Sunday, August 23, 2015

Grand Tetons Death Canyon Loop - Day 2

On Day 1, my group camped about 7 miles into the trail. On Day 2, we were hiking from the group campsite in Death Canyon to the group campsite on Death Shelf. I don't even think it was 5 miles. I woke up with a migraine and continued hiking alone, behind the rest of my group, with a can of bear spray. It was not my best day of hiking ever.

From Death Canyon, you hike toward Fox Creek Pass, which is 9.4 miles into the trail. The trail goes up from about 8500 feet where we camped to 9600 feet at Fox Creek Pass.

Morning

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Haze

As you can see, the canyon was covered in meadows of flowers and blanketed with smoke from wildfires out west that obscured the view.

Columbian Monkshood
Monkshood

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Larkspur
Larkspur

Larkspur
Larkspur

Meadow

Sulphur Paintbrush
Sulphur paintbrush

Gentian
Gentian

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Bzzz

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Wildflowers

Lewis monkeyflower
Lewis monkeyflower

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Colorado Columbine
Colorado Columbine

Colorado Columbine
Colorado Columbine

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Thistle
Thistle

From Fox Creek Pass, it's 3.3 miles (12.7 miles into the trail) to Meek Pass and 5.7 miles (15.1 miles into the trail) to Alaska Basin, where we planned to camp the next day. The Death Canyon Shelf goes between Fox Creek Pass and Meek Pass. It goes slightly down in elevation after Fox Creek Pass and rolls gently along as you hike through the shelf. You'll see a lot of marmots up there, and maybe some deer. I did not get a picture but an entire deer family came into our campsite around dusk. The two fawns were playing, which was incredibly cute.

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Just after Fox Creek Pass

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The Shelf

Yellow Bellied Marmot
Marmot

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Yellow Bellied Marmot
Marmot

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And that's it. It was a short, painful day for me (because of the migraine). I think it would be a better idea to hike on to Alaska Basin, which would have given us about an 8 mile hike. But with my migraine, I was plenty glad to pitch my tent after hiking fewer than five miles and then go to bed early to sleep it off.

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