It is early evening in the Forks of Cascade Canyon, and clouds are crawling over the mountaintops and descending towards us at an alarming rate. Lightning slashes between the peaks, and within seconds, we are in the heart of the storm. Rain pummels our raincoats, and thunder roars in our chests.
We are a small group, and we know the drill—get to safer ground (an even stand of trees, in this case), spread out in a line (so that if someone gets hit, the others in the group can test out their resuscitation skills), crouch low to the ground with heels touching (in hopes that the electric current won’t travel through your whole body), and hope for the best.
Two hours and a few soul-searches later, we were soaked, rattled to the bone, and safe. The next morning, mist blanketed the valley as the sun burned through billowing clouds.
Cascade Canyon Trail can be accessed from the Jenny Lake Trailhead in Grand Teton National Park, and culminates at the Forks of Cascade Canyon, 5 miles from the trailhead. Hikers can continue south to Hurricane Pass and Alaska Basin, or north to Lake Solitude.