Explore SoCal Trip - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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5/5 stars, great views of the park, some cool boulders and the oasis at the end was cherry on top! Definitely worth the trek. We had to start from the campgrounds and do the loop behind the Cottonwood Springs campground due to the road being washed out. Added an extra 2 or 2.5 miles, making the hike about 4 hours total.

Did this hike two days ago. Cottonwood Trail, the main trail to Lost Palms, and the road to it, are closed due to being washed out from floods. If you want to hike to Lost Palms you can park at Campground A-B and take the trail toward Mastodon Peak. Once you pass the gold mine and Mastodon Peak go down the hill to Lost Palms Oasis Trail and take a left. Then it’s the Trail as normal to List Palms. This way adds about 1.5-2 miles to the normal hike. Great views as always.

Really neat! Go to the end for the best pictures...less mud in the cool crystal formations. And less people! Hiked 1.7 miles round trip.

hiking
9 days ago

The golden Canyon Trail is a short hike up Golden Canyon to the base of the Red Cathedral formations. this is a popular day-hike that starts at a marked trailhead with parking on Badwater Rd. just south of Furnace Creek.

The first mile of the the trail is a mild hike up a canyon surrounded on all sides by golden rock formations and slot canyons. After mile one reaches a junction for the Gower Gulch trail. Continue past this point into a narrow slot canyon. The trail becomes more difficult here, requiring one to scramble over rocks until reaching the top of the slot canyon and the base of Red Cathedral. The view at the top here is spectacular!

After enjoying the top, head back down and out of the slot canyon. Then either hike back down Golden Canyon to the trailhead, or extend the hike and take the junction for Gower Gultch.

(As anywhere in DVNP, the heat can be extreme, even outside of summer. Carry extra water!)

scenic driving
9 days ago

This is a one-way paved road through the canyons and overlooks of the Artist's Palette. It's a great route to get up close to some of the area's spectacular formations with little-to-no need to leave your vehicle, making this an excellent feature to check-out when temperatures are high. There are a few turnouts/overlooks where you stop for pictures along the route. Be sure to drive slowly through the loop, as the road is very twisty and passes through narrow canyons with little side-clearance.

Here is the lowest point in North America, and is probably the most popular roadside spot in DVNP. One can view the area from the roadside overlook, or hike .5 mile trail can be taken out onto the salt flat itself. there are also some saline pools near the trailhead/overlook. Very unique spot in a very unique National Park. Just be prepared for the heat, even outside of summer!

off road driving
9 days ago

entrance is a little long,like a pipeline road for about 8 miles but air down and you can handle the washboard at about 50mph making quick work of it. The rest of the trail is worth it. Great views thru black rock ending in a slot canyon not much wider than your vehicle for about 1.5 with walls above 100 feet. One way only.

Started at 2:30 and the first uphill part was hot, but then the entire afternoon in the shade. Distinct color changes along the way. Only saw 5 or 6 other people on trail.

Super hot! Everyone was right- a lot further than it looks but go all the way to the end!

off road driving
18 days ago

This is a ONE WAY/ ONE DIRECTION trail. Keep in mind that you must enter the way described in this map. This was not clear to me, I thought I could run it in either direction and lost a lot of time on my trip. Very beautiful trail though, high clearance and 4x4 recommended

This hike was hot, but it was beautiful! The white rock area changes as you loop around; reds, white, Joshua trees. I’m not big on desert hiking in general but am so glad I did this one. I would skip La Madre Springs, though. I only went to the spring itself, maybe it’s incredible up higher.
I started at the willow springs picnic area, trail the entire way. The only wildlife I saw were geckos and chipmunks, though did look for bighorn sheep.

Fun to drive through.

Enjoyed the strip view

Super hot and much further than you think it is. Deceiving, but so worth it!

Stupid hot, but insanely awesome!

Great trail. Make sure you keep going all the way to the top where there are remnants of some sort of camp (structure and fire ring). Really great views along the way. Bring lots of water.

scenic driving
1 month ago

At just about sundown on a 129 degree day, we drove up Artist's Drive to Artist's Palette. As you drive along the one-way road you wonder if the walls will collapse on you. Quite an interesting set of rock and mineral formations along the drive. Must do in Death Valley NP.

It's super hot during the day but n awesome feeling. Make sure you carry water and wear full sleeves.

Its a nice place was there during sunset and had a great time.

scenic driving
1 month ago

Its awesome and fun, am surprised that it's not rated by many. I loved it and don't miss it if you're at DV NP.

This was really cool!! When we went today there was not one person out there and the weather was amazing, no trash or graffiti here! Just remember, if you feel like you’ve gone too far, YOU HAVE. The trail where you turn is really close to where you park. I could see my car from the stairs. From the parking area you only hike about 0.2 miles and then turn right where those brown posts are that say “no motor vehicles.”

We arrived just in time to catch the sunset with a storm looming behind us. So glad we stopped, it’s definitely worth the walk,

Fun drive and then some easy rock exploring :)

Completely flat and amazing. Had an otherworldly vibe to it! When we went it was exceptionally windy according to the locals and it was so fun walking on the flats and having the wind whip us around!

Hot but amazing view of the valley !

Great fun. Easy, interesting and you can hike and walk as other people drive

off road driving
2 months ago

FANTASTIC drive. Im a solo female in my 2014 JK--a novice off road--and i did just fine, but I was concentrating deeply to make sure my tires werent sliced up on the rocks. Also, you have to mind the curves, not just the terrain. It takes about a 2.5 hours in total if you take your time and enjoy it. At an hour in, you begin switchbacking down and up multi-colored, jagged cliffs. This alone is worth the drive from pavement over uneven, rocky desert. Watch for Black-tailed Jackrabbits. The canyon itself is more dramatic than I'd expected and there are plenty of areas where you're the only thing fitting through. This was my 6th time to DV and I'm so thankful i was finally A) in the right kind of vehicle and B) there when it was open!

hiking
2 months ago

Could not hike entire trail due to a closure, so hiked a loop (made via another trail) back to parking lot. Fantastic hike, beautiful vegetation.

Beautiful! Go at sunrise if possible.

lovely trail we did it in December

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