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Topic: Teton Crest Trail< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 01 2013, 1:03 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The wife and I are planning on doing some backpacking in Grand Teton NP early next August (never too early to start planning!).  I would really love to do the Teton Crest Trail, as it looks like 4-5 days is a reasonable amount of time to complete it.

Any suggestions on which trailheads to start at, end at, and good camping areas in between?  Is is reasonable to think that 4 nights, 5 days is plenty of time?

We'll probably be taking advantage of shuttle services to get us in and out of the park...hoping to avoid renting a car since we'll be on the trail for a few days and I'd hate to pay if we're not using it.

Any advice or anything is greatly appreciated!
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 01 2013, 8:46 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Search the forum first, there are quite a few posts on the Teton Crest or Highline trail routes.  Also U tube has a lot of good pics. Then ask particulars after you have a little more finalized.  Most won't plan your trip for you here, but will give you suggestions on one you propose.    :)  :)

Personally the more common route isn't the true Crest and you miss a lot.....we did from Yellowstone NP to Teton Pass, but that's more than 5 days.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 02 2013, 9:49 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Ryan, I agree with the previous post.  Also, we don't know anything about you.  Are you in your 20's or 60's?  Is this your first trip or 100th?  That being said, a lot of trips begin by taking the tram up, saving the long climb up.  My group went up Death Canyon and exited at Paintbrush, using the 5 day/4 night format.  Read a little and post more info.  There are some great Teton posters here.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 02 2013, 5:52 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Earthwalk Press publishes a nice map for the Tetons.
http://shop.grandtetonpark.org/product_p/20000.htm

Though the association has both NG maps and the USGS quads.

I've eyed a route starting off the tram. Check out the parks backpacking regulations: there are designated camping zones.

http://www.nps.gov/grte/planyourvisit/upload/Backcountry13_web.pdf

Nice naturalist guide:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/076274023X/ref=redir_mdp_mobile
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 03 2013, 4:04 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Ryan I am a very average/moderate hiker and did the "Complete" Teton Crest Trail from String Lake to Hwy 22 in 4 nights/5 days in 2006. Most people do not hike that route south of Marion Lake and IMO that's a big mistake. Although not as spectacular as the core of the Range it is quite scenic and has a better variety of wildlife with VERY few other folks on the trail.

Bbobb speaks of some other exquisite country farther North. IMO the Tetons North of Mt. Moran is one of the most under appreciated areas you will ever find.

I live in Jackson, have shuttled several forum members. Come back with the particulars and we will help.


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 04 2013, 12:59 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hello,

Thank you all for your responses!  Very helpful!

I'll check out some of the resources and gather up more information so I can have more specific questions as I do more research.

Oh, and just a little about me - I'm 27 from Delaware.  I do 3-5 backpacking trips a year, typically along the east coast.    Last summer, my wife and I completed the High Sierra Trail in CA which was 72 miles in 7 days. I'd consider myself an intermediate backpacker. Always on the look out for a great place to go to!

Thanks again!
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 07 2013, 12:16 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Ryan,

My family's ancestral home is in Ocean View. Loved the few times I was there as a boy.

It's reccomended the trail to be done from South to North for the views but do it whatever way you can get the best permits. Walkups are pretty easy with a day or two's flexibility when you should do acclimation hike [s] anyway. Here's my reccomendation for you:

Day 1: HWY 22 to Phillips Pass, hang food well cause blackies are everywhere every day.

Day 2: Phillips Pass to Mirror Lake in Alaska Basin. Big Day but if I could do it in my mid 40s you can too.

Day3: If you can do 5 nights make this an off day and dayhike Static Peak and REST.

Day 3 or 4: Mirror Lake to high in the Southfork Zone.

Day 4 or 5: Over Paintbrush to Holly Lake

Day 5 or 6: Short 6.2 miles out to String Lake Trailhead or take Boat to south Jenny Lake.


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 07 2013, 5:30 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

DC, not bad.  When we came thru (I'll reverse our route) Stayed at the junction of Moose Lk trail and the Crest trail, right before the switchbacks out of Moose Creek.  I'd stay there or at Moose Lake.  Cross country from Moose Lake (really nice views and easy hiking off trail) to the Old Game Creek trail, hang a right to the Crest Trail.  Stayed just on the Forest at Fox Creek Pass, then to Alaska Basin the next day.   That adds a extra day tho.   :)   But our trip we came from Yellowstone, in and out of GTNP.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 13 2013, 11:02 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Here is my trip report from our trip out there a few years ago.

