Death Canyon and Phelps Lake Hike

On June 16th, we finally got out on our first real hike in the park (Grand Teton National Park) this year! Scott (Dean of JHBC and runs Rocky Mountain Ministries), Josh Stafford (college buddy who is on staff with me this year), and I set out to hike Death Canyon after breakfast that morning.

A deer being cautious near the woods.

An overly friendly marmot.

It was nice cool weather for hiking, although our view was limited by the clouds. We couldn't make it all the way up the canyon because of a snow slope that we decided wasn't worth the danger of going over. We went about halfway across it and turned back.

Josh on the snow slope with Death Canyon taunting ahead.

Josh making the trek back across.

Another marmot next to the trail.

On the way back, Josh and I went on a hike around Phelps Lake while Scott went back to the car and was going to pick us up at the road on the other side of the lake. We didn't see much wildlife (other than some more marmots), but the colors were vibrant everywhere. Here are photos of some rock clematis vines we came across:

When we reached the road at the other side, I got a call from Scott: a huge grizzly bear was headed our way!! We both immediately take out our pepper sprays and prepare ourselves for the scary possibility of running right into it. I told Scott that we had just reached the road, and it turns out that if we had been hiking just 2 minutes slower we would have met Mr. Grizzly and would have had to use our pepper spray. So Scott finally drove down to where we were and we drove off. Thankfully Josh was setting a nice fast pace! Praise the Lord. :)

Thanks for viewing!


  1. You are scaring your mom! Is it time to carry a handgun on your hikes? Great shots (with the camera)!

  2. Pepper spray would be more effective than a handgun. :) Sorry to scare you... but we did both have pepper sprays. So if we did run into it, I would have shot it to death with my camera and then pepper spray away if needed. It was a great hike regardless!

  3. Very glad that Josh is a fast hiker!! I'm glad you missed that excitement :)

    Great shots. Your trophies are as cool as Cort's deer mount!

    Terri T

  4. Terri,
    I'm extremely glad he's a fast hiker too! I do wish I could have seen the grizzly from a safe viewpoint though - would have been a great day to photograph him.
    Thanks for the kind words.



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