Paintbrush Lives up to its Name

Ugly

Life really is better Here
.
Joined
Apr 20, 2013
Messages
966
I won't have as famous of commentary or adventure as @scatman or @The Trout Whisperer , nor off-trail genius of so many others... but during the past year I had some pretty nice trips. Seeing how it is rainy, snowy and windy outside and I had a few minutes today. I figured I would post something that is most recognizable and sunshine-ey-ey-ey.

Right when September came into October I found myself with my buddy up in the Tetons for his birthday trip.
I had planned a different trip, but we had this window of perfect weather before storms the next week.
We made the drive to Jackson with only minor detours and smiles on our faces as the whole countryside had Autumn throwing out paint all over it. Even more ordinary dirt piles, rocks and hillsides were colored all pretty and the weather was about bluebird as could be.

We spent some time driving in the preserve during the late afternoon and then down the main park road while the sun was setting. We saw some moose, elk, coyote and pronghorn, all while refamiliarizing with the area. I was up here once with my wife when we were not yet married, and then several times as a teen, but it had been a while.
We went into town, but since it was shoulder season and a Thursday, there was not much open at 8pm, so we went on over to the Silver Dollar. There was music, food and warmth and we delayed our short, crisp night in the back of the truck out at the Gros Ventre campsite for as long as possible.
The night sure was crisp, but pretty quiet for a crowded campsite- probably we were the noisy ones- arriving at 11 and leaving again at 545.
We left early because we wanted to sit out under the stars and listen to some bugling and see the dawn turn to day, before going over and seeing what permits were available. We got bugling and coyotes a plenty, but a second car showed up and kept the engine running, so it killed the mood. There was a big bull right by the bike path too.

After the sun came up, we were the only ones in line for permits and when I asked what was available near Cascade, the ranger said, "Just about everything. There are only two or three permits taken out for Paintbrush and Cascade for the next two nights."
I figured that was about as empty as it would ever get, and since Autumn had essentially thrown up all over the Tetons it was perfect.

We hit the String lake trailhead by 830am and were soon walking past the glassy reflections, accompanied only by an older couple who were also heading up Paintbrush on a day hike. We only had a few other people pass us the rest of the day, and meandering is more the word I would say for our pace up the canyon.
I had only vague knowledge of the area, but going on this popular route made a framework for the future.

We had two cold nights either side of the divide, down in the 20s (which feels colder in autumn than it does in February or March, for sure). We saw a lot more day hikers Saturday, and then a whole slew of em in lower Cascade canyon on Sunday. That can only be expected, as the place is about as beautiful as any.

We had a camp deer on Saturday night, she came right up to us when I was out taking pictures of the tent, but almost no other wildlife until we ran into a young bull moose down in Cascade. A few campsites were taken in Cascade the second night, but no one up near us. We also did dinner up at Solitude with the true definition of the word.
Next time I will have to do something more off the trail, but to take a nice, peaceful stroll in the crisp air and surrounded by all that was excellent. I cannot complain.

I do not really remember much of the food we had on this trip. I know I had some freeze-dried that I kept passing over on trips this past year, so one was Jambalaya. I do remember eating fig newtons while laying down in the sunshine of a meadow at lake Solitude and some gummi pineapples but that is it!
The scenery must be good when I can barely remember the food.

The soundtrack as ever was an odd mix. Some Simon and Garfunkel, Liz Cooper, Great Lake Swimmers, Radical Face (since it was October and that kind of vibe), and then for my normal 3am try-and-get-back-to-sleep it was Jantsannorov and his music about Mongolia.

Now pictures:
We took the route in through Swan Valley, just because I love the farmlands, stopping at some falls, getting ice cream, and then coming in over the pass.
RCM02496-Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-210930-24.jpg


Some GTNP stuff and animals:
RCM02509-Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-210930-31.jpg


RCM02575-Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-210930-21.jpg


The above is a zoomed in of the same bull:
RCM02577-Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-210930-22.jpg


RCM02588-Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-210930-3.jpg


RCM02613-Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-210930-37.jpg


Insert early morning bugling sounds here:
Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-02641-fixed-Frosty Needles 1-2021-211001-1.jpg


RCM02668-Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-211001-16.jpg


I could have stayed here until the glass blew away.
RCM02737-Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-211001-61.jpg


RCM02709-Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-211001-45.jpg


RCM02731-Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-211001-58.jpg


Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-02723-Pano-Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-211001-57.jpg


Now enjoy quite a bit of Autumn, shadows and trails as we climbed higher.
RCM02753-Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-211001-73.jpg


