We just use whatever vessel is laying around. Sunscreen alone won’t cut it in July, when average temperatures can climb as high as 116˚F. We love travelling - every detail of it. This includes all mine structures, features, and ruins (i.e. Here are the best hiking trails in Death Valley, organized from the easiest to the most challenging. Start: 8 to 10 miles from Stovepipe Wells on Cottonwood Canyon Road. Bears are not a problem in this area so there are no food storage requirements. Distance: 26 miles (42km). Your backcountry meal plan should balance weight, nutritional value, caloric density, and convenience. On very hot days you may want to drink 5-6 liters, but again, everyone’s different. If you do decide to explore one of America’s most … We all use them, but many of us don’t really put much thought into it. POCKET KNIFE: We brought along a small Swiss Army Knife, which came in handy here and there. Comments: The east side of the Owlshead Mountains have several nice canyons for hikers to explore. From the saddle overlooking Deadhorse Canyon (you can see one large cottonwood tree in the canyon below from the top), turn left (not right) from this saddle and head down to the water runoff drainage. Black Lives Matter Road walk may make the hike longer. You need the toughness and the ankle support and the water protection, right? Most people hike the Cottonwood-Marble Canyon Loop in a clockwise direction, hiking along Cottonwood Canyon Road for the first 8 miles. Here’s why we prefer hiking in trail running shoes: 5 Reasons to Ditch Your Hiking Boots. At CleverHiker, we believe that backpacking adventures provide some of life’s most rewarding experiences. From the Scotty's Castle Road, hike down to Death Valley Wash then follow main drainage up alluvial fan to canyon. It may be easier to navigate this section without your pack, so take it off and have a hiking partner hand it down to you. Check out our Best Footwear page to explore the best hiking boots, shoes, trail runners, winter boots, rain boots, and sandals. CLOTHING: Here are some of our favorite hiking/backpacking clothing items from our Top Backpacking Gear list. Here's my list of the Best Backpacks of 2020. Elevate your next backpacking trip with a minimalist seat that makes break time and chilling in camp more comfortable. Situated east of the Sierra Nevadas and in-between the Great Basin and Mojave deserts, this is truly a land of extremes. FOOD: When backpacking this loop you'll have to carry all your food. Comments: Follow wash bearing left (north) staying in drainage nearest ridge; head for low pass in mountains to the east. If you're planning to hit the trail this year, you’ll probably want one of these badboys on your back. In fact, the only reason I’m able to give any “clever” hiking advice is because of all the laughably bad mistakes I’ve made over the years. Camping is all about relaxing and sleeping under the stars. Still very much a backpacking frontier, Death Valley National Park, at 3.4 million acres, is the largest national park in the US south of Alaska. GPS Files From the National Park - (Full Trip): GPX (98 KB download). Death Valley National Park is huge and it can take hours to drive from one side to the other, so working out a plan before you go will make it a lot easier to do all the trails you want. Cross Country Trek (39 KB download). Several small dry falls are easily passed, but at upper end of gorge an 80 foot dry fall requires scrambling up talus slope on north side to continue beyond. Elevation gain: 2,460 feet to first dry fall, Start: parking area at mouth of Titus Canyon (west end). Follow CleverHiker on Facebook to catch our latest updates & shares. Type of hike: no trail; gravel wash and cross-country, Vehicle needed: high-clearance to Hole-in-the-Wall; 4x4 beyond. From parking area, hike north along base of mountains ½ mile to large wash , then up into Fall Canyon. I completed a solo 26 mile backpacking trek around the Cottonwood - Marble Canyon Loop in Death Valley. Type of hike: wet canyon with remnants of old jeep road, some rock scrambling. My favorite segment was the second day between Marion Lake and Death Canyon. Pairing down the essentials into one single bag can be fun and freeing as long as you have the right gear and the right travel backpack to pack it in. Not all camping chairs are created equal, so we compared the most popular and top-rated chairs on the market and made this list to help you find the perfect portable chair for your needs. 