Desolation Canyon

Death Valley, California

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Desolation Canyon is a highly scenic but less crowded alternative to the nearby Golden Canyon. This short hike features moderate canyoneering to a high pass over-looking the Artist’s Drive Formation. The deep, narrow, colorful canyon provides a feeling of solitude, with broad vistas from the overlook. This is an enjoyable and highly scenic canyon hike for anyone, but it is especially appreciated by those without a four-wheel-drive vehicle in that access is just o ff the paved highway. Despite its proximity to both the Badwater Road and Artist’s Drive, the narrow canyon provides a deep feeling of intimacy and solitude. The entire out-and-back trip offers a superb opportunity to observe the dynamics of badlands erosion, which is everywhere, from mud-filled gullies to bizarre eroded shapes overlooking the canyon.
Hiking Death Valley National Park

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Hiking Death Valley National Park

by Bill and Polly Cunningham (Falcon Guides)

Desolation Canyon is a highly scenic but less crowded alternative to the nearby Golden Canyon. This short hike features moderate canyoneering to a high pass over-looking the Artist’s Drive Formation. The deep, narrow, colorful canyon provides a feeling of solitude, with broad vistas from the overlook.

This is an enjoyable and highly scenic canyon hike for anyone, but it is especially appreciated by those without a four-wheel-drive vehicle in that access is just o ff the paved
highway. Despite its proximity to both the Badwater Road and Artist’s Drive, the narrow canyon provides a deep feeling of intimacy and solitude. The entire out-and-back trip offers a superb opportunity to observe the dynamics of badlands erosion, which is everywhere, from mud-filled gullies to bizarre eroded shapes overlooking the canyon.

© 2017 Bill and Polly Cunningham/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Death Valley
Distance: 4.2
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 2-3 hours
Season: Best season: Early November to mid-April
Local Contacts: Furnace Creek Visitor Center; (760) 786-3200; www.nps.gov/deva
Local Maps: NPS Death Valley Visitors Map; Trails Illustrated Death Valley National Park Map; USGS Furnace Creek-CA
Driving Directions: Directions to Desolation Canyon

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Apr 2018