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 18 2013, 12:42 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

You will like anything you do in the park.  It really is a special place.

The main hike is fairly simple.  Go up either Paintbrush Canyon, or Cascade Canyon.  Depends on how fast/far you want to go.  Head south from there.  Personally, I find Death Canyon Shelf, and also the Kit Lake-Snow Drift Lake route to be the best part of the COMMON Trail of the Teton Crest Route.  If KCWINS shows up on here, ask him for some advice.  He knows the high trail very well, and has done it for years.

As far as BBobbs route, I wouldn't do that, not unless you have adventure in your blood, and hair up your ass.  That's an adventure.   And if you are crazy like that,  I still wouldn't recommend that.  Better to stay inside the park boundary in the Moose Basin/Glacier Peak area.  Hike up Moose Mountain from the pass in Moose Basin, then head south along the REAL high rout along the park boundary, including Glacier Peak, the most remote peak (rarely climbed, but best view in the park).  Then, you either cross the most RUGGED section of Wyoming, to get to Leigh Canyon, or just drop into Idaho, and walk the old crest trail back to Paintbrush.


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 18 2013, 7:38 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Haha ..... RH, I'll take that as a compliment .... I thought it was mild except dropping into Lake Solitude from the top.....
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 19 2013, 12:49 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks, everyone!

I just received my map of the park in the mail the other day, so I'm going to take a look at routes.  Pretty excited to check this park out!

Anyone take the sky tram to begin?  I thought that could be a fun start...though I feel as though it's cheating a little bit...
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 19 2013, 1:08 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I took the tram a couple of years ago.  My hiking buddy and his wife were with me and we wanted to skip the climb.  Did we have fun?  yes,and we were laughing as the tram hauled us up the mt.  We took a bus to the tram base from near our breakfast place.

Spent our nights at Marion Lake, Basin Lakes, North Fork, and Holly Lake.  We will be back in 2015 to repeat this trip, but maybe without his wife.  We are now in our 60's, and this trip was difficult on her while she was in her 50's.  


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 19 2013, 1:13 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(RyanJL @ Nov. 19 2013, 11:49 am)
QUOTE
Thanks, everyone!

I just received my map of the park in the mail the other day, so I'm going to take a look at routes.  Pretty excited to check this park out!

Anyone take the sky tram to begin?  I thought that could be a fun start...though I feel as though it's cheating a little bit...

Nah, it's not cheating at all IMHO.

If the road went to where the top of the tram is, and if your vehicle could make it to the end of the road safely, you'd drive there to start your hike, right.

(Unless you particularly wanted to see parts of the trail below that trailhead, in which case you'd choose accordingly).

To me, it's no different. Some people like to get to the high country as quickly as possible. Others enjoy the lower-elevation forests and the gradual approach. Neither is right or wrong--HYOH.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 19 2013, 8:10 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Ryan,

If you did the High Sierra Trail then you are bad to the bone.  That is one tough puppy.  Congrats on a great accomplishment.

We did a modified TCT a few years ago and my suggestion would be to use Teton Taxi to help you with a shuttle to your starting point - leaving your car at your ending point.  Since the tram was out the year we went we hiked up Granite Canyon.  Were I to do it again I would start at the Death Canyon TH and try to hike up to Death Canyon Shelf the first night.  Then the upper most portion of South Fork Cascade Canyon just below Hurricane Pass.  Then make a choice to go over Paintbrush Divide or camp before Emerald Lake then hike out the next day over Paintbrush Divide.

There is some nice day hiking in the South Fork of Cascade Canyon and would warrant a layover day to explore.  One of the best camping spots in all of the Rockies in my opinion.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 20 2013, 12:54 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Awesome! Those are all good points.  Looks like I am sold on the tram.  I hope it's running when we are there.