RCM02761-Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-211001-81.jpg


RCM02809-Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-211001-30.jpg


Paintbrush...
RCM02822-Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-211001-40.jpg


Autumn just kept giving and giving.
It is like my kid painted this with the bold, elementary colors.
RCM02867-Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-211001-13.jpg



RCM02875-Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-211001-19.jpg


RCM02879-Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-211001-23.jpg


Had enough yet?
RCM02885-Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-211001-27.jpg


OK, that is beyond making the point.
At the lower lake, we took a break and hung out with some Gray's for a little while. Lots of personality.
RCM02892-Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-211001-32.jpg


RCM02895-Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-211001-35.jpg


RCM02901-Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-211001-40.jpg


Some old trees
RCM02929-Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-211001-67.jpg


Afternoon and evening near camp.
RCM02964-Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-211001-88.jpg


RCM02982-Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-211001-1.jpg


Not a shabby sunset for having no clouds most of the day.
RCM02986-Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-211001-2.jpg


Some golden hour that morning along the stream.
RCM03058-Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-211002-55.jpg


Up over the divide.
RCM03067-Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-211002-6.jpg


RCM03075-Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-211002-18.jpg


RCM03081-Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-211002-24.jpg


RCM03096-Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-211002-7.jpg


I still see this view of Grand in my dreams. Barely a wimpy breeze on the divide too.
RCM03118-Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-211002-32.jpg


Autumn was past prime up high, but we found her again.
RCM03142-Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-211002-51.jpg


RCM03147-Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-211002-56.jpg


RCM03164-Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-211002-69.jpg


Water colors changing with the afternoon sun.
RCM03191-Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-211002-89.jpg


Downright ordinary at this point.
RCM03206-Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-211002-100.jpg


Cool
RCM03167-Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-211002-71.jpg


RCM03232-Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-211002-15.jpg


Might have bored you by now.
So calling it an early night.
Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-03426-.jpg


Morning was chilly and frosty.
RCM03435-Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-211003-9.jpg


Not bad. Really.
RCM03490-Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-211003-42.jpg


RCM03533-Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-211003-68.jpg


Might be my favorite.
RCM03538-Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-211003-74.jpg


or my favorite is this one.
RCM03551-Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-211003-10.jpg


More.
RCM03583-Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-211003-37.jpg


RCM03597-Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-211003-47.jpg


RCM03599-Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-211003-90.jpg


RCM03602-Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-211003-52.jpg


I am zoomed in here. Thought it may get interesting, but the other hikers wised up and stepped off the trail. He was moseying at probably 1/10 our speed. So eventually he took a step into the pines and we quickly skirted around him so we could get out before dark. He looked at me a couple times when we were on his tail, snorted and was like "Behind my back I can feel that stare... Kiss off". (shameless VF reference)
RCM03608-Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-211003-58.jpg


RCM03670-Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-211003-33.jpg


Somewhere around here a guy with his wife and kids in tow asked us where Cascade Canyon was... I looked at him a little screwy and said "This is Cascade Canyon, you've been in it for at least the last couple of miles." He was a little deflated "I was hoping we were going to be looking down at this big gorge."
"Ah, well, you are in the canyon. It is beautiful." As we moved on his wife was mumbling "All this way for what?"
I shook my head.
Sure, wrong expectation perhaps, but no disappointment in Cascade for me.
Cascade and Autumn kept on giving.
RCM03678-Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-211003-42.jpg


Almost there. More peeps in some places.
RCM03684-Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-211003-47.jpg


Back by Jenny.
RCM03690-Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-211003-52.jpg


RCM03693-Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-211003-54.jpg


Thimbleberry.
RCM03704-Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-211003-64.jpg


RCM03709-Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-211003-69.jpg


RCM03718-Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-211003-78.jpg


Almost too much color, and so harsh from the afternoon light.
RCM03719-Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-211003-79.jpg


We went back into Jackson for a bite to eat, and I bought a t-shirt, then we were back on the road south.
The gold everywhere was almost overwhelming until it merged with the sunset. My friend was a bit ornery and getting home later than he had planned, so we did not make any real stops, but we did stop briefly by the Snake. My wife fell off a raft near here when we were dating, and I ran this a dozen times growing up.
RCM03725-Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-211003-15.jpg


RCM03740-Grand Tetons 9-10 2021-211003-97.jpg


Maybe you think too many photos. Maybe lame, or sarcastic dialogue, but this hopefully helps you feel a lot warmer than the weather right now.
 
Joined
Jan 18, 2014
Messages
206
Nice rack! And ya saw many moons of th antelope persuasion too
I won't have as famous of commentary or adventure as @scatman or @The Trout Whisperer , nor off-trail genius of so many others... but during the past year I had some pretty nice trips. Seeing how it is rainy, snowy and windy outside and I had a few minutes today. I figured I would post something that is most recognizable and sunshine-ey-ey-ey.

