Golden Canyon and Gower Gulch Loop via Zabriskie Point

MODERATE 53 reviews

Golden Canyon and Gower Gulch Loop via Zabriskie Point is a 5.8 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Death Valley, California that offers scenic views and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from November until April.

DISTANCE
5.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,092 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

views

no dogs

Experience the beautiful Golden Canyon and Gower Gulch as a loop from Zabriskie Point in Death Valley. Moderate trail through Golden Canyon, Red Cathedral and Gower Gulch. Colorful badlands, canyon narrows and old borax mines are the most impressive sights there. Hike from Zabriskie Point through Golden Canyon to the Red Cathedral by following the markers. From Red Cathedral hike to the Golden Canyon trailhead at the parking area (Highway 190 on Badwater Road). From there follow the trail to the Gower Gulch. Don't turn left or right when you are in the gulch. There are no markers in the gulch. Next marker is at the crossing Golden Canyon Trail and Gower Gulch Trail close to Zabriskie Point.

hiking
4 months ago

Heat was intense but loved the challenge.

4 months ago

Absolutely stunning. The user below me said it was really busy but I went on Saturday in spring and minus the first mile there was very little people. Red Cathedral was amazing especially going the extra half mile or so, and after that it gets even better until zabriske point. The walk through Gower gulch was the "least interesting" part but it featured a mine and some climbing over rocks which was still cool. Do the full 8 mile loop as described on the Death Valley NP official website and you won't forget it.

hiking
5 months ago

BE FOR-WARNED THIS IS YET ANOTHER TOURIST TRAIL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Very Beautiful but not worth the People that are everywhere. I made it down the trail for maybe 20 min and the sound of people was killing the views( Im not much on being around kids and yelling parents). So I left, Death Valley is to Big and the Solitude is a beautiful thing for me. I had just heard so much good of this trail I had to see the hype. This is the Disney of Death Valley Trails especially if you go the length and do Zabriskie Point with it . See my Review on that as well. In fairness TO THIS TRAIL I gave it 1 star because I left and couldnt really see the trail.

hiking
6 months ago

Did the full hike from Zabriskie Point to Golden Canyon and back. Took 5hrs in total with the only strenuous part being the upwards hike towards the beginning of Golden Canyon (on the way back). Zabriskie Point offers a hike up to a picturesque view point. Another trail leads into Zabriskie where exploration is as free as can be. Very incredible formations, a museum of geological processes. Parts of the floor are cracked from scorching heat, rather fun to play around. The trail eventually leads to the badlands where the hike up the ridges give stunning views and one can navigate the ridges like intersected highways. This eventually leads to the Golden Valley, with the highlight being Manly Beacon and the Red Cathedral, beautiful natural structures of the desert. The eye adjust to the few shades of colors during the summer, creating an eccentric visual trip. A highlight of 2wd accessible Death Valley.

trail running
7 months ago

Breathtaking loop, a must-do if you have some time. Golden Canyon was very well marked. When you get onto the Badlands trail it's fairly well marked with arrow-ed signs for the observant hiker/trail runner. Lots of side canyons to wander into in the Badlands, just make sure to stay aware of your surroundings. I'd suggest a GPX map especially for the Gower Gulch segment if you're doing the loop clockwise.

hiking
7 months ago

Great trail,
It is very well marked and has some awesome views. Make sure you do the extra mile or so to check out red cathedral.

hiking
7 months ago

well marked, cool views, fun time.

hiking
7 months ago

Started at golden canyon trailhead. Beautiful scenery especially once you get out of the canyon. Not too many people once you get away from the trailhead. Excellent hike. Well marked trail.

8 months ago

This trail is stunning. We started through the Golden Canyon, made our way to the Red Cathedral, then walked the badlands to Nebriski Point before going back through The Gulch.

This is one of my favorite trails, the view of the badlands after hiking the Golden Canyon is breathtaking.

It took us 2.5-3hours to complete the trail with a lunch stop at Nebriski point.

hiking
8 months ago

I am an average weekend day hiker and this is one of my favorite hikes. The loop is eight miles and includes just about every color of rock and soil you can imagine. I recommend starting at the Golden Canyon trail head off of Badwater Road. Take the Golden Canyon Trail to the climb up to Red Cathedral. The rock scrambling near the end is fun. The view from the base of Red Cathedral is amazing. Head back down through the canyon then turn left at the marker to go toward Zabriskie Point. You'll be on Badlands Loop trail passing by Manly Beacon. When you reach the intersection with Gower Gulch go left to climb up to Zabriskie Point. There you'll be joined by a crowd because you can drive to this point of interest. It's worth it. Head back down then follow Gower Gulch all the way to the 30' drop-off. The trail will continue to the right of the drop-off. Follow the trail back to your car. Gower Gulch is a rock lover's dream.

hiking
9 months ago

Extremely unimpressive. Seemed like we were walking along a gravel pit. There were many side trails that were not well marked. The views seemed pretty similar to one another along the way.
The only plus was the low crowds. We ran into very few people once we got off the Golden Canyon Trail after the Red Cathedral (which was also less grandiose in color and scale than anticipated).

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Bring a map! The route is not always obvious. Beautiful views of varied landscapes.

hiking
Wednesday, April 26, 2017

gorgeous hike, especially the rock formations on golden canyon trail. Don't attempt after 12noon even at the beginning of April (it did get to above 90). That said, with a lot of water, some cursing, it was totally doable. Less crowds the further you go. We started at ZP, down Gower Gulch then back via Golden Canyon. I'd do it the other way definitely or better yet start and end at Golden Canyon. A lot less steep climbing especially in the area around Manly beacon. Most beautiful views.

hiking
Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Little bit hard if you start at Zabriskie point at moon, the sun beating you when you ascend during the second part.
Done in 2h, very beautiful.

hiking
Monday, March 27, 2017

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.

Monday, February 27, 2017

the hike was very crowded at 10 am

hiking
Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Very beautiful trail, and you will find fewer people the further you hike into the canyon. The scenery is otherworldly and the center of the canyon away from the trailheads is peaceful. There are trail markers throughout, so navigating the canyons is pretty straightforward.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

After reading about your hike we plan to do this . It would help if you could upload a GPX file so we could follow the Gower gulch portion

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