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.
Early indications are a slim bloom display this year, so unlike my 2016 superbloom experience.
- March 6, 2020
- 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.
- NPS – Death Valley National Park
- NPS – DV Hiking Trails
- Hiking Death Valley, A Guide to it’s Natural Wonders and Mining Past by Michel Diconnet (highly recommend this book if you plan on spending much time in Death Valley and want to know about more of the off-the-beaten path hikes, as well as history and geology).
- Death Valley National Park (National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map) (best for hiking)
- Death Valley National Park Recreation Map (Tom Harrison Maps) (great overview map)