Good to hear about the shuttle/taxi service too.  I'm hoping to get the shuttle straight from the airport in Jackson (read that somewhere online that they will pick you up there). Once we get off the trail, I'll take the shuttle back to the airport to get a rental car to drive down to Salt Lake City/Park City for some relaxation and a rafting trip.

Larrys - thank you for the huge ego boost!  The HST was truly an amazing experience and accomplishment. The amount of planning for that was pretty extensive, too, so if anyone's interested and needs some information, I'm happy to chat!
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 20 2013, 5:07 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Tram's not cheating, just a different hiking start.  Miss some good country starting there though rather than at Teton Pass TH.  But with time a factor, go for it, you will still get a awesome trip.  

If you can swing it go to Mica Lake or to Snowdrift Lake.  Camp near the Alaska Basin Lakes, not Sunset Lake.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 21 2013, 7:37 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Haven't checked in here in a while........Yeah I've been spending time each year in the Tetons for what seems like forever. I usually do some form of the Crest Trail with AWESOME side trips. The Crest is a great hike in and of itself. But the side trips off the Crest are what I look most forward to.

I'll add my .02 tonight.


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 21 2013, 9:34 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My recommendation would be to start at Coal Creek TH and do the complete TCT. I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of wildlife you can find at the South end of the park. Stay at Moose Lake the first night. Last summer we experienced 3 wolves howling during the night and saw them the next day. We also spotted moose and elk. The landscape doesn't do much for me personally though.
                             OR
If you choose to take the tram, Marion Lake will be WAY to early to stop for the night. Continue on to the Death Canyon Shelf for your first night.
                                 OR
Granite Canyon is a great way to start if it's wildlife your trying to see. Moose, black bear and elk are common here depending on weather and time of year. Long gradual up hill day to get to Marion Lake.
                                   OR
My personal favorite is to start at Death Canyon TH and hike to the shelf the first night. The best views and wildlife along the way.
                                       OR
Start at Teton Canyon in Idaho and hike to the Alaska Basin the first night. Not recommended. Closed forest hiking with little wildlife. However, the Devil's Stairs are both challenging and rewarding.

So, once you decide where your going to start this is what I would recommend from day 2 on.

Hike across the Death Canyon Shelf in to the Alaska Basin. Stay at Mirror Lake. If you ended up staying on the Shelf the first night, you will have time to hike up to Static Peak after you make camp. If you didn't, start day 3 with a hike to Static Peak. It's very rewarding and will give you some great views as well as a chance to see big horn sheep which have taken up residence near there the past couple of years. 2 bench marks there too.

Once your back to the Basin, break down camp and head over to Sunset Lake. If you have the energy continue over Hurricane Pass down into the South Fork. Camp there for the night.

At the start of the next day (if you camped in the South Fork) hike up to Avalanch Divide and down to Kit and Snowdrift Lakes for lunch. Head back to camp break everything down and head for the North Fork. If you stopped at Sunset Lake hike over Hurricane Pass down in to South Fork then back up to Avalanch Divide and camp at Snowdrift Lake. The next day continue on to the North Fork.

Camp as far in the North Fork as you can just before Lake Solitude (there is a tree line here). If you pass 2 "sites" on the left their is only 1 site available on your right before you leave the zone and get to the Lake. Great place to see mule deer and black bears at dinner time.
The next day break down camp and head to Lake Solitude for breakfast. Once your done take yet another side trip up to Mica Lake. It's an easy scramble up the loose talus to the lake. Head back to Lake Solitude and begin the long haul up to Paintbrush Divide. It's all down hill from here. Spend the night at Holly Lake and while taking in the sounds of the talus falling in the canyon and black bears roaming the area you can talk about bacon and pizza and showers and whatever else your craving at that point.

Last day head out Paintbrush Canyon to String Lake and watch for bull moose. I've always seen large bull moose in this canyon.

Once you choose an itinerary or have questions about specific side trips, mileage, etc.. I'd be happy to help. In my opinion I would wait and hike the park North of Mt. Moran at a later time.

Let me try to make my point a little clearer. Try to fit in at least 1 side trip /"day hike" if not all 3 of the ones I talked about.  Static Peak would be my first choice, Avalanch Canyon my second and Mica my third. I've know some (not me) who were able to get in a side trip up to Lost Lakes the first day and even hiked Mt. Woodring on the last day.  You can even grab a summit once your at Paintbrush Divide. There is an un named mountain just off the trail that takes about 20 minutes to get to it's summit. It is without a benchmark though. Or a trip to Grizzly Bear Lake from here too. I could go on and on but I'll leave it at that. Have fun planning.