Right when September came into October I found myself with my buddy up in the Tetons for his birthday trip.
I had planned a different trip, but we had this window of perfect weather before storms the next week.
We made the drive to Jackson with only minor detours and smiles on our faces as the whole countryside had Autumn throwing out paint all over it. Even more ordinary dirt piles, rocks and hillsides were colored all pretty and the weather was about bluebird as could be.

We spent some time driving in the preserve during the late afternoon and then down the main park road while the sun was setting. We saw some moose, elk, coyote and pronghorn, all while refamiliarizing with the area. I was up here once with my wife when we were not yet married, and then several times as a teen, but it had been a while.
We went into town, but since it was shoulder season and a Thursday, there was not much open at 8pm, so we went on over to the Silver Dollar. There was music, food and warmth and we delayed our short, crisp night in the back of the truck out at the Gros Ventre campsite for as long as possible.
The night sure was crisp, but pretty quiet for a crowded campsite- probably we were the noisy ones- arriving at 11 and leaving again at 545.
We left early because we wanted to sit out under the stars and listen to some bugling and see the dawn turn to day, before going over and seeing what permits were available. We got bugling and coyotes a plenty, but a second car showed up and kept the engine running, so it killed the mood. There was a big bull right by the bike path too.

After the sun came up, we were the only ones in line for permits and when I asked what was available near Cascade, the ranger said, "Just about everything. There are only two or three permits taken out for Paintbrush and Cascade for the next two nights."
I figured that was about as empty as it would ever get, and since Autumn had essentially thrown up all over the Tetons it was perfect.

We hit the String lake trailhead by 830am and were soon walking past the glassy reflections, accompanied only by an older couple who were also heading up Paintbrush on a day hike. We only had a few other people pass us the rest of the day, and meandering is more the word I would say for our pace up the canyon.
I had only vague knowledge of the area, but going on this popular route made a framework for the future.

We had two cold nights either side of the divide, down in the 20s (which feels colder in autumn than it does in February or March, for sure). We saw a lot more day hikers Saturday, and then a whole slew of em in lower Cascade canyon on Sunday. That can only be expected, as the place is about as beautiful as any.

We had a camp deer on Saturday night, she came right up to us when I was out taking pictures of the tent, but almost no other wildlife until we ran into a young bull moose down in Cascade. A few campsites were taken in Cascade the second night, but no one up near us. We also did dinner up at Solitude with the true definition of the word.
Next time I will have to do something more off the trail, but to take a nice, peaceful stroll in the crisp air and surrounded by all that was excellent. I cannot complain.

I do not really remember much of the food we had on this trip. I know I had some freeze-dried that I kept passing over on trips this past year, so one was Jambalaya. I do remember eating fig newtons while laying down in the sunshine of a meadow at lake Solitude and some gummi pineapples but that is it!
The scenery must be good when I can barely remember the food.

The soundtrack as ever was an odd mix. Some Simon and Garfunkel, Liz Cooper, Great Lake Swimmers, Radical Face (since it was October and that kind of vibe), and then for my normal 3am try-and-get-back-to-sleep it was Jantsannorov and his music about Mongolia.

Now pictures:
We took the route in through Swan Valley, just because I love the farmlands, stopping at some falls, getting ice cream, and then coming in over the pass.
View attachment 106016

Some GTNP stuff and animals:
View attachment 106017

View attachment 106018

The above is a zoomed in of the same bull:
View attachment 106019

View attachment 106020

View attachment 106021

Insert early morning bugling sounds here:
View attachment 106013

View attachment 106022

I could have stayed here until the glass blew away.View attachment 106025

View attachment 106023

View attachment 106024

View attachment 106014

Now enjoy quite a bit of Autumn, shadows and trails as we climbed higher.
View attachment 106026

View attachment 106027

View attachment 106028

Paintbrush...
View attachment 106029

Autumn just kept giving and giving.
It is like my kid painted this with the bold, elementary colors.
View attachment 106030


View attachment 106031

View attachment 106032

Had enough yet?
View attachment 106033

OK, that is beyond making the point.
At the lower lake, we took a break and hung out with some Gray's for a little while. Lots of personality.
View attachment 106034

View attachment 106035

View attachment 106036

Some old trees
View attachment 106037

Afternoon and evening near camp.
View attachment 106038

View attachment 106039

Not a shabby sunset for having no clouds most of the day.
View attachment 106040

Some golden hour that morning along the stream.
View attachment 106041

Up over the divide.
View attachment 106042

View attachment 106043

View attachment 106044

View attachment 106045

I still see this view of Grand in my dreams. Barely a wimpy breeze on the divide too.
View attachment 106046

