off road driving
dogs on leash
Hottest, Driest, Lowest: A superlative desert of streaming sand dunes, snow-capped mountains, multicolored rock layers, water-fluted canyons and 3 million acres of wilderness. Full of nature and history, there are endless activities in the park. About the size of the state of Connecticut, one can spend weeks exploring Death Valley and only scratch the surface of what there is to see and do.
This is an excellent hike with stunning views of the colorful rock formations of the badlands and Death Valley beyond. I did the loop in reverse, starting and ending at Golden Canyon, as a I prefer to descend at the end of hikes rather than ascend. The heat wasn't too bad (it was partly cloudy in the mid 80s). I wouldn't attempt this hike in anything above 90, though.
This trail was a welcome break from the heat of the rest of Death Valley.
I'm not sure where AllTrails got the distance from as we calculated only about 2 miles to lower falls.
We went here in mid March and saw about 15 people on the trail.
The drive in could be labeled better. Once you pass Panamint Springs resort. The left it about a mile past it. This will mark the start of a couple of miles of dirt road. It runs alongside of piping since the resort uses the water as well.
The dirt road is rough. I wouldn't say you need a high clearance vehicle, but anyone concerned about very bumpy roads will want to avoid it.
There is parking at the trail head. If you hit the 4 wheel drive high clearance portion of the road, you've gone too far. The signs at the trail start were oddly blank; however, the start is obvious.
The trail is a sandy gravel wash type material at the beginning, whose hiking consistency reminded me of sand. This changes thou when you hit more of the vegetation area.
The start of the trail doesn't prepare you for the impending change in environment. At the start, it's a desert, but the further you go, it gets greener and greener.
There was running water everywhere. You actually hike thru or over mini streams at times. Water proof shoes are recommended.
Also this trail was slippery at points and required more maneuvering over boulders than I expected. So much so that we had to pause to figure out the correct path at times since it was just giant rocks. We didn't think we'd need hiking poles, so we didn't bring them. However, we definitely missed not having them. It was more technically challenging than I expected.
We saw a decent amount of wildlife on this trail, including birds, lizards, frogs, and dragonflies.
The lower falls is an obvious 25 ft split waterfall surrounded by trees and ferns and algae. It is stunning.
The trail is well worth it!
This trail is an experience.
I don't agree with the lightly trafficked rating on this one. We went in March and it was packed.
The trail has its own parking lot and vault toilets. It actually begins on a designated boardwalk, but that soon transitions to open salt flats you can wander off on. You pass Badwater lake at the start and the salt flats follow. There are informational placards at the beginning.
The salt is fascinating and reminded me of hot crunchy snow.
This is the lowest spot in the US, so beware of heat depending on the time of year you go.
We went at sunset specifically to get the shot of the colors above the flats. It is well worth it and I definitely recommend this experience.
This drive was lovely and scenic. It isn't a dirt road thou, so this isn't off roading at all.
We went in February and we're lucky it had been freshly paved. The contrast between the fresh black and the landscape was stunning.
Be careful of the two literal dips in the road. They are quite deep.
As an aside, we did a hiking trail through the canyon going in one dip and out the other. To date this is our favorite 'trail' in the park. It's about 4.5 miles of solitude and beauty.
Both this drive and the trail are highly recommended. I would give the drive 4 stars but the trail 5.