Hike Death Valley 2018

A family walks through a badlands canyon. "# hike death valley" logo. "earn the decal, share the experience." explore two of the areas listed to earn your decal. share your experience with #hikedeathvalley.
Hike Death Valley 2018

Photo: Suzi Hambruch.  Decal: Tom Nguyen.

Explore two of the areas listed below and stop by the visitor center to earn your limited edition decal!

Tag us in your pictures! Use the #HikeDeathValley for a chance to be featured on our Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook!

See the hike descriptions below.

 
A silhouetted person viewing an illustrated depiction of the badlands with a bighorn sheep in the distance.
2018 winning decal for the #HikeDeathValleyArt Contest

Illustration: Tom M. Nguyen

 
A woman and two young boys walk through a steep-walled, golden-colored canyon.
A family walks through Golden Canyon.

Photo: Suzi Hambruch

2017 Art Contest Winners!

We are please to announce the winners of the 2017 Hike Death Valley Art contest! We asked the winners, "what is your favorite things about Death Valley?"

  • Tom N. Nguyen's decal design (pictured above) will be the new 2018 sticker. "Every moment I’m in Death Valley, I like that I have something to look forward to. Waiting at dawn in the darkness before a brilliant Zabriskie Point sunrise. Seeing dramatic sand dune shadows grow as the sun arcs toward reddening mountains. Looking up at the sky knowing that once night falls, I’ll be moved by an entire universe of stars that unfurl. I love how Death Valley teaches us the rewards of patient noticing: endless gratitude and wonder."
  • Suzi Hambruch took the great photo (below) that is featured on our 2018 posters! "No matter how many times I visit, there is always something new to see. The vastness and variety of it's features are quite stunning. Even if you visit the same spot twice, a difference in season or even time of day can change the experience dramatically."

First Place winners received an interagency annual pass and their work will be featured to promote #hikedeathvalley.

Second Place winners received a $50 gift certificate to the Death Valley Natural History Association Park Store.

Stay tuned for information about the 2018 Hike Death Valley Art contest!

 
 

Easy Hikes

Harmony Borax Works

Length: .4 mi round trip
Elevation Gain: 50 ft
Location: The paved parking area is located 1 mile north of the Furnace Creek Visitor Center, on CA Highway 190.
Route: ADA accessible loop around historic mining site where the famous 20-Mule-Team wagons began their grueling 165 mile journey south to the Mojave Railroad Depot.

Natural Bridge

Length: 1 mi (3.2km) out and back round trip
Elevation Gain: 86 ft (26m)
Location: The unpaved Natural Bridge Road is 13.5 miles (22km) south of CA-190 on Badwater Road and is typically passable to sedans.
Route: The route from the information sign up the canyon to the bridge formation is easy to follow but very rocky. The canyon continues a short distance beyond the bridge where it abruptly ends at a dry waterfall.


Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes

Length: 2 miles (3.2km) round trip out and back
Elevation Gain: 185 ft (65m)
Location: Located in Stovepipe Wells Village 30 minutes (24mi/39km) west of Furnace Creek.
Route: The summit of the high dune is 1 mile (1.6km) each way. No formal trail. Of the seven sets of dunes in Death Valley, these are the most famous and accessible.

Salt Creek Interpretive Trail

Length: .5 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: flat
Location: 9.6 miles north of the Furnace Creek Visitor Center on CA Highway 190. Follow a gravel road one mile to the trailhead.
Route: ADA accessible loop. Wooden boardwalk through salt marsh and rare pupfish habitat. Great for birding.

Badwater Salt Flat

Length: 1 mile
Elevation Gain: flat
Location: 17 miles south on Badwater Road.
Route: ADA accessible out and back. Scenic walk out to edge of salt flat and the lowest point in elevation in North America.