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 21 2013, 10:30 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

A couple of things I forgot to mention.
Their are no fires in the park. Not even in the Basin.
You are required to carry your food in a bear vault. No more hanging. The park has them for you to borrow free of charge.
If you apply for your permit in April and are denied, no problem. I've never left the state of MI with one. Walk up permits are a breeze with a little flexibility. Oh, use the Jenny Lake ranger station for permits NOT the Moose visitor center. The rangers are far more helpful at Jenny, whereas it's as if your bothering them at Moose.

If I think of anything else, I'll pass it along.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 01 2014, 8:05 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hey everyone,

Thanks so much for all the advice!  Now that it's getting closer, I've finally looked at a map and everyone's suggestions to put together a plan.  Thoughts?  Open to tweaks!

Questions - do you have to stay in a "camp zone" while in the park or are off-trail lakes allowed?  Does the park have a shuttle service?  I thought I read that online but now can't find any information. What's hitch-hiking like in the area - will we have any issues getting around the park or out if there are not shuttles?

Day 1:
• Take air tram to begin journey!
• Go to Marion Lake, then up to Death Canyon to camp for the night
Day 2:
• Hike to Alaskan Basin and go east to Static Peak
• Backtrack and continue north to Sunset Lake and camp there
Day 3:
• Hike toward Buck Mountain and then south to Snowdrift Lake
• Camp at Snowdrift Lake (is this allowed?) If not, continue to South Fork
Day 4:
• Hike to Solitude Lake and camp
Day 5:
• Side trail up to Mica Lake, then back down and break down camp
• Hike to Holly Lake for final night
Day 6:
• Hike down and around Jenny Lake to the shuttle boat to end
• Is hitch-hiking from here feasible to Jackson Hole airport to rent a car?

Thanks in advance for all the help!  I am thinking that we would be going end of July with a trip down to Park City afterwards to "wine and dine" the wife :)
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 02 2014, 11:56 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

You have a few flaws in the route you have planned. I'll address them when I get back in front of my computer tomorrow.

Your plans the 2nd and 3rd night (and how your getting there) needs to be tweaked.

Last night at Holly would be great. I would just hike out to string lake. Stay as far away from Jenny Lake as you can. Busy, busy, busy. But DO get your permit there.

FYI: camping at Kit or snowdrift lakes is allowed and awesome! No camping at lake solitude but there is 1 site up at Mica Lake. Do it!

I'll check in with more details tomorrow. Out of town and need to put the phone down for the day.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 02 2014, 6:43 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I agree your second and third night need to be tweaked.  

Perhaps, for your second night, set up base camp in the basin.  Sunset Lake, or Basin Lakes, or where ever you feel.  Then, take a day hike up to Static peak, or buck Mountain.  Maybe even shoot for Snowdrift for the 2nd night, and base camp there for 2 days.

Yes you can camp at Snowdrift Lake, (north of Buck Mountain by the way, but you might have just wrote that wrong).

You can't camp at Lake Solitude.  Seems like most of the zone sites are down a ways from the lake.  But you can camp at Mica Lake (different from the north fork camp zone) as KCWINS suggests.

Jenny Lake is pretty busy in the summer, you should be able to get a ride.

Wine and Dine your wife in Jackson rather than Park City.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 04 2014, 12:29 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thank you guys for the advice!  This is great!

Good to know about Lake Solitude and a few other notes.  I'll take a look at my map again and revise.  Thanks for the advice about Lake Jenny and not having a problem catching a ride.

Couple of other questions - is there a park shuttle system that goes around the the trailheads? And, from what I can tell online, it looks like you can get your permit the same day as you hit the trail...is that accurate?  I know at Sequoia last summer, they made me pick up the day before.

Also - looks like our flight options will get us to Jackson around 2 in the afternoon - is it realistic to get into the park the same day, grab our permit, and then hit the trail? Or, should I just plan to stay at a hotel the first night and enter early in the morning the next day?

