the creek, it stayed there.  IMG_7496Whenever the trail came out of the trees and you were able to see the canyon walls, the view was incredible! 



IMG_7507Once I made it to the top of the canyon, I could see all the way back down towards the lakes below.  It was incredible!  IMG_7529




Being at the top of the canyon also meant that I had arrived at my destination.  I had made it to Holly Lake and I definitely was not disappointed!!  IMG_7533





I sat on a rock along the shores and enjoyed my lunch knowing that I was the only one there for a while.  Eventually, this group of three young people showed up on the other side of the lake and then they swam for a little.  Then I could see them getting ready to leave, and I realized that I probably should too.  So I put my pack back on and started walking around the lake when all of a sudden the other group started talking really loud and I started thinking, Great.  I’m going to have to listen to them make all this noise all the way back down.”  As I approached them closer though, one of them looked at me and said, “If you wonder why we’re being so loud, it’s because there’s a bear right over there!”  All of a sudden it all made sense.  Not only was there a bear, but she had a cub too!  IMG_7569


The two of them crossed the trail and went over to the lake.  Two hikers coming up the trail actually had to back up to allow the Black Bears more room.  It made the trip complete to see them!!!  IMG_7570







I definitely had a grin from ear to ear on the way down after getting to see that scene!!  The scenery in the other direction was beautiful too!  IMG_7581



And of course, a hike up Paintbrush Canyon wouldn’t be complete without see some Indian Paintbrush along the way!!  IMG_7602More fall colors to be seen on the way down too.  IMG_7606






It was an incredible hike!!  It was also the last big hike that I did this season in the Tetons.  Seeing the bear and cub just made it all so great!!  Since we’ve already left, I’ve got more blogs to write already!!  I’m always behind no matter how hard I try to keep up!!  Oh well, at least I’m having fun!!  Happy Trails!


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