Death Valley – Golden Canyon

Death Valley - View down Golden Canyon near base of Manly Beacon

After leaving Devils Golf Course, I had time for one last hike before having to make my way back towards Vegas (in case the funeral calls for an early flight).  Took a quick look at the map and continued my sampling of the Badwater Road destinations by checking out the Golden Canyon hike.  Temperatures were … Read more

Death Valley – Devils Golf Course

Death Valley - Devils Golf Course

Heading north away from Natural Bridge, the next stop at Devils Golf Course offers no hiking but does offer some spectacular views. Why is it called the Devils Golf Course?  The jagged surface made of halite salt crystals are so rough, a historical NPS guide book stated “Only the devil could play golf” on its surface.  … Read more

Death Valley – Natural Bridge

Death Valley - Natural Bridge rock formation

Just a short drive from Badwater Basin is the Natural Bridge rock formation.  The canyon was created by water flowing the path of least resistance down the mountain ultimately creating a natural archway in the stone. From the trailhead it doesn’t take long for the canyon walls to rise up around you.  Temperatures today were … Read more

Death Valley – Badwater Basin

Death Valley - Badwater Basin

I didn’t sleep much due to high winds nearly blowing my tent over and temps rising 20 degrees after midnight making me sweat under my down quilt.  News of my grandma passing gave uncertainty on how long my trip would last but I was here at it was time to DO IT NOW.  Figured the services … Read more

Death Valley – Texas Springs Pt. 2

Death Valley - Stars over Texas Springs campground

Back at Texas Springs campground for one more night.  Tomorrow I had planned to check out a backcountry campsite but as usual plans change (more on that later).  Tent held up well until around midnight when the winds kicked up an started gusting to 40mph.  I was only able to pound 6 stakes and my … Read more

Death Valley – Harmony Borax Works

Death Valley - Harmony Borax Works

One last stop today at Harmony Borax Works before getting back to the campground.  This short interpretive trail led through ruins of what was once a famous borax mining operation in the late 19th century.  Remnants of the large boiler and refining building stood atop a small hill. The Dial Corporation sold borax as a … Read more

Death Valley – Salt Creek Interpretive Trail

Death Valley - Salt Creek

The drive back south from Ubehebe Crater is a fantastic scenic cruise but there aren’t many attractions until you get back near Stovepipe Wells.  Daylight was fading so I made the call to check out some of the smaller areas, one of which is the Salt Creek Interpretive Trail. This short trail covered by a … Read more

Death Valley – Ubehebe Crater

Death Valley - View of Little Hebe crater

Back in Stovepipe Wells village, I topped off the gas tank and paused for some strategery.  Knowing the roads marked for 4×4 only were aptly rated, I reluctantly crossed many destinations off the list (sorry Racetrack Playa, another time).  But fear not, Death Valley has plenty to do without a monster truck!  I took a … Read more

Death Valley – Road to Panamint Springs

Death Valley - Driving back towards Stovepipe Wells

The day was young and my visit to the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes left me near the geographic center of Death Valley.  I studied the map and decided my best use of time would be to drive to Panamint Springs on the far west side.  This would take considerable time but would allow me to … Read more

Death Valley – Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes

Death Valley - Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes

Awoke before sunrise ready to stretch my legs a bit.  The park newspaper gave suggestions for ideal sunrise viewing and I chose Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes.  Left the campground and started my drive. Mountains encapsulate the area in all directions like a bowl.  Besides one couple, I was the only other early bird here.  You can … Read more