Neat Hikes in Death Valley National Park, California

Alan Silverstein, ajs@frii.com
Last update: October 4, 2014

Table of contents

  NW from Dantes View

(See that ridge in the foreground? Once upon a time, I climbed it!)


Introduction

This webpage contains information assembled over many years for my own use, starting in 1974. It's grown into quite a big file. I am happy to share it.

This information is non-commercial, non-profit, and comes with no warranty of any kind.

Some will say it's a bad idea to advertise neat places, but Death Valley is huge, the list of places below is very long (and there are still more), and ironically most of the terrain is quite immune to the passage of conscientious visitors, especially since wild burros trampled all over it for a hundred years.

This information is from a large variety of sources. I usually didn't keep track of them. Some of this information is quite old... Some of it is just for my personal use... Caveat emptor. But I always appreciate updates, corrections, etc.

Dates and coordinates: Some dates mentioned here are in the form YYMMDD or YYMM. GPS coordinates here are in WGS84 datum unless otherwise noted.

Future possibilities: It would be nice if this webpage contained hyperlinks to Topozone or Google maps centered on most of the places listed. Maybe someday... It only took me 10 years to get around to HTMLizing the old plain-text version (grin).

It would also be nice to scan my hundreds of old film photos from DVNP and make them available here! Sorry this isn't a jazzier page. Perhaps you'll find it useful anyway.


General Information


Arrangement, Notations, Abbreviations

Arrangement: The places listed below appear in three groups: main valley, west, and east; more or less north-to-south in each group. If you think the grouping/ordering is somewhat arbitrary -- I agree, and I suggest you do case-insensitive searches to look up named places of interest.

To make sense of this file you'll probably need a map. The park brochure is a start, but the AAA map mentioned earlier is much more complete for place names and road distances.

Notations preceding some place descriptions:

Abbreviations used:

Disclaimer: I'm a pretty strong hiker, and I'm comfortable on fairly rugged though non-technical slopes. Take this into account as you read my descriptions of hikes. In particular, "dry falls" often require some scrambling and comfort with moderate exposure.


Main Valley (including side canyons)


West of Main Valley


East of Main Valley


Other Places Of Interest


Appendix: History of My DV Trips

The following table summarizes the author's personal history of Death Valley trips over the years, as reconstructed in 2008 from various sources.

