After a warm night in a hotel, we both got in short runs, and then had great breakfast at the Trapper Grill. We then headed up into Paintbrush Canyon, the canyon we had had permits to camp in the night before. In the parking lot I saw a couple coming out with all the gear and talked to them about conditions they experienced, and it pretty much rained on them all afternoon, evening, and into the night. So we felt justified that we had baled on our backpacking plans!
Paintbrush is a beautiful canyon. It’s hard to pick a favorite, but it would come down to Death or Paintbrush. They were so different. Death definitely felt more remote, and the waterfall up was amazing. Paintbrush had amazing open views of valley lakes.
We hiked up about as far as we could go — large snow field blocked the way. At that point, looking further into the canyon was like looking at winter, but all you had to do was turn around and see spring. We hiked back down a bit to an amazing camp site and set up our chairs, and cooked a hot lunch, and spoke to a few other backpackers that would be staying here this night.
When we got back to town we drove to The Bird, a burger joint about 10 minutes south of Jackson, that one of the local backpackers we had met coming out of Open Canyon had recommended. It had a fun atmosphere and was quite good.
A bit of what some of the stream crossings are like: