What a Birthday! Good & Bad………

So, as my birthday was approaching, Sal asked me what I wanted to do to celebrate, and I responded pretty much the same way that I always do; I said, “Let’s go backpacking!”  I don’t always get my wish, but this year, Sal said yes!  Although I had hoped for a two night trip, Sal agreed to an over-nighter and I took what I could get and we headed off to Death Canyon.  Don’t let the name fool you!  It’s an incredible place!!!  First, the hike takes you past Phelps Lake, formed by retreating Death Canyon Glacier 9,000 years ago.  It’s a mile and a half long and about 525 acres in size.     IMG_3441




A little while later you can see the mouth of Death Canyon in front of you on the trail.  IMG_3448



It’s that time of year where the flutterbutts are all out and about too, which I always love!  It’s fun to watch the different colors flying around and landing on the wildflowers!  IMG_3438








The fault that formed the Teton Mountains, followed by glacial erosion of softer rock on top, is what eventually formed the narrow canyon portals of Death Canyon. It is so beautiful to see!!!  You are just surrounded by rock in every direction!!!!  IMG_3465The trail follows along lively Death Canyon Creek, which is fed by snow melt above.  The sound is creates is so loud that you have to almost yell to be able to be heard by anyone.  So incredible!!!  IMG_3492





After a while, the canyon opens up and continues to parallel the creek through some meadows and forest areas.  We found an outstanding place to stop and take a break to eat some lunch.  Can’t you just picture yourself sitting here on one of these rocks?  IMG_3496



Shortly after lunch, we came to the NPS Death Canyon Patrol Cabin.  The structure was built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corp to provide shelter for the young men building the park trails at that time.  IMG_2905



Today it is still by crews maintaining and patrolling the trails. They use it when they stay overnight in the area, or to just take a break when they are out and about.  It’s all pretty cool!  IMG_2908





After about a half mile past the Patrol Cabin, you begin to see the first glimpses of the upper end of the canyon.  IMG_3513On both sides of the canyon as you’re hiking along, there are side streams cascading down as waterfalls.  This particular one is the outflow stream from 9,916-foot Rimrock Lake above.  It is a favored destination for many with mountaineering skills. 




Below this, we spotted a couple of cow Moose and a calf wandering around.  Although they were quite far away, it was still very fun to sit and watch for a while anyway!  IMG_3530a



Of course, when you take more time to just look around, you certainly can’t blame them for wanting to hang around in this area.  To say that it is gorgeous still just seems like such an understatement!!  IMG_3532









Unfortunately, shortly after I took these photos, I fell while hiking, directly on to my kneecap.  It hurt like H#$L!  And then we couldn’t get it to quit bleeding, but I refused to let it ruin my birthday backpacking trip!!  So, on we pressed after cleaning the wound and applying the best first aid that we could at the time.  We did take it much slower and also took the time to stop for breaks more often.  At least the scenery continued to cooperate and give us amazing sites to look at!!!  IMG_3541








Although I truly wanted to hike quite a bit further before stopping, Sal got me to see reason with my knee still bleeding, and we found an exceptional place to stop and set up camp for the night.  IMG_3558







After spending quite a while sitting next to this beautiful creek cleaning and soaking my wound, we thought we had gotten it to a point where it might be okay for a while, so with my coaxing (I’m sure those of you that know me will find this hard to believe Winking smile) I talked Sal into day-hiking a bit further to see what we could see.  IMG_3565It was definitely worth the effort!  We got stupendous views of the impressive limestone bench of the Death Canyon Shelf!  The upper layers of limestone and sandstone along the over three mile wall were incredible!!  IMG_3569



We just stood there turning around in all directions with out mouths open saying, “Wow!”  Trust me when I say, these photos do not do this canyon justice!  IMG_3573








No matter how much we thought we put into taking care of my knee, we hadn’t been able to stop the bleeding and it was now dripping down my leg, so we decided to turn back around and head back to camp, no matter how much we both wished we could continue to venture further up canyon.  The views back towards where we had come from were still just as amazing!!!  IMG_3591We still had a wonderful time even having to deal with my fumble.  We enjoyed a great dinner, and since it was my birthday after all, we shared a freeze-dried peach-vanilla pudding “pie.”  I’d like to say it was delicious, but at least it was a lot of fun!!  We hiked back at the next day and for the first time, I was happy that we hadn’t planned another night in the backcountry.  It took us a very long time to hike out, but it was still so much worth it all and so much fun!!  In the backcountry is truly where I find my own peace and serenity.  IMG_3632HAPPY BIRTHDAY to me and I hope you’ve enjoyed virtually coming along on our trip!  It was a BLAST!!  Happy Trails until next time……


  1. Nice post. Great pics. Happy b- Day!!!!!!

  2. Happy Birthday Bobby! I'm glad you had a great day even if it didn't go as planned. Any time in the backcountry is better than none! As always the pics are amazing!

  3. Very nice post with incredible photos as usual.

  4. Happy Birthday! Thank you so much for posting about the beautiful hikes you go on. Hubby and I will be full timers by the end of the year and our primary focus will be awesome hikes such as the one you described here. Thank you for sharing! Lisa

  5. Happy, Happy Birthday!!! Wow, what an amazing place. We're so glad you were able to enjoy your birthday there. Thank you for sharing. You two look so happy there. Kevin and Kim

  6. How great a present is that? Happy belated birthday.

  7. Hi, Nice post thanks for sharing. Would you please consider adding a link to my website on your page. Please email me back.



  8. I saw you were fulltime rv'ers on a fb page I was looking at! So are we! This pictures are amazing . Making me excited for warm weather again! (already!)

  9. The bears didn't eat you did they?! Smiles. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to yous!


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