Num Dates Nts With Highlights
1 1974.0421-22 1 Caltech geology class bus trip Alkali flats; Badwater; Devils Cornfield; Stovepipe Wells CG; Mosaic Canyon; Emigrant; Panamint Valley
2 1977.0614-16 2 parents, post-graduation Stovepipe Wells motel 1-2 nights; sunrise hike from SPW
3 1981.0519-20 1 Spring Carlton Badwater; Devil's Golf Course; Furnace Creek; Zabriskie Point; Dantes View; Mustard Canyon; Stovepipe Wells; Mosaic Canyon; Emigrant; Towne Pass; Panamint Valley
4 1983.1214-16 2 Spring Carlton, Megan Silverstein Panamint Valley; Wildrose; Aguereberry Point and hill to west; Stovepipe Wells (motel 2 nights); Wildrose Peak; Emigrant; Furnace Creek; Badwater; Artist Drive; Grapevine; Ubehebe Crater and Little Hebe
5 1985.1028-30 2 Megan and Sandra Silverstein Badwater; Artist Drive; Mahogany Flat, Telescope Peak, 11049' (solo); Badwater, Mustard Canyon
6 1987.0817 0 (solo) Passed through one long day: Stovepipe Well; Furnace Creek (110 degrees); Badwater; Desolation Canyon; Golden Canyon; Travertine Spring
7 1989.1231-1990.0102 2 Sherry Perkins Mesquite Springs; Ubehebe Crater bottom; Aguereberry Point; Mosaic Canyon; Stovepipe Wells; Furnace Creek CG; Zabriskie Point; Twenty Mule Team Canyon; Dantes View; rainy Artists Palette; Devils Golf Course; Natural Bridge; out to nearer -282' point; Badwater
8 1993.0121-26 5 (solo) (Wrote short trip report:) West Side Road, Amargosa flowing; Badwater (flooded); Mars Hill; backpack Funeral Peak, 6384', overnight; Golden Canyon, Zabriskie Point, Gower Gulch; Furnace Creek; Little Bridge Canyon; Aguereberry Point backpack overnight; Upper and Emigrant Springs; Grotto Canyon; Stovepipe Well; salt marshes north of FC; Zabriskie Point to Manly Beacon north ridge; Texas Springs; Desolation Canyon to Artist Drive overlook; Devils Golf Course hike; wade out from south of Badwater; "Sidewinder" slot canyons
9 1993.1206-12 6 Ivy Springer Badwater; Texas Spring CG; Golden Canyon, Red Cathedral, Manly Beacon north ridge, Zabriskie Point, Gower Gulch; Mars Hill; highest sand dune; Harmony Borax Works tour; Mustard Canyon; Twenty Mule Team Canyon; Dantes View and benchmark; Devils Golf Course; Artist Drive; Natural Bridge; West Side Road ~10 miles down first time; Salt Creek, Mclean Spring, Burned Wagons Point; Aguereberry Point; Mahogany Flat, pinion nuts; Panamint Valley; Devils Cornfield; Mosaic Canyon, first time beyond 2 mile dryfall; Texas Spring; Devils Hole
10 1996.0309-16 7 Megan Silverstein (spring break) (Wrote trip report:) Rhyolite (first time), Titus Canyon drive; Texas Springs; Mushroom Rock, Mars Hill; Badwater; Natural Bridge; Devils Golf Course (twice); Artist Drive (twice) and Palette; West Side Road, Salt Creek crossing; Salt Creek Nature Trail; Grotto Canyon; Panamint Valley; Darwin Falls; Wildrose CG; Charcoal kilns; Aguereberry Point; Mosaic Canyon; Zabriskie Point, second time up Manly Beacon north ridge; Twenty Mule Team Canyon; Dantes View; Texas Springs hike; Comet Hyakutake; Amargosa River; Ashford Mill
11 1997.0215-0220 5 (solo) (Wrote trip report:) Hiking frenzy, 13,300' gain, ~40.5 miles, over 31 hours: Trail Canyon; Comet Hale-Bopp; Badwater, -272', to Dantes View, 5704'; first time to Racetrack Playa, Grandstand; Ubehebe Peak, 5678'; Ubehebe Mine, Corridor Canyon; Death Valley Buttes, 3017'; Fall Canyon; Devils Golf Course, locate "asterism" ~10 min SSW; first hike to -282' low point; Cinder Hill / Split Cone
12 2002.0407-13 6 Jenny Pruett, Greg Carr (Wrote trip report:) Had Suzuki XL7 4WD: Artist Drive, Mars Hill; second hike to -282' low point; Salt Creek sunset; Stovepipe Wells; Mosaic Canyon backpack; Aguereberry Point sunset; 4WD second time to Racetrack Playa; hiked Grandstand south; Lippincott road; Saline Valley warm springs; 4WD and hike Tucki Mountain, 6726'; Zabriskie Point sunrise
13 2004.1026 0 Cathie Grow One long day from Las Vegas; very windy: Ashford Mill; Badwater walk; Natural Bridge; Devils Golf Course; Mars Hill, Mushroom Rock; Borax Museum; Furnace Creek visitor center; Harmony Borax Works; Mustard Canyon; Mosaic Canyon sunset; Stovepipe Wells; Rhyolite (dark and rainy)
14 2005.0312-14 2 Cathie Grow Rhyolite; wildflowers; Furnace Creek visitor center; packed Sunset CG; hike Artists Palette (road closed); float on "Lake Manly" (inflatable raft); Texas Springs; Salt Creek nature trail and up hill east; Stovepipe Wells; Panamint Valley; Grotto Canyon; Beatty cutoff beach bar; West Side Road to Salt Creek crossing
15 2008.0129-0203 5 (solo) Saratoga Spring; Shore Line Butte at sunset; Corkscrew Peak; Tetracoccus Ridge; 8th DVNH conference (2 days); camp up Trail Canyon; Tule Spring; Golden Canyon / Red Cathedral Ridge loop; Dantes View; Greenwater Valley drive
16 2010.0317-0321 4 (solo) Camp south end of Greenwater Valley; hike Shore Line Butte again; drive West Side Road including 11.2 mi up Warm Springs Canyon; Texas Springs; hike low point on salt flats and (barely) float kayak in 6" deep brine nearer to Badwater; hike Mclean Spring and Burned Wagons Point from the north for sunset; Stovepipe Wells; drive Titus Canyon second time, hike Thimble Peak 6381'; camp north end of Greenwater Valley; Dantes View sunrise and hike both ways.
17 2012.0225-0303 7 (solo) Camp north end of Greenwater Valley; hike Mount Perry from Dantes View; camp at Texas Springs and wake up with bronchitis, which mostly ruined the rest of the week; hike Furnace Creek Inn gazebo (decaying) and inside, loop; short ranger walk in "Kit Fox Hills"; short ranger walk out from Badwater; explore ~880' diameter "sinkhole" 0.91 mi from Badwater Road a few miles south of the main area; explore borax pit mine near Ryan (center of pit = 36.340785 -116.706973, ~1/2 mi SW of DV road at ~2240'); hike to Coffin Peak from Dantes View toilet parking; hike from ~320' on road to ~1000' at dry fall 1.34 mi from car in first major canyon (next big alluvial fan) west of Mosaic; explore Devils Golf Course 0.21 mi out looking for but not finding alleged brine pools; stroll up Coffin Canyon to huge dryfall just inside mouth; camp south end of GWV.

Total nights = 57.


Appendix: Ideas for Future Trips

This is a personal list of reminders.