Death Canyon in the Grand Tetons
Park rangers are one of my favorite resources for hiking tips when I’m on the road. At the Climbing Festival in Lander I met a ranger from the Grand Tetons and asked him to name his favorite hike. Death Canyon, he said, “Don’t let the name scare you away.” So when I rolled back through Jackson after my two week long loop through the Wind Rivers, I parked the dogs in the trailer for the morning and headed up Death Canyon to the Alaskan Basin.
Exactly what you want to see at the start of a hike into Death Canyon.
The trail lost about 1,000 feet of elevation down to Phelps Lake and then began climbing back up into the canyon along Fox Creek.
Trail running along a narrow rocky ledge
Gneissic bands underfoot. Formed under high temp and pressure during metamorphosis.
If I were a moose I’d live here.
Sure enough, a moose! Most polite moose I’ve ever seen. She stayed on her side of the river and I stayed on mine.
Another moose! This place is lousy with them.
Old forest service cabin at the junction of the Fox Creek and Alaska Basin trails
Death Canyon, indeed. Part of a rock squirrel/ marmot-type creature.
The Snaz, where a couple of friends of mine were climbing. I tried to find them up on the wall, but couldn’t spot them. That’s a lotta rock up there.
This guy was upside down on the trail and I assumed dead, but I picked him up and he flapped his wings a bit and dusted himself off and flew away.
This was my second hike in the Tetons. To see pix from my trek up Casacade Canyon click here. Now, on to Idaho!
Mary Caperton Morton is a freelance science and travel writer with degrees in biology and geology and a master’s in science writing. A regular contributor to EARTH magazine, where her favorite beat is the Travels in Geology column, she has also written for the anthologies Best Women's Travel Writing 2010 and Best Travel Writing 2011. Mary is currently based in western Colorado. When she’s not at the computer she can usually be found outside -- hiking, skiing, climbing mountains and taking photographs. Visit her website at www.marycapertonmorton.com.
Spectacular photos. Thanks for sharing them. The landscape is stunning 🙂
Gorgeous photos, but they make me miss the mountains terribly!
You travel some breathtaking places, Mary! Thanks for sharing them with the rest of us.
Nice post. Heading off to the Winds this weekend for a two-week backpack trip. Thanks for the post on Death Canyon. Have friends in Teton Village. I’ll have to check out that canyon next trip. Thanks for the nice post.
Beautiful pictures and awesome place. Thanks for the journey through Death Canyon. 🙂
Creepy critter paw…but beautiful butterfly. I had to look up lousy as I’d never heard that word used that way. Good thing too, because the word means ‘infested with lice’…not simply ‘infested’.
Another great post, Mary.
Oh, the incredible places you get to!
Another location to add to my list: Must Hike Here!
Ha! Just put up a post with pics from Death Canyon. We hiked up to Static Peak on Monday!
Wait a minute? You left your dogs in your teardrop trailer? All morning? Please ask them for me “what did you think of that? Your mom/master went off on a morning hike and didn’t take you guys with her?” Hope the dogs forgive you. I know our dogs would take a long time getting over that snub.
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Great blogging Mary and thanks for sharing! I like your trailer set-up too. I’ll post some pictures of my van set-up for living on the road or in the city, wherever you may be soon. Like the furred-creature claw! Wonder what the story is on how it died.