 

Moderate Hikes

Golden Canyon, Gower Gulch, and Badlands Loop

Length: 3 to 8 miles (5 to 13km) routes
Elevation Gain: 535 ft to 834ft (163m to 254m)
Two Locations:

  • Golden Canyon trailhead located 2 miles south of CA-190 on Badwater Road.
  • Zabriskie Point on CA-190 located 3.5 miles east of Badwater Road.

Route: A maze of canyons and badlands create hiking opportunities galore. Go to the Golden Canyon page for route details, map, and GPS data.

Fall Canyon

Length: 6 mile (9.7km) out and back, round trip
Elevation Gain: 2,460 ft (752m)
Location: The 2.7 mile (4.3km) unpaved two-way section of Titus Canyon Road is located 11.9 miles north of CA-190 on Scotty's Castle Road. The road is typically passable to sedans.
Route: See the Fall Canyon page for route information, a map, and GPS data.

Ubehebe Crater Rim

Length: 1.5 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 500 ft
Location: Ubehebe Crater is located 60 miles north of the Furnace Creek Visitor Center, off of the North Higway.
Route: Loop hike around the rim of a 600 ft deep maar volcano. Head around the loop counter clockwise to see Little Ubehebe Crater too.

Darwin Falls

Length: 2 miles (3.2km) out and back round trip
Elevation Gain: 450 ft (137m)
Location: The unpaved Darwin Falls Road is located 1.2 miles (2km) west of Panamint Springs on CA-190. To the trailhead (first 2.5 mi/4km), Darwin Falls Road from CA-190 is typically passable to a sedan, however it is much more comfortable in a high clearance vehicle. Travelling from the town of Darwin to the trailhead is recommended for 4x4 high clearance vehicles only. Steep grades and unmarked intersections. Traveling to Darwin from the falls is not recommended.
Route: Unmarked. From the bulletin board head past the gate and into the wash up the canyon. The unmarked route is fairly flat but rocky as it transitions from a desert wash into a high walled canyon. Inside the canyon thick vegetation, stream crossings, and large slick rocks require that hikers use caution as they work their way deeper into the oasis. Please protect this fragile resource. No swimming!

Sidewinder Canyon

Length: 5 miles (8.4km) out and back round trip
Elevation Gain: 1,580 ft (482m)
Location: An unmarked gravel access road is located on Badwater Road 31.5 miles south of CA-190 between mile markers 31 & 32. The access road is less than 0.5 miles (0.8km) long and is typically passable to a sedan.
Route: See Sidewinder Canyon page for route information.

 

Difficult Hikes (and Backpacking Routes)

Jubilee Mountain

Length: 2.2 miles (3.5 km) out and back roundtrip
Time: 3 hours round trip
Difficulty: Difficult
Elevation Gain: 1,258 feet (383 m)
Location: Along southern Badwater Road near Jubilee Pass. The hike starts on the south side of the road. [35.910245, -116.58001]
Parking: Park in a pullout just west of the Jubilee Pass marker. [35.910245, -116.58001]
Closest Restroom: Ashford Mill. No restroom along the trail, follow principle 3 of Leave No Trace (LNT).
GPS Data: 35.910245, -116.58001 : Parking area
Route: Steep ascent to a small mountain peak. Some rock scrambling and route finding is required. There is no trail.
Download the .kmz GPS track file.

Corkscrew Peak

Length: 7.3 miles (11.7 km) out and back round trip
Time: 7 hours round trip
Difficulty: Difficult
Elevation Gain: 3,080 feet (939 m)
Location: Along Daylight Pass Road at 36.73458, -116.97209
Parking: There is a small parking area along the north side of the road. You can also access the hike from the Corkscrew Peak sign, although the previous trailhead makes route finding easier. 36.73458, -116.97209
Closest Restroom: Hell's Gate, 1 mile south of trailhead. No restroom along the trail, follow principle 3 of Leave No Trace (LNT).
GPS Data: 36.73458, -116.97209 : Parking area
Route: Rocky, trailless hike through a large wash, small canyon, and a steep ascent to the peak. Some sections are very steep with tricky footing. Rock scrambling and route finding necessary.
Download the .kmz GPS track file.

