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Grand Teton National Park: Paintbrush Canyon

Towering peaks, alpine lakes, and rugged canyons highlight this challenging, 21.7-mile backcountry trek in Grand Teton National Park.

Trip Tools

Set aside a weekend for this ultra-scenic, 21.7-mile loop in Grand Teton National Park. From the String Lake Trailhead, head southwest briefly to connect Jenny Lake and String Lake, then turn right at the Y-junction. The trail wraps around the base of Rockchuck Peak and enters Paintbrush Canyon. Keep your camera handy as you hike past alpine lakes and scree fields, with stunning views of the jagged Tetons.

After 7.3 miles, the route crests the exposed and rocky Paintbrush Divide at 10,720 feet, then drops into Cascade Canyon. Finish off the first day with a tour of Lake Solitude before setting up camp in the North Fork Cascade camping area (you’ll fall asleep to the sounds of Cascade Creek). The next day, turn around and retrace your route back to the trailhead.

Note: To turn this out-and-back into a loop, go to Paintbrush Canyon to Cascade Canyon Loop.

INFO For information on permits, current trail and camp conditions, and wilderness guidelines, go to

PERMIT A wilderness permit is required for all overnight camping in the backcountry. Reservations accepted ($20 administrative fee for permits during peak season).

CONTACT Grand Teton National Park, (307) 739-3300;

-Mapped by Kari Bodnarchuk

To Trailhead

From Jackson, WY, head north on US 191/US 26/US 89. Turn left onto Teton Park Rd. (pass through Moose Entrance Station). In 10.8 miles, left onto Jenny Lake Rd. In 1.5 miles, turn right onto String Lake Rd. In 300 feet, right into String Lake parking area (follow signs for String Lake picnic area).

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