Desolation Canyon

Death Valley, California

Desolation Canyon Professional Review and Guide

"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 overlooking 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 off 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."

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Trail Information

Death Valley
Nearby City
750 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Skill Level
2 to 3 hours
Best: Early November to mid-April
NPS Death Valley Visitors Map; Trails Illustrated Death Valley national Park Map; USGS 1:24,000 topo map Furnace Creek-CA
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jun 2018