Panamint Dunes

Length: 8 mile (12.8km) out and back
Time: 4-5 hours round trip
Difficulty: Moderately difficult
Elevation Gain: 1,028 ft (313m)
Location: Unmarked cross country route off the unpaved Lake Hill road, approximately 4.5 miles east of Panamint Springs on the north side of Highway 190. Access to the trailhead requires a high clearance vehicle.
Parking: Small gravel lot.
Closest Restroom: Panamint Springs Resort or Emigrant Canyon Rest Station. No restroom along the trail, follow principle 3 of Leave No Trace (LNT).
GPS Data: 36° 27.673'N, -117° 27.331'W (the highest dune)
Route: Uneven, sandy and partially rocky. Little elevation gain until you reach the dunes at approximate 3 miles in. From there, sandy and strenuous to the tops of 4 different dunes.

Wildrose Peak

Length: 8.4 miles (13.5km) out and back, round trip.
Time: 6 hours round trip.
Difficulty: Difficult
Elevation Gain: 2,200 ft (671m)
Location: From CA-190 follow Emigrant Canyon Road past the Wildrose Campground to the parking area at the Charcoal Kilns. The final 2 miles is a maintained gravel surface typically passable in a sedan. 25 ft vehicle limit.
Parking: 25 ft vehicle limit. Open gravel area.
Closest Restroom: Vault toilet in parking area. No restroom along the trail, follow principle 3 of Leave No Trace (LNT).
Route: A great hike for when it starts getting too hot in the valley. Winter storms may bring some snow. See the Wildrose Peak page for route information, a map, and GPS data.

Telescope Peak

Length: 14 mile (22.5km) out and back, round trip
Time: 7 hours round trip
Difficulty: Difficult
Elevation Gain: 3,000 ft (914m)
Location: From CA-190 follow Emigrant Canyon Road past the Wildrose Campground to the parking area at the Charcoal Kilns. The final 5 miles is a maintained gravel surface typically passable in a sedan. 25 ft vehicle limit.
Parking: 25 ft vehicle limit. Open gravel area.
Closest Restroom: Vault toilet in parking area. No restroom along the trail, follow principle 3 of Leave No Trace (LNT).
GPS Data: GPS data for the unmarked route is for supplemental purposes only. Take a map and compass when exploring the trail-less wilderness.
Route: Check out the Telescope Peak page for detailed descriptions, map, and GPS files for your trip.

Cottonwood-Marble Canyon Loop

  • Difficulty: strenuous

  • Type of hike: walk dirt road; no trail; gravel wash and cross-country; some brushy areas.

  • Distance: 26 miles (42km). Road walk may make the hike longer. See map.

  • Elevation gain: 3882 feet (1183m)

  • Water: Seasonal springs in upper Cottonwood Canyon and Deadhorse Canyon. As of 11.01.2016, visitors report that Cottonwood Springs and Deadhorse Spring are flowing, however the water source at the end of Cottonwood Road is uncertain.

  • Start: 8 to 10 miles from Stovepipe Wells on Cottonwood Canyon Road.

  • Vehicle needed: high-clearance to canyon mouth; 4x4 beyond.

  • Comments: Hike the loop by following Cottonwood Canyon Road to its end, then continue up the Cottonwood drainage. Below the spring, trees line a small stream but brush can be thick. In the valley above the spring, hike northeast to cross over into Deadhorse Canyon and follow it down into Marble Canyon to return to your vehicle. Potential flash flood hazard. Take map and compass.
    Route: Check out the Cottonwood Marble Loop page for detailed descriptions, map, and GPS files for your trip.

Last updated: January 13, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 579
Death Valley, CA 92328

Phone:

(760) 786-3200

Contact Us