Teton Crest Trail 9/3 - 9/7


Jan 20, 2012
This was my big trip this year. Our starting point would be Death Canyon ending at Jenny Lake. We were planning a leisurely pace of 6 ish miles a day.

Camp one. The bear canister is sitting by my tent. Its weird to think you can actually shove a weeks worth of food in these things - It was packed full. They do double duty as a great chairs.

I love backpacking this time of year. The weather tends to be more mild and bugs are mostly non-existent. It was a clear night so we laid out for awhile and checked out the stars. This moose and her calf ran through camp at 4am. We got some great video of them the following morning walking across a big meadow.

We ran into a couple the first day telling us there was no water to be had (hard to believe) on Death Shelf, which was where our second night would be. We purified water before the big push up the pass.

Fox Creek pass

As we entered the camping zone we came across several small streams. Grrrrrr!!

We ran into a guy doing the trail solo, and offered to have him stay in camp with us. All you solo guys out there are hardcore. Doesn't he look like Stiffler from American Pie..

The shelf overlooks all of Death Canyon. It was awesome to get a birds eye view of where we had camped and hiked from that morning. There was a fire somewhere that hazed up the peaks.

The Park has these sweet metal bear boxes in all the designated campsites.

After another clear and calm night, we decided to eat breakfast below camp on the Shelf. As we were prepping to do that. Jon (the guy on the box) came running into camp saying he'd seen a bear a few hundred yards a way. A few of us took off to take a look and shortly came across this print.

After awhile Jon and I headed back to camp figuring it was way gone. As we chatted, I looked up and Bam! A bear on the ridge 75 yards above us. I caught the tail end of it. Look directly in the center of the picture. It was my first time ever seeing a bear in the wild. It was exhilarating and disquieting all at the same time.

We got to camp and were still gushing about our bear encounter when I looked up and another bear is heading our way on the rocks above closer to us than the first one! I yelled at Graham (aka stiffler) whos tent it was heading in the direction of. He got out and we all squeezed off some pics before it turned and took off.

After all the bear action we packed up and headed towards our next camp which would be outside the park in Alaska basin. The scenery is truly incredible on the Crest trail. The Tetons are in front of you the entire time and grow closer with each step.

Just after arriving in the Basin we decided to day hike further up and explore a bit. As we got prepped to do so, a guy in our group saw a bear with a collar meaner through the meadow above our camp! We walked up there and I got this sad quality picture. lostlandscapes was in this area a couple weeks previous and got some amazing shots of the same bear.

We continued up the basin and checked out a few of the lakes. Very awesome stuff.

The sun sets on another cloudless day sets in Alaska Basin.


The next morning we pulled out of camp and headed towards our final camp in South Cascade canyon. 5 minutes down the trail I spotted a black bear in a clump of trees 20 yards down the trail and right off the trail. It was a momma bear and two cubs! After making a ton of noise and waving our arms, we decided to sweep wide and hike around them. This is Sunset lake which marks the beginning out our climb up Hurricane pass. We ran into a couple who camped here the previous night and saw several black bears as well.

Battleship mountain, just before topping the pass.

The weather rolling in on Hurricane Pass.

We ran into a group of guys earlier in the week that had been going on month long trips for the last 16 years. We've been going strong for 4 now and we thought that was good. Here we are:


Dropping off the pass towards South Cascade canyon is the Schoolroom Glacier.

Glacier from a distance.

Soooo.. Our permit was actually for North Cascade canyon, but we planned on staying here for the night anyway. That was until a couple rangers checked our permits when we stopped for lunch. I thought that only happened in the movies....Another 5 miles in the rain. Here I am stating the painfully obvious... We still have a ways to go:(

After arriving in camp, the weather started to clear up. Someone with a good camera could have done some serious damage here.



We hiked out the following morning to the Jenny Lake parking lot. We planned on taking the ferry ride across but it was closed due to the low water level, which added a couple more miles. Cascade canyon is full of water falls and simply amazing.

I think step for step this trip has been my most scenic to date. No fires and very limited fishing opportunities were the downside for me. That being said, the wildlife was unreal and overall it was an incredible trip that I would repeat. As a side note, I sprayed my bear spray on the last day because I've had it for 6 years and was questioning its reliability. It sprayed maybe 10 feet is all.. Theres no expiration on the can but I think it was slightly weak.

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Jan 17, 2012
sounds like a great experience, great shots and story! Before I read what you typed, I said that dude looked like Stifler. Awesome!


Jan 19, 2012
He is totally Stifler!!! He should be his stunt double!!! LOL!

Awesome report!!! I can't believe all the bears you saw! Cool and a bit scary (for me anyway)!

FYI - Bear spray does expire. Mine have expiration dates on them...
Jan 23, 2012
Sweet report Nickrgough ! I have always wanted to do a backpack in/around the Tetons and this looks like a nice place. Crazy about all the bears you saw. I'll bet seeing those so close to camp made for some restless nights.
Feb 11, 2012
excellent teton stoke! peaks, bears, and stifler.:cool: the smoke thats been plaguing interior west this season didnt seem like an issue on your excursion. nice timing.


I lava it!!!
Jan 19, 2012
awesome trip report!! I would love to do the Teton Crest in the future.
Maybe a solo trip, maybe with someone else. Who knows?
Was the bear vault inside your pack? It looks so super bulky and difficult to store.


Jan 20, 2012
awesome trip report!! I would love to do the Teton Crest in the future.
Maybe a solo trip, maybe with someone else. Who knows?
Was the bear vault inside your pack? It looks so super bulky and difficult to store.
It was inside my pack. Definitely bulky. I'm used to putting all my food in compression sack, so this was a first for me. It wasn't to bad though.
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