Lostman Spring

Death Valley, California

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This is an unusual Death Valley hike—it starts high (4,660 feet) and goes down (to 3,088 feet). The basalt formations are spectacular, offsetting the faded spring that is the destination. In spite of the dotted line on the Trails Illustrated map, there is no trail down the canyon. Seasonal rains quickly erase all traces of hikers in the stream bottom. The pathway is clear, however: head downhill, using the sandy bottom as a trail whenever possible. Above the parking area, on the north side of Titus Canyon Road, a dramatic collection of hoodoos and spires rises above the rock cliffs. It was in this majestic setting, in 1933, that archaeologists unearthed the fossilized remains of the titanothere, an 8-foot-high rhino-like mammal of the Late Eocene era. From prehistoric horses, to gigantic rodents and beavers, to the massive titanotheres, the open savannah of Eocene times, 30 to 35 million years ago, saw a swirl of creatures, providing us with the enchanting canyon name.
Hiking Death Valley National Park

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Hiking Death Valley National Park

by Bill and Polly Cunningham (Falcon Guides)

This is an unusual Death Valley hike—it starts high (4,660 feet) and goes down (to 3,088 feet). The basalt formations are spectacular, offsetting the faded spring that is the destination. In spite of the dotted line on the Trails Illustrated map, there is no trail down the canyon. Seasonal rains quickly erase all traces of hikers in the stream bottom. The pathway is clear, however: head downhill, using the sandy bottom as a trail whenever possible.

Above the parking area, on the north side of Titus Canyon Road, a dramatic collection of hoodoos and spires rises above the rock cliffs. It was in this majestic setting, in 1933, that archaeologists unearthed the fossilized remains of the titanothere, an 8-foot-high rhino-like mammal of the Late Eocene era. From prehistoric horses, to gigantic rodents and beavers, to the massive titanotheres, the open savannah of Eocene times, 30 to 35 million years ago, saw a swirl of creatures, providing us with the enchanting canyon name.

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

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Death Valley
Distance: 8.6
Elevation Gain: 1,600 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 6 hours
Season: Best season: Mid-October to early 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 Thimble Peak-CA
Driving Directions: Directions to Lostman Spring

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Apr 2018