We have some friends down in Park City, so that's why we're heading there afterwards for a couple of nights.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 04 2014, 2:29 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

OK a couple things about your route. Day 1, if you don't get to the tram first thing in the morning there is no way your going to make it to the shelf and be happy about it. Get your permit and stay at the Motel 6 the first night. Get a shuttle from Teton Taxi and expect to pay $80 which is what it cost me to get from String Lake to Teton Pass last year. Maybe a little less to get to the tram.

Catch the first tram which is at 9:00am. Stop for lunch at Marion Lake and head up into the JSW and across to Fox Creek Pass then as far across the shelf as you can get. Water SHOULDN'T be an issue on the shelf this year as they are getting record snow.

Day 2: Finish the trip along the shelf and drop down into the Basin. Once you finish the Sheep Steps and cross the first drainage the trail becomes pretty faint. If you want to get up to Static you'll have plenty of time. I would stay to your right side and head straight toward Buck Mountain. You will run into the trail soon enough. This will cut off a 1/3 of a mile or so. Follow the trail up to Buck Mountain Pass. Just before you get there you will see a higher trail coming in from your left that you will take when you get back from Static Peak to Sunset Lake without having to drop all the way back down. But for now, continue toward the pass and Static Peak. Once you arrive at Buck Mountain Pass follow the trail around to just before you get to Static Peak divide. There is a faint trail on your left. Scramble up to the top and get photo's of the 2 bench marks there. From here retrace your steps back to Buck Mountain Pass and as you head down toward the basin, at the fork that I talked about earlier, stay right. This trail will take you to Sunset Lake. Long day, but very doable.

Day 3: Follow the trail up to Hurricane Pass then head down past Schoolroom Glacier. Once you reach the camp zone there is a trail that will lead you most of the way up to Avalanche Divide then down to Kit and Snowdrift Lakes. Stay there for the night.

Day 4: Head back down to South Fork Cascade Canyon and follow the trail down to the fork. Hang a left into the North Fork Cascade Canyon. The easiest way to get to Mica Lake is to go all the way to Lake Solitude and follow the talus up toward Mica. There is only 1 site there so if your traveling with more than 2 people you'll want to camp as high in the zone of the North Fork as you can (1 site on your left, and another on your right just before the tree line at Solitude.) and do it as a side trip.

Day 5: Up and over Paintbrush Divide and down to Holly Lake. This will be a short day for you. If you can't get a permit for Holly I like the upper zone of Paintbrush better than the lower, but you'll have too much time and there will be a better chance of waking up with moose in your camp if you continue to the lower part of the camp zone.

Last day head out to String Lake and hitch a ride to where ever you intend to go.

Side note: if you get rained out on day 2, stay at Mirror Lake in the Basin and do the trip up to Static Peak the beginning of the next day. Then plan to hike past Sunset Lake over Hurricane Pass and camp in the Upper end of South Fork Cascade Canyon. Do Snowdrift Lake as a side trip at the end of day 3.

Side note #2: From Sunset follow the trail up to Hurricane Pass. At this point you can follow "The Wall" and somewhere along there is supposedly a saddle that drops you into Avalanch Canyon (Snowdrfirt Lake), but I've not done it so I won't suggest it. Perhaps some else here can help with info on that? If that is indeed the case, it would save you several hundred feet of elevation loss and gain.

Last, as far as shuttles go I have been able to arrange shuttles with other forum members here. But when I can't I use Teon Taxi.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 04 2014, 8:49 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

!@#$ Sunset Lake.

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 04 2014, 11:08 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(double cabin @ Mar. 04 2014, 6:49 pm)
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!@#$ Sunset Lake.

+1   camp near the Basin Lakes
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 05 2014, 7:33 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

While Sunset isn't my favorite place in the Basin, it helps to achieve bigger things ahead.

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 05 2014, 2:55 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hi,
I am also planning on doing the Teton Crest in August, but I will probably only have 4 days to do it. What would be some potentially good routes for only 4 days?

For now disregard travel issues, I want to plan the hiking route and then I will plan the travel around that.

(I am doing this with a friend, I am 19 and he is 20, we both have backpacking experience, but never something at  anywhere near this type of altitude...)
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