Death Valley is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen, I would like to start with that because I truly want to emphasize how fascinating this place is to you. The rock formations that are painted into the canyons are truly unique when blended with large sand dunes and strange shrubs growing from nothing. An array of colors and shapes makes these formations somewhat of a wonder. I knew I wanted to see some canyons and sand dunes so I did my research and threw in a 14-15 mile hike to start the trip off. Much like adventures you will find that plans change and being open to new experiences is just as good, if not better, than original plans. I'm going to highlight my trip in the spots I went and camped.
1. Telescope Peak
2. Aguereberry Point
3. Mesquite Flats
5. Furnace Creek
4. Golden Canyon.
1. Wldrose Campground - $15 a night
2. Sunset Campground in Furnace Creek - $15 a night
December 10th-12th , 2019
I did not realize how crazy of a trip this was gonna be, let me explain. I started off by getting off work around 1 or 2 pm and had a 5-6 hour drive to Death Canyon. I rushed it and got ready, headed out. Around 4.0 hours in I realized I forgot my pair of shorts. Looked up local placed that had clothing and I headed to the closest one. I reached in my pocket and realized I left my wallet at home. All I had was about 120$ cash that would have to cover gas and my trip. I knew this was gonna be a close call. Filled up outside of Death Valley and made the trek in. I took a little road into the area that ended up being somewhat of an off-roading cruise. I found a campsite near Telescope Peak called Wildrose Campground, unfortunately I deleted the photos from there. It was SUPER quiet, literally only one other car. It was snowy on the mountains all around and temperatures were close to 30 degrees at night so be prepared for colder conditions in winter months. I packed up in the morning and went towards Telescope peak.
Telescope Peak is the tallest point in Death Valley, the whole hike is something around 14-15 miles long. It's hard to tell, but there's a lot more snow and ice than can't be seen. I almost got stuck in the middle of this road, let me mind you I hadnt seen 1 single person out there, I got stuck in a patch of ice with my car. I had tried to keep going but almost slid into a ditch on the side of the road. I reversed out about 100-200 yards and managed to get back on the road. I couldn't make it, so I decided to move on.
This place absolutely took my breath away, I felt a little tear gathering up as I stared at this majestic scene. That doesn't happen to me often, this was an absolutely insane view! You drive through a little off road and go through a few old buildings that where made by Jean Pierre Aguereberry, an old miner who traveled from France and ended up at this location. I have 0 idea how or why he ended up here but he must have fallen in love with the landscape, much like I did.
- On the left is Jean Pierre Aguereberry house first built around 1905.
As you pull up to the point, I got out of my car and decided I wanted to climb the mountain on the left. I DO NOT reccomend doing this, it was very sketchy and hard to do. It was still an amazing experence and I loved traveling through it. What first made me stop was that I noticed this strange cloud pattern above the point on the right, (bottom 2 photos below) as I looked down this insane canyon. This made me explore the
This was another location that absolutely blew my mind away. What I found interesting, was the fact that I thought most of Death Valley was going to be dunes, it's actually only a small section. You can see these dunes from a distance while driving, they are tucked perfectly in the middle of a valley. When you arrive you realize it's pretty large and you can go adventure through these for hours. I spent A while through the dunes, I kinda got lost in them and just wandered. It's such a crazy feeling climbing these san dunes and wandering around. I probably went 4 or 5 miles total, It took me forever to find a ridge that wasn't walked on.
You can tell in the photos above that most of the ridges where walked on, took me a long time to find that perfect beautiful ridge.
Furnace Creek (Camping as well)
Furnace Creek is sort of the tourist hang out, it has tons of buildings, camping and lodging so this is probably the most people filled place. It's located near Golden Canyon which was on my list of places I had to explore. I got here later in the day with plenty of parking and sites open at Sunset. There are 3 or 4 campgrounds really close to each other so you should be able to find something. Texas springs was connected which is an RV campground.
Woke up at Furnace and headed shortly down the road to Golden Canyon, I was setting out to do an 8 mile hike that day.
As you can tell, this is the insane colored rock formations I mentioned earlier. Such an amazing experience travels through this canyon, It had so many different colors and rocks. This was one of the trippiest hikes I have ever been on, very unique. You enter in-between a canyon then go up and through it. Then you go back down into another different canyon as seen above. I recommend doing all 8 miles! There are 2 entrances to this canyon I think you should start on the California 190 road that takes you to red cathedral rock. Then you go through Badlands then to Gower gulch. The photo above is the Gower Gulch view which is absolutely amazing.
This is the start of the hike to Cathedral.
After this, go towards the badlands.
After Bandlands is Gower Gulch. This is where you get to see all of badlands and Gowler, it's quite amazing. There is a famous lookout point at the end which is where you can see the photo below on the right. It's stunning.
Then you can head back down to the left of the lookout and go back the way you came or finish out the loop. You will see a black sandy road which you can take.
Golden Canyon was the highlight of my trip, this 8 mile hike is unlike anything I've ever seen before. I had no idea Death Valley had things like this inside of it. Such a beautiful and strange peace of land. I encourage you to explore Death Valley, you will be happy you did.
I said earlier that I only had 120$ I managed to make it back with a half tank of gas and $0. That was cutting it way too close lol but I managed to do it! This trip was beyond beautiful and I will never forget it. I hope you enjoyed.