Funeral Slot Canyon (Death Valley NP) 24-Jan-2020

Hiking in Funeral Slot Canyon, Death Valley National Park, California

There are probably a lot of deep slot canyons in Death Valley National Park, but not many of them are particularly long or readily accessible. Funeral Slot Canyon, located 3.5 miles northwest of Furnace Creek Ranch, is an exception. We had planned to hike it in September 2018 but had to take a pass when we found the trailhead at Texas Springs Campground closed. Which was for the better since it was way too hot then to be walking six shadeless miles in a wash just to see a really, really narrow canyon. This year we arrived when the campground was open and the hiking weather excellent.

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Desolation Canyon (Death Valley NP) 26-Sep-2018

Desolation Canyon Death Valley National Park California

After yesterday’s adventure on Mount Perry, we decided that a fun, but shorter, hike was called for. The less than four mile round-trip hike up Desolation Canyon, whose trailhead is just four miles from Furnace Creek, seemed ideal (and it was). This hike reaches into the Black Mountains and features a few narrow sections (but not true “slot” canyon narrow), a touch of scrambling, some colorful rock formations, and ends with a nice view out over Death Valley. We were able to complete it before the air temperature got much above 85º F (29º C) – it would eventually top out at 110º F (43º C). When the weather is cooler, you’re advised to do this hike in the afternoon, when the sun highlights the colorful rock formations. That would have been nice but we were happy to be in the shade for most of the hike.  

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Golden Canyon (Death Valley NP) 14-Feb-2017

Death Valley National Park California

Per Digonnet’s hiking guide, Golden Canyon is “…one of the most easily accessed and busiest hiking destinations in the park…” (which may explain why it’s never been high on our list of hikes).  But having vowed to hike where we have not hiked before,  we selected the Golden Canyon~Gower Gulch Loop – including tourist-rich Zabriskie Point – as the third hike for our 2017 visit to Death Valley National Park.  Having noticed on our way back from Willow Canyon that the Golden Canyon trailhead parking was overflowing by early afternoon, we resolved to get an early start for this loop.

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Death Valley Days 11/15-Mar-2013

Death Valley National Park California

Last week was our (almost) annual pilgrimage to Death Valley National Park in California in search of heat and dryness. March in the Valley can be fickle – cold and rainy has happened in past years – but this year didn’t disappoint. Amongst the usual tourist activities (a tour of Scotty’s Castle, a drive through Titus Canyon, and a long, bone jarring drive to the Racetrack), we got in some actual hiking. All of these hikes are at or above 3,000 feet so temperatures ranged comfortably between 50º and 75º F, usually with a mild wind. But full sun and very low humidity (8%) called for lots of sunscreen and water.

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Death Valley Days 1/4-Mar-2011

Death Valley National Park California

Once again we slipped the damp caresses of an Oregon winter to wallow in the harsh, but sunny, landscape of Death Valley National Park. Even with soaring gas prices ($5.18 at Furnace Creek!), the trip was, once again, worth it. Plus this year we were joined at times by our friends Wayne & Diane and Alan & Janet, so this one was an extra special get-away. We allowed ourselves plenty of time each day to enjoy the sunsets while sipping appropriate adult beverages on the patio of the Furnace Creek Inn (liquid intake being an important part of desert hiking). Overall, another great trip – cloud-free sun most days, daytime air temperatures between 65º and 75ºF, plus fun hikes. Definitely a winter refuge for these water-logged, sun-starved Oregonians.

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