Golden Canyon Trail

Death Valley National Park, California

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4 Reviews
3 out of 5
Golden Canyon Trail is a hiking trail in Inyo County, California. It is within Death Valley National Park. It is 1.4 miles long and begins at -130 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 2.8 miles with a total elevation gain of 699 feet. The Golden Canyon Parking is near the trailhead. There are also restrooms.
Distance: mi Elevation: ft
Golden Canyon Trail is a hiking trail in Inyo County, California. It is within Death Valley National Park. It is 1.4 miles long and begins at -130 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 2.8 miles with a total elevation gain of 699 feet. The Golden Canyon Parking is near the trailhead. There are also restrooms.
Activity Type: Hiking, Trail Running, Walking
Nearby City: Death Valley National Park
Distance: 1.4
Elevation Gain: 699 feet
Trailhead Elevation: -130 feet
Top Elevation: 455 feet
Parks: Death Valley National Park
Elevation Min/Max: -130/455 ft
Elevation Start/End: -130/-130 ft

Golden Canyon Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"A fascinating journey through geologic time passes through rocks of different ages as the elevation increases then loops back down to the floor of Death Valley past borax-mine tunnels. The first section is an educational geology nature trail. The scenery of the extended trip includes a colorful lake bed, exposed strata and alluvial-fan formations, and spectacular scenery of the Panamint Range from below Zabriskie Point.

An excellent interpretive trail guide to this Golden Canyon nature trail is available for 50 cents at the Golden Canyon trailhead. Ten stops in this geology guide are keyed to
numbered posts along the trail. Golden Canyon was once accessed by paved road. Then in February 1976 a four-day storm caused 2.3 inches of rain to fall on nearby Furnace Creek—one of the driest places on earth where, for example, no rain fell during all of 1929 and 1953."

"This fascinating journey through geologic time passes by
rocks of different ages as the elevation increases, then loops
back down to the floor of Death Valley past borax mine tunnels. The first section is an educational geology nature trail.

The scenery of the extended trip includes a colorful lakebed,
exposed strata, and alluvial fan formations, along with spectacular scenery of the Panamint Range from below Zabriskie Point."

"A fascinating journey through geologic time, passing through rock of different ages as the elevation increases than looping back down to the floor of Death Valley past borax mine tunnels."

"This memorable hike tours the starkly beautiful badlands landscape that central Death Valley is famous for. This spectacular low-elevation hike tours the finest badlands scenery in the park and makes a fine winter jaunt when many other hiking areas are buried in snow. But beyond incredible scenery, the badlands of Golden Canyon offer insights into one of the more recent episodes of geologic history in the park, a region that is rich in fully exposed rock strata representing millions of years of earth history."

Golden Canyon Trail Reviews

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3/10/2012
We did this hike, but extended it all the way to Zabrinskie Point. The portion of the trail from the end of Golden Canyon to Zabriskie point was spectacular. Breathtaking views all the way! It was about 5-6 miles round-trip, and it was moderately strenuous. I can imagine that hiking in hot weather might make this hike more challenging. As with every hike in Death Valley, start early in the morning. Bring LOTS of water and sunscreen. Once you leave the canyon area, you will be exposed to sun the entire time. Very well marked.
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3/4/2010
This gets only 4 stars only because it isn't Yosemite, but it's a wonderful hike ... we started at the Golden Canyon trailhead, hiked in to see Red Cathedral, past the signed Zabriskie Point trail and back to the trailhead via Gower Gulch. Wonderful hike with earthtone varieties of of many colors. In a single day, this hike can easily be combined with Natural Bridge Canyon. The Golden Canyon hike will give you Zabriskie Point-like views back toward the valley, wondrous rock views and have you pass below impressive Manly Beacon. Going into some of the side canyons is worth while, as well. Beautiful.
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1/19/2009
Of all the trails we have hiked, this was singularly the least remarkable. One must need be a geologist in order to appreciate this journey. January temperatures were pleasant. I can see that summer heat would be unbearable.
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11/18/2000
We hiked this trail one way from Zabriskie Point down to a waiting vehicle at the Golden Canyon parking lot. The first part of the hike coming down from Zabriskie Pt. goes through the badlands which are an amazingly desolate but beautiful landscape with no vegetation. I would not suggest hiking through this area in anything higher than 80 degrees. The sun just radiates up from the white landscape and creates and oven effect even in the 70 degree weather we were hiking in. Manly Beacon is an awesome site as you hike around the base of it and look straight up to its towering peak. As you hike farther down you enter the alluvial fans until you reach the parking lot. A wonderful hike to really get a feel for what Death Valley has to offer.
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