CA – Death Valley National Park, Marble Canyon

The drive to the trailhead was my biggest challenge. It started with sand,, some deep, then converted to rocky through a wash. It was mostly single track which I really hate. There is a parking area about 2.5 miles from the trailhead. With a few huge ruts in front of me, I joined another half dozen vehicles playing it safe.

I was lucky enough to hitch a ride for half a mile, but still added 4.5 miles to my out and back hike. This is a very popular backpack trip linking Cottonwood and Marble Canyons. I met several hikers finishing the loop, and a gal who gave me a ride who was just starting her trip. This junction is the parking area for those hiking the loop.

My new dream machine, can you see it now Jan’s Jaunting Jeep?

The mouth of the canyon and official trailhead.

The canyon colors were striking.

This blockage ensured no further vehicular traffic. Thankfully it wasn’t the end of my hike like when I was confronted with a dry fall on the Fall Canyon hike.

This detour ended up being one of my favorite parts of the hike.

The scramble to avoid the blockage.

There were several sections of narrows.

And a few alcoves like this one.

The cactus weren’t blooming yet, but it was nice to see the variety.

I even found some damp areas. I’m sure if you were desperate you might be able to dig a hole to find some water.

Other areas showed recent rain.

Favorite rock formation.

Early indications are a slim bloom display this year, so unlike my 2016 superbloom experience.

I was happy to find a few blooms in the canyon including this Turtleback.

Golden Evening-Primose


Desert Gold Poppy

This miniature collard lizard was cooperative for a photo, although not very colorful. His more mature friend wasn’t such a willing subject.

My hiking guidebook mentioned traveler signatures. I was happy to find the gallery.

Finding this rock art was thrilling. It was high on a wall and while I unsuccessfully attempted better views, I was happy with this zoomed view.

I think this nature’s art would make a nice mural.

There are plenty of campsites along the access road. I was happy to have this sunrise reward the next morning.

Adventure Date(s):

  • March 6, 2020

Hike Details:Tips:

  • There are nearby dispersed camping options. The Furnace Creek Visitor Center will provide you with a map detailing authorized areas and rules.
  • Don’t count on cell in the park. The Visitor Center includes sunrise and sunset times on their weather bulletin.
  • From the park’s website, download GPS tracks for many of the trails.
  • Ask about specific trails at the Visitor Center and they’ll provide you with a handout.



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