Teton Crest Loop Day 3 – Dodging rocks

It is damn disconcerting to be woken up at 10pm, and then midnight, and then 3am to the sound of huge rockslides tumbling down the cliffs when you are sleeping in a flimsy tent in a rocky canyon.   I contemplated getting up and hiking out but the fear of meeting the Bears was enough to keep me in my tent.  I crossed my fingers that Eric’s tent next door would slow the rocks down if they came our way.

the rocky paintbrush canyon

When light finally came it was another sunny morning, and I got up when it was warm enough to leave the tent to unbury my food and cook breakfast (I miss non bear country where you can cook breakfast in bed).

jenny lake

And then I wandered down the canyon to the valley and the String and Jenny Lakes.  Both are lovely, but are on flat paths full of unfit day trippers many who asked how much further they had to walk to the viewpoint (not far!)

jenny lake trail

After a few miles of flatness I headed up the steep slope from the Lupine trail head to Surprise and Ampitheatre lakes at 3000m to get some stunning views of the Tetons from the east side.  The highlight of the day was overtaking several groups of twenty something day hikers with small packs, while I am lugging a full 12kg (damn bear canister).

surprise lake

The lakes were lovely so I had a late lunch and chatted with some locals.  This was my official destination for tonight but it was too early to stop so I decided to risk getting in trouble with the Rangers and hike onwards a to Bradley lake to chop off some mileage from tomorrow and to sleep at a lower altitude.

ampitheatre lake

I was stopped in my tracks by this sign…..


After I while I realised that the English translation was “path open provided you are willing and able to ford a river”.  Ok then.  But I will save the river to the morning as the camp site is just before the river.

Have chowed down on a big dinner, eating most of the food I have left as am hungry and feeling a bit crap.  Partly from the altitude and partly from too much sun (managed to leave hat and sunscreen behind as thought it would be cold, not so!)

bradley lake with the sun setting behind the mountains

6.40 pm and in my tent ready to snore, hoping no one shows up to kick me off the site given I don’t have a reservation

Last day tomorrow, which is probably just as well as my armpits are offending me, and what I thought was gas leaking from my cooking canister was actually my socks!  Thank goodness I hike solo!

From Holly Lake to Bradley Lake via Surprise and Ampitheatre Lakes

Total distance = 36km; Ascent = 1100m

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