1 Pair hiking pants -  (we like PrAna Zion Stretch) or running tights, 1 Pair hiking shorts - Nike dri fit running shorts, 1-2 Hiking t-shirts - Nike dri fit t-shirts, 1 Long-sleeve shirt - Nike dri fit quarter zip, 1-3 Pair underwear - ExOfficio boxer briefs or or ExOfficio women’s briefs. We invited some friends – Ty, Jen, and Carsten (people who’ve been the let’s-do-it spontaneous adventurers in my life for years) joined the team. Elevation loss: 1700 down to spring; 4700 feet down to road, Start: 11 miles from start of Titus Canyon Road (do not block road). At 134°F, Death Valley holds the record for the hottest air temperature ever recorded, it’s no wonder why they call it “Death Valley”. We recommend avoiding hiking in the summer as temperature can get dangerously high with little opportunities for shade. But, after winding between the towering stone narrows of Marble Canyon, we noticed a four-mile side trip on our topo map, following a portion of … To create this loop, the “trail” follows dirt roads and washes (not an actual … That said, you should always protect your food against rodents and small critters, which will tear through your backpack or tent without hesitation. This Girl Hikes 1,852 views. GPS Waypoints (less than 2 KB download each): Cottonwood/Marble parking for 2WD vehicles, chokestone obstacle, Deadhorse saddle traverse, Cottonwood Canyon camping area, Cottonwood Canyon, Cottonwood Canyon End Road, Cottonwood/Marble Canyon Road intersection, Cottonwood Saddle, Lemoigne Turnoff, Cottonwood Valley, Cottonwood/Marble Camp, Cottonwood Canyon Spring, Cottonwood Springs Camping, Cottonwood Springs, Deadhorse Canyon Camping, Deadhorse Canyon Dryfall, Deadhorse Spring, Dry Spring on Pass, end Marble Canyon Road, Lemoigne Canyon turnoff, Lower Marble Canyon Narrows, Marble & Deadhorse Canyon intersection, Middle Marble Canyon Narrows, rocky outcropping Cottonwood Canyon, saddle looking down Deadhorse, Upper Marble Canyon Narrows. Pick up a free voluntary permits for backcountry camping at the visitor center or any ranger station. That’s just what you do. It can be a little overwhelming to find the perfect pair of hiking pants. (8.5 miles), Day 2 - Hike from Cottonwood Canyon to seasonal Deadhorse Springs. I certainly have. Marble Canyon, known for its beautiful distinctive narrows, and soaring walls (a reminder of similar places in Utah), can also be debris choked after storms and dangerous during them. Beginners and experienced backpackers alike can learn new skills or brush up on the basics with our professional guides as we explore some of America's most exceptional wilderness. The map base includes contour lines and elevations for summits. Give the gift of adventure! Death Valley: Tin Mountain Loop. Backpacking in Death Valley can be more challenging than a lot of places due to its arid environment. Then snuggle up with one of the Best Sleeping Bags & Quilts of 2020. The route is undeniably beautiful, though a bit tricky to follow at times. My friends Rich and Wendy and I started our 32-mile, four-day, Death Valley backpacking trip by carrying only a two-day supply of water, expecting to find Cottonwood Springs, a reliable water source, by the end of our second day. GPS Files (Full Trip): GPX (98 KB download). KML format (78 KB download). 1. standing mill structures; aerial tram towers, terminals, and cables; ore bins; ore chutes; buildings; walls, gates, fencing, etc.). Red: Day 1, Blue: Day 2 : Today was the first day of my second attempt to backpack the Cottonwood-Marble Canyon Loop in Death Valley National Park. COOKING SYSTEM: We used the MSR Pocket Rocket 2 stove along with our Snow Peak Mini Solo Cookset and Snow Peak Folding Spoon on this trek, all of which make our top picks gear list and best lightweight stove list. Welcome to Death Valley backpacking! The majority of the other opportunities for backpacking are essentially “you’re free to wander around and camp in this area” and then leave it to hiker to decide where to go, where as this loop has a set start and end point and a specific path to follow to get there. INSECT REPELLANT: At higher elevations insects weren't a problem for us at all. It’ll keep you toasty warm, even after spending hours jammed into the bottom of your pack. Of the three sources, Cottonwood Springs