Autumn was past prime up high, but we found her again.
View attachment 106047

View attachment 106048

View attachment 106049

Water colors changing with the afternoon sun.
View attachment 106051

Downright ordinary at this point.
View attachment 106052

Cool
View attachment 106050

View attachment 106053

Might have bored you by now.
So calling it an early night.
View attachment 106015

Morning was chilly and frosty.
View attachment 106054

Not bad. Really.
View attachment 106055

View attachment 106056

Might be my favorite.
View attachment 106057

or my favorite is this one.
View attachment 106058

More.
View attachment 106059

View attachment 106060

View attachment 106061

View attachment 106062

I am zoomed in here. Thought it may get interesting, but the other hikers wised up and stepped off the trail. He was moseying at probably 1/10 our speed. So eventually he took a step into the pines and we quickly skirted around him so we could get out before dark. He looked at me a couple times when we were on his tail, snorted and was like "Behind my back I can feel that stare... Kiss off". (shameless VF reference)
View attachment 106063

View attachment 106064

Somewhere around here a guy with his wife and kids in tow asked us where Cascade Canyon was... I looked at him a little screwy and said "This is Cascade Canyon, you've been in it for at least the last couple of miles." He was a little deflated "I was hoping we were going to be looking down at this big gorge."
"Ah, well, you are in the canyon. It is beautiful." As we moved on his wife was mumbling "All this way for what?"
I shook my head.
Sure, wrong expectation perhaps, but no disappointment in Cascade for me.
Cascade and Autumn kept on giving.
View attachment 106065

Almost there. More peeps in some places.
View attachment 106066

Back by Jenny.
View attachment 106067

View attachment 106068

Thimbleberry.
View attachment 106069

View attachment 106070

View attachment 106071

Almost too much color, and so harsh from the afternoon light.
View attachment 106072

We went back into Jackson for a bite to eat, and I bought a t-shirt, then we were back on the road south.
The gold everywhere was almost overwhelming until it merged with the sunset. My friend was a bit ornery and getting home later than he had planned, so we did not make any real stops, but we did stop briefly by the Snake. My wife fell off a raft near here when we were dating, and I ran this a dozen times growing up.
View attachment 106073

View attachment 106074

Maybe you think too many photos. Maybe lame, or sarcastic dialogue, but this hopefully helps you feel a lot warmer than the weather right now.
 

SteveR

Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2016
Messages
542
Goldilocks photos and dialogue. Just right! I too prefer the first of the two "favourites".
Somewhat agree with "guy and his wife" about Cascade Canyon. We felt a bit the same as they- nice enough, but not spectacular.
 

Rockskipper

No ETA
.
Joined
Jun 11, 2017
Messages
3,381
Really nice TR. Liked the elk photo a lot.

We were there last summer and my nephew from Hawaii (grew up in CO, so this surprised me) kept saying, "I got lots of photos of white-tailed deer, but where are all the elk?" We all rolled on the ground laughing at his expense when we saw his nice photos of elk - lots of elk.

I also like Swan Valley, as well as Star Valley. Your photos have me looking to reserve Gros Ventre for next summer. Nice reminder of how beautiful it is up there. And you can never have too much color, IMO.
 
Last edited:

TheMountainRabbit

"Because it's there."
.
Joined
Feb 15, 2020
Messages
137
Absolutely beautiful pictures. The Cascade/Paintbrush Loop was my first "big" high-altitude hike ever on my first trip to Yellowstone many years ago. Seems I may need to give it a go again in the fall one of these days. That view of Grand Teton down North Cascade as you go up Paintbrush Divide is permanently ingrained in my brain.
 

Titans

Member
.
Joined
Aug 18, 2018
Messages
1,318
Love it! Beautiful photos, stellar reflections and lots (!) of color, wow. Sure glad you had some extra time to share all this with us. Autumn is my favorite season, awesome you had such a nice trip with perfect weather before the winter.
 

scatman

Member
.
Joined
Dec 23, 2013
Messages
2,215
I'm just sitting here eating some chocolate covered coffee beans and enjoying a wonderful trip report that comes at just the right time of year to get me through the rest of winter - very much appreciated.

Too many pictures you wonder? I say not near enough! :D I know you've got more. You can't fool me. More, more, more............. How do like it, How do you like it. More, more, more............. :heart_eyes:

You tell a pretty good story pilgrim. :thumbsup: And your fall shots are tremendous. :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

I just love moose. I don't see too many of them anymore though which sucks.

