Salt Creek Interpretive Trail [CLOSED]

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Death Valley National Park

Salt Creek Interpretive Trail is a 1.4 kilometer heavily trafficked loop trail located near Death Valley, California that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from November until April.

Distance: 1.4 km Elevation Gain: 8 m Route Type: Loop

wheelchair friendly

kid friendly

stroller friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

partially paved

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

closed

no shade

no dogs

This trail is experiencing full or partial closure due to COVID-19. Please see the open trails nearby for alternate hiking options. Most of this trail is a boardwalk that forms a loop. At the furthest part of the loop there is a sandy footpath that leads you along the creek for a more secluded experience. Interpretive signs point out species of interest. Be prepared for no shade and limited parking. The endangered pupfish is found in this creek (it is only found at one other location in the world...also within Death Valley NP). At only 4 centimeters long, they can be hard to spot in the creek, but they dart around to and from vegetation if you look closely.

walking
4 months ago

Amazing oasis in death valley. A small stream with little pupfish and we expected to see rabbits but we didn’t find any. But the scenery along the trail is picture perfect.

hiking
no shade
4 months ago

This trail runs amongst the “pupfish” of Death Valley, which have survived through the extreme weather conditions of the Park throughout the years. A somewhat-rugged side road leads to the trailhead. The trail itself is short and made up of wooden planks that form an easy-to-hike boardwalk. During our Winter 2020 Trip I did not see pupfish, but I did see and hear the stream of water directly below and alongside the trails, which is a rare sight to see in Death Valley. While this is not the most scenic trail nor is it the most interesting, it is enjoyable. I completed it at night under a Full Moon and the moonlight illuminated my path.

hiking
4 months ago

Amazing view! Beautiful and easy hike! Take a lot of water with you! This is an amazing hike for a day picnic, or if you like to take a book and read there! Definitely take water with you even in the winter

hiking
4 months ago

Easy hike, anyone can do it. Did not see any pupfish, but the views were great. The plants that grow here are unique and beautiful if you take a closer look.

hiking
7 months ago

The trail head was closed! My group could not get it, for future want-to-be purveyors of the fish.

hiking
bugs
no shade
11 months ago

Nice short walk, lots of small and grown up fish. Some big biting flies spoiled the fun a little bit. At the end there should be some ancient footprints of animals. Could not find them.

walking
bugs
no shade
Wed May 29 2019

This trail was full of flies when we visited the first week in May. Giant black flies swarmed around the trash can and were surprisingly aggressive in following us (even following our car as we drove away). Luckily or picaridin lotion kept them from biting us. However, only my daughter wearing a deet bracelet was left alone by the smaller biting flies, who even bit through clothing. There was also an occasional loose, missing or broken board in the boardwalk, so watch out for that. The fish were cute, but the flies ruined this trail for us.

hiking
Mon May 27 2019

We saw a lot of pupfish in the creek. It’s so quiet and peaceful here. Great for a short walk in the morning!

hiking
Sun Apr 07 2019

Enjoyed seeing the pup fish!

hiking
Sun Mar 31 2019

Kids really enjoyed the pupfish & wildlife. An exceptional setting in the park with the trickling waters & greenery made all the more exceptional due to the late winter rains. Nice family walkabout.

hiking
Fri Mar 01 2019

Pleasant boardwalk. Keep going at the end of the trail for a better experience.

hiking
Sat Feb 23 2019

nice short walk. plenty of interest.

hiking
Thu Feb 14 2019

Did this as a backup after my legs were dead from the previous day's hiking, but actually wound up enjoying this trail a lot. Fascinating to see the ecosystem around this little oasis and how the pupfish have specialized to the local environment

hiking
Sat Feb 09 2019

Straight forward walk along the boardwalk where you might see a rare pupfish. Not too much here, but worth the stop. 2/9/19

hiking
Wed Jan 31 2018

Fun hike, great places for photos.

walking
Sat Dec 02 2017

Nice and easy walk. It was amazing to see so much green vegetation in the desert.

Mon Sep 25 2017

Road was closed to access to the beginning of the trail

Sat May 20 2017

Good easy hike

walking
Sat Mar 18 2017

Awesome pup fish walked at sunset

walking
Mon Apr 11 2016

Most of this trail is a boardwalk that forms a loop. At the furthest part of the loop there is a sandy footpath that leads you along the creek for a more secluded experience. Interpretive signs point out species of interest. Be prepared for no shade and limited parking. The endangered pupfish is found in this creek (it is only found at one other location in the world...also within Death Valley NP). At only 4 centimeters long, they can be hard to spot in the creek, but they dart around to and from vegetation if you look closely.

walking
Sun Mar 08 2015

Absolutely beautiful! Easy hike suitable for everyone, lovely views and if you time it for sunset you can really see the light change. We saw a giant moth the size of a small bird and a lot of pupfish. Unique palnts and adaptations to salty environment.

hiking
Mon Apr 22 2013

Super easy hike, just about anyone can do it. The real prize are the Salt Creek Pup Fish. It isn't just anywhere that you can see a species that lives no where else and in such hostile conditions. The salt level in the creek can reach up to 8 times that of the Ocean the creek is so shallow that the fish make ripples on the surface as they swim. It is amazing watching the fish swim.

hiking
5 days ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

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