Marble Canyon Trail is a 9.6 mile out and back trail located near Death Valley, CA and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible from October until May. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Cool trail with really nice photo opportunities. Not a challenging loop hike, long but easy. I popped my tire and had to change to the spare on the sand road, changing a flat in sinking sand was fun! I was in a 4x4 truck with big tires, but anything can still happen. I wouldn't recommend driving to the trail head without a high clearance vehicle some of the rocks are quick large to get over. Added some photo's from the morning sun. Definitely do this as a morning hike when the sun is cresting into the canyon. I camped around mile 9 on the road, was a great spot.
Warning: don't try this in the summer!!! We've been to Death Valley a number of times in the summer because you've not really had the full experience until you've stood at Bad Water in the 130* heat. But our first trip in the winter (Feb) allowed us to do some real on-foot exploring! The trail is easily accessed by a rental car via a gravel road, and there are some bathrooms at the trail head. Hiking through the canyon was fun...and challenging when you had to scramble and pick your way through some of the narrow passages. Other than some of the rock climbing, it's an easy trail that you can enjoy with your family.
Hiked this as part of the Marble Canyon and Cottonwood Canyon loop. The Marble Canyon portion is the best part in terms on scenery with very narrow canyons that are amazing. The walk is a gentle uphill and not too strenuous as long as you stay on the hard pack and off the soft sand and gravel as much as possible. There is one spot where a giant boulder has blocked the passage and you have to climb around a nearby shallow ridge on the west side. Lots of wildflowers were blooming too as it was a week after some heavy rain.
Kat's review is incorrect. 4WD is not needed to access the trailhead for this hike-- only high clearance (at least 6") is necessary. 4WD is recommended since there are sections of deep gravel along the road. Road is not recommended for sedans/coupes/crossovers.
This trail is part of the longer 26 mile Cottonwood-Marble Canyon loop. Both canyons are beautiful and scenic, though the hike is entire walked through a wash. Marble Canyon is a steep ascent through a fine gravel wash so be prepared.
Do this hike in the winter. Your elevation ranges between a little above sea level and 4000'-- not optimal for the "spring" months or early fall.
Accessible only by 4 wheel drive. Loose gravel trail. Make sure to take side trail to right just before the chalk stone. Canyon narrows are AMAZING!