Now I've just got to figure out a way to get you 50 miles to the north. :)
 

Ugly

Life really is better Here
.
Joined
Apr 20, 2013
Messages
966
Goldilocks photos and dialogue. Just right! I too prefer the first of the two "favourites".
Somewhat agree with "guy and his wife" about Cascade Canyon. We felt a bit the same as they- nice enough, but not spectacular.

It's not a bad place to be let down.
Your backyard though is much more than a day's trip for me, but I definitely crave getting back up north again.

Really nice TR. Liked the elk photo a lot.

We were there last summer and my nephew from Hawaii (grew up in CO, so this surprised me) kept saying, "I got lots of photos of white-tailed deer, but where are all the elk?" We all rolled on the ground laughing at his expense when we saw his nice photos of elk - lots of elk.

I also like Swan Valley, as well as Star Valley. Your photos have me looking to reserve Gros Ventre for next summer. Nice reminder of how beautiful it is up there. And you can never have too much color, IMO.

Hawaii might make one forget about anything outside of paradise... and all those valleys up there are very nice.

Absolutely beautiful pictures. The Cascade/Paintbrush Loop was my first "big" high-altitude hike ever on my first trip to Yellowstone many years ago. Seems I may need to give it a go again in the fall one of these days. That view of Grand Teton down North Cascade as you go up Paintbrush Divide is permanently ingrained in my brain.

Thanks and yeah, it is quite a sight. The weather in fall is always hit and miss, so it is hard to plan for, but then again once we had to abort and haul scouts and their canoes from the Snake onto the highway because it was 30d and snowing on July 25 and all they had were shorts and a sweatshirt.
 

Ugly

Life really is better Here
.
Joined
Apr 20, 2013
Messages
966
Wow. Thank you for sharing!

Love it! Beautiful photos, stellar reflections and lots (!) of color, wow. Sure glad you had some extra time to share all this with us. Autumn is my favorite season, awesome you had such a nice trip with perfect weather before the winter.


Thanks, and you know I debated sharing... but it has been a long time since I did a report... Maybe I will add another if the weather or other tasks keep me indoors.
The weather was almost too perfect. I would have liked to camp in a little snow or sleet or fog or something.
Naw, I take that back. Laying back in the grass at the far end of Lake Solitude and having the only thing obstructing the blue sky were the floaties in my eyes. That was A-Ok.
 

Ugly

Life really is better Here
.
Joined
Apr 20, 2013
Messages
966
I'm just sitting here eating some chocolate covered coffee beans and enjoying a wonderful trip report that comes at just the right time of year to get me through the rest of winter - very much appreciated.

Too many pictures you wonder? I say not near enough! :D I know you've got more. You can't fool me. More, more, more............. How do like it, How do you like it. More, more, more............. :heart_eyes:

You tell a pretty good story pilgrim. :thumbsup: And your fall shots are tremendous. :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

I just love moose. I don't see too many of them anymore though which sucks.

Now I've just got to figure out a way to get you 50 miles to the north. :)

Thanks, and moose are great. Unless it is middle of the night and you spook them up from where they were bedded down. Then they are ornerier than pulling a cat's tail.
I do need to get north to Yellowstone, so I would love to take you up on it one of these times. My schedule is sometimes hard to set in the distant future, but I will see where it is come summer and if there are any spots. If we get the right crew together we could run a 3 camera show for the next bog or matchstick crossing. There's tons of great talent on here that we could get all the angles.
 

zionsky

Member
Joined
Dec 23, 2018
Messages
541
Never enough photos.. and I love the variety (B&W, nights, etc.). I've seen the lower part of paintbrush but seeing the rest makes me want to get back there. Awesome Report!
 

Titans

Member
.
Joined
Aug 18, 2018
Messages
1,318
Thanks, and you know I debated sharing... but it has been a long time since I did a report... Maybe I will add another if the weather or other tasks keep me indoors.
The weather was almost too perfect. I would have liked to camp in a little snow or sleet or fog or something.
Naw, I take that back. Laying back in the grass at the far end of Lake Solitude and having the only thing obstructing the blue sky were the floaties in my eyes. That was A-Ok.

If you want to camp in fog, then we can recommend a couple of states for you this winter ;). Alternatively the desert looks almost toasty next week!
 

Ugly

Life really is better Here
.
Joined
Apr 20, 2013
Messages
966
If you want to camp in fog, then we can recommend a couple of states for you this winter ;). Alternatively the desert looks almost toasty next week!

I know it! almost as warm as Black Friday, so maybe I will break out the shorts!
 

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