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Death Valley Buttes is a 3.7 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Death Valley, California that offers scenic views and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 3.7 miles Elevation Gain: 1,473 feet Route Type: Out & Back

hiking

views

rocky

scramble

off trail

no shade

no dogs

Death Valley Buttes is listed as an "Adventurous Hike" in the Day Hikes handout provided by the Furnace Creek Visitor Center. There's no posted trailhead, you must park at the Hell's Gate parking lot and walk a half mile or so through the desert to the foot of the first butte. The handout says there's no trail but an obvious trail becomes apparent when you reach the first butte. Hike up steep, gravelly trail until you reach the top of the first butte. From there you can return to the trailhead or continue down into a saddle and start hiking the second butte. The second butte is much harder than the first, with a steeper ascent and a long rock scramble that starts a 1/4 of a mile from the peak and doesn't end until you reach the top. There's no obvious trail during the rock scramble, you just have to find a way up yourself. The rock scramble bottlenecks about halfway through where you must shimmy along a narrow ledge. The trail ends at the summit of the second butte, where you can find a US Geographical Survey marker and an excellent view of Death Valley, stretching from the Salt Flats to the Mesquite Sand Dunes. Not recommended for those with fear of heights. Not recommended between May-September when the summer heat regularly exceeds 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

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