is the most reliable. This may be a good place to get water in fall, winter and spring, and to set up camp. The route is undeniably beautiful, though a bit tricky to follow at times. Still very much a backpacking frontier, Death Valley National Park, at 3.4 million acres, is the largest national park in the US south of Alaska. With all the technical data to sift through and seemingly endless choices on the market, it can be a real challenge to figure out what to buy. Head up the steep gully ahead to a low saddle that provides entry into Deadhorse Canyon. We recommend packaging all your food and scented products in a food storage container like an Ursack. Water: Seasonal springs in upper Cottonwood Canyon and Deadhorse Canyon. So give a gift that gets someone outdoors this year. Yes, even the airports and even packing. This loop can be done in three days and I would rate it moderately strenuous at that pace. Start: 6.5 miles north of Furnace Creek Visitor Center on Hwy 190. CAMERA: The Sony RX100 is our go-to camera for lightweight backpacking. It's about 1/2mi wide and 600ft... Death Valley. To enter Deadhorse Canyon,  drop into the next vegetated canyon, and hike a short ways (less than a city block) into it. Maps: Dunes 7.5 minute topo or Trails Illustrated Map of Death Valley, Comments: Hike across the gently rising upper end of Panamint Valley to star-shaped dunes. Hiking Ubehebe Crater . The lack of fanfare around the Butte Valley is kind of shocking, but hey, that leaves even more room for you. The OR Helium Rain Jacket and Pants (updated for 2020) are among the most affordable options in the ultralight rain…, Cottonwood-Marble Canyon Loop Backpacking Guide - Death Valley NP, intersection of Cottonwood Canyon Rd. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn." If you’ve spent any time in the woods, you’ve probably made some epic backcountry blunders. New backpacking videos, trip reports, gear reviews, inspiring stories and more. Comments: From the Scotty's Castle Road, hike down to Death Valley Wash then follow main drainage up alluvial fan to canyon. A small stand of smoke trees are found here. Because getting good trail sleep is crucial, we’ve researched, field tested, and narrowed this list down to the 10 Best Backpacking & Camping Pillows of 2020. We researched and tested dozens of headlamps to put together this list of this year’s 10 Best Headlamps. The gift ideas listed in the CleverHiker Gift Guide are can’t miss recommendations for anyone that enjoys backpacking, hiking, and camping. All three are lightweight, convenient, comfortable, and make our list of the best lightweight backpacking packs. From Barstow, California - Get on I-15 S from E Mountain View Street and Barstow Roadand follow CA-58 W and US-395 N to Trona Rd for 59.5 miles. Even driving here in summer is a sketchy proposition. Seasonal Springs along this loop (clockwise): Cottonwood Springs - 12 miles in (the most reliable source), Deadhorse Springs - 1/4 mile north of the large cottonwood tree at the bottom of Deadhorse Canyon (if you hit the 6-8 food dryfall you’ve gone too far) - 18 miles in. We explore several key differences in women-specific gear. Our reputation is our most important asset, which is why we only provide completely honest and unbiased recommendations. Our focus is building educational resources to help backpackers of all levels feel more comfortable in the wilderness. For purification, we used a combination of Chlorine Dioxide pills and a Sawyer Squeeze on this loop, and we were happy with our choices. HEADLAMP: A small headlamp like the Petzl Actik is an affordable, bright, and lightweight option that we really like. Both of these trips summit Telescope Peak. Distance: 3 miles to first dry fall; 6 miles to second dry fall. Distance: 2 miles to ranch site from road end; 7 miles to Panamint City. For the confident and experienced hiker, this trail is quite navigable, but beginners and anyone unfamiliar with desert hiking should skip this one, or go with experienced hikers. That’s why it blew my mind a few years back when I learned that thru-hikers cover thousands of trail miles every year in running shoes. Start: 5 miles north of Hwy 190 on unmarked dirt road leading past Lake Hill. Solo Backpacking Death Valley | Telescope Peak - Duration: 17:29. To see one of the more unique locations, visitors must engage in a rare activity at Death Valley: backpacking. Check out our Best Water Filters list for more great options. The CleverHiker Gear Guide is a compilation of the very best backpacking Tents, Backpacks, Sleeping Bags, Stoves, Water Filters and a whole lot more. If you prefer boots, make sure they’re lightweight and break them in really well before your trip. Winter (from mid-October through mid-March) is the best time to hike in Death Valley. A solid daypack should be a staple of every outdoor enthusiast's gear collection. There are some foot and hand holds in the rock that make it easier to get down, so take your time and be safe. Groups larger than 12 must split up into smaller groups and must camp, hike, and eat at least a half-mile apart. Read more... Then you'll love our biweekly newsletter. (8.3 miles), Day 1 - Hike up Cottonwood Canyon to the seasonal spring near the end of Cottonwood Road. TENT: We used the Zpacks Triplex tent on this trip to keep our weight to a minimum. ADVICE. Cross Country Trek (39 KB download). What many don't realize is you can drive nearly all the way up to where Marble Canyon starts. FOOD STORAGE: For this trip, we brought an Ursack to keep the critters out of our food. This vertical relief is one of the greatest in th lower 48. Day -use is heavy below dry falls. Flash flooding is a potential danger, particularly in the spring and early fall. This was one of my favorite shots from the hike. A backpacking tent will be among the heaviest items you carry on wilderness adventures, so it’s a good place to cut down on weight. Distance: 10 miles from Scotty's Castle Road to upper dry fall. Hot weather tips, a temperature chart, regulations, and safety suggestions are included as well. With few signs to guide backcountry travelers, hikers need to be prepared with topo maps and GPS. For many of us, it’s been drilled into our heads since day one that backpackers wear boots. This is another confusing spot. by LukeLanghals April 9, 2018 July 3, 2018. Recently I checked off a big item on my adventuring bucket list. Make your way through these canyons until you reach Marble Canyon Road. No camping within 2 miles of the road or 100 yards from springs. If Bighorn Gorge wasn’t enough desert for you, or you’re looking for a more traditional backpacking route or loop hike, Cottonwood and Marble Canyon is the most popular backpacking route in Death Valley. For many people Marble Canyon is considered the best part of the loop with easy grades, beautiful narrow canyons, and options to avoid the sand and gravel that dominates the area by staying on hard pack terra firma along the way. Several rugged canyons in Funeral Mountains just above Hole-in-the-Wall can be explored depending on your climbing ability. You are able to see much of the higher peaks from this open area. We use the Ultralight .7 Kit and add extras, like painkillers and personal medications. Comments: With a 2-car shuttle you can hike all the way through to Scotty's Castle Road, but a more practical way is to hike to Lostman Spring and return to your car. Hi all! Keep up with our latest tutorials and gear reviews on YouTube. Day 1 - Hike up Cottonwood Canyon to camp near Cottonwood Canyon Road end campsite near a seasonal spring. We’ll give you the inside scoop in our Best Women’s Hiking Pants Guide. The Cottonwood Canyon & Marble Canyon loop is one of the few backpacking trails in Death Valley that is actually a “trail”. It’s a breathtakingly diverse playground of craggy granite peaks, high alpine lakes, meadows socked with wildflowers, rugged windswept coastline, and more shades of green than your eyeballs can handle. Death Valley National Park Recreation Map - Tom Harrison Maps are famous for their beauty and accuracy. It also offers the most dramatic photography with long shadows and more vibrant colors. Vehicle needed: high-clearance to canyon mouth; 4x4 beyond. You’ll spend months communing with nature, build jaw-dropping endurance, and develop lasting friendships along the way. To qualify, you must accumulate at least four points by hiking the trails listed below and snapping a picture as proof. If you’re on a tight budget or new to backpacking, check out our Best Budget Tents of the year. Marble Canyon presents only one moderate challenge: a boulder blocks (dry pour-off) the canyon exit and a climb of the west ridge is required to get around it. 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