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Death Valley - Day 5, CA
mini location map2023-02-22
30 by photographer avatarThe_Eagle
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Death Valley - Day 5, CA 
Death Valley - Day 5, CA
Hiking13.05 Miles 2,100 AEG
Hiking13.05 Miles   5 Hrs   14 Mns   2.75 mph
2,100 ft AEG      29 Mns Break12 LBS Pack
1st trip
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout | Pop | Map | Popup | MapDEX
Day 5 of a planned 7 days, now cut to 5 days

After the weather the night before, minimal sleep in the car, destruction of tents, forecasted rain, high winds and cold temps, we put our tails between our legs and called this the last day. We would hit as much as we could and then determine if we'd drive all the way home, or partially home.

Salt Creek Trail
3.47 Miles
200 AEG

The road to this short hike is currently closed from previous flooding. This added 2.6 miles RT to the hike. We parked outside the closed gate and made the walk to the TH. The boardwalks and Pit toilet had been destroyed from the flooding, but we were easily able to make our way around. The high point of this hike is -177 feet. Interesting to see a decent flow in salt creek and to find a pup fish!

Harmony Borax Works
.6 Miles
200 AEG

A worthy side trip to see some history

Mustard Canyon Drive

Interesting drive through mustard colored mounds

Zabriskie Point - Golden Canyon - Red Cathedral Gower Gulch Loop
8.31 Miles
1500 AEG

This is another hike that should be on your list. We started from the Zabriskie Point TH,
[ youtube video ]
but you can also start from the Golden Canyon TH below. Recommended direction of travel is CCW. The Golden Canyon and Red Cathedral trails are the highlight. Smooth well laid out trails with breathtaking views.
[ youtube video ]
The Gower Gulch Trail is a steady up, back to Zabriskie Point in a... well...gulch.

20 Mule Team Canyon Drive

More interesting geology

Dante's View South Hike
.67 Miles
160 AEG

The final hike of the trip. 53 degrees when we began the drive up the road to Dante's View, 35 degrees with 40 mph winds when we got out of the car. We dressed up warmer and went out to quickly enjoy the views. We took a partial hike down the Dante's View South Trail.
[ youtube video ]
Dante's View is a must do when in the park. It gives you a great overview of much of the park. Even if you are not a hiker, make it to this view point.
[ youtube video ]

From here we started the 7 hr drive home.
Final Thoughts
This is a BIG national Park. The largest in the lower 48. There is so much to do.
You can get to quite a bit of the cool stuff with a vehicle with decent clearance and tires.
There's a lot more that requires HC 4x4. Do your homework.
Pay attention to where you can and can't legally disperse camp.
Know where you can get water, restrooms, showers and resupply.
Go with a plan and be ready to adjust and have backups. Our plans changed almost daily based on weather and closures.

We hit quite a bit in 5 days and missed at least 3 items we had marked as "Must Do's"

My Favorites (in sorta order, all have unique and redeeming qualities):
Golden Canyon - Red Cathedral - Gower Gulch Loop
Ubehebe Crater
Sidewinder Canyon
Mosaic Canyon
Artist Palette
Dante's View South Hike
Badwater Basin

I had a great time with these 2 misfits. I learned that both Kelly and John plan their entire trips around coffee.

A huge thanks to John for driving and subjecting his brand new vehicle to a sand blasting. :o
 Fauna [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Pupfish
 Named place
 Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Manly Beacon
There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
Dave Barry 🦅
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