Golden Canyon and Gower Gulch Loop via Zabriskie Point

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Death Valley National Park

Golden Canyon and Gower Gulch Loop via Zabriskie Point is a 5.8 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Death Valley, California that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips and is best used from November until April.

Length5.8 miElevation gain1,092 ftRoute typeLoop
HikingNature tripsWalkingViewsWildlifeRockyScrambleNo shadeFeeNo dogs
Description
Waypoints (5)
Contact
Tips

Death Valley National Park charges a fee to enter. Fees are $30 per vehicle or $25 per motorcycle. If you are entering on foot, horse, or bike the fee is $15 per person. You can also purchase a park specific annual pass for $55. 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.

National Park Service: Hiking in Death Valley http://www.nps.gov/deva/planyourvisit/hiking.htm

Best time to hike this trail is close to sunset. But don't start too late!!! Plan enough time to be back at Zabriskie Point before it gets dark.

Weather
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Reviews (228)
Photos (1,341)
Recordings (148)
Completed (1,038)
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Carol Ziel
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Hiking

Poorly marked.

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Jessica Morgan
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HikingGreat!No shadeScramble

I’ve done Bryce and Zion, and this was my favorite hike of all three. So beautiful, so many different views. If I go to Vegas again soon, I would drive out here again just to hike it. Loved it so much!! Our only problem is we didn’t bring enough water. It wasn’t hot out so I misjudged the need for water in the dry atmosphere.

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JoLi Willis
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HikingRocky

Like the previous hiker mentioned, the best thing to do is to combine all the four hikes into one (Golden Canyon to Red Cathedral to Manly Beacon to Zabriskie Point to Gower Gulch Path. The total is 6.5 miles and will cover the main points of the area. It is a fun hike. At this time of the year (end of February) it was chilly when we started at 08:00 AM, but as the day progressed, it got warm in unprotected areas. Definitely a moderate rating.

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Brian Andrews
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Hiking

Started at Zabriskie Point to Gower Gulch (people finishing told me Gower Gulch was less interesting so I saved Golden for the uphill part - this feedback proved to be accurate - Golden >> Gower). If you take Gower down, note that at the bottom the trail follows a ledge to the right . . . you don't have to climb down the 20 foot dry waterfall). While Zabriskie Point is quite photogenic, I really enjoyed seeing the views and geology up close. Distance and elevation aren't hard, but heed the warnings about conditions - Did this in late February and it was so dry and hot that I felt it at the end. Found out it was 82 degrees when I finished (and humidity was probably approaching zero). Never used so much lip balm on a 6 mile hike! Trail is relatively crowded by the two trailheads, but sparsely populated about 1/2 mile away. Would recommend starting at Golden Canyon TH so you can do the uphill first.

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Christina Corcoran
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HikingGreat!
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Amanda T.
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Hiking

Started with gower gulches and went into the golden canyon! Made a detour to Red Cathedral- HIGHLY recommended! Make sure you go allll the way to the end of the Red Cathedral for the absolute best view on the trail! There’s zero shade so be prepared! All in all- an easy to moderate hike at some points. Do it!

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William Bowen
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hank mace
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Susan Goodley
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Brenna Krieger
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Monty Smith
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Hiking

Amazing, We opted for going counterclockwise from Zabriskie point. We started at sunrise and the benefit of going that route is you get to enjoy the colors caused by the rising sun while facing the view and Because it’s early in the hike we were energized to explore red cathedral, which was totally worth it. Gower gulch On the return was not quite as exciting but at that point we were less energized and the light conditions weren’t as amazing as sunrise so it didn’t matter as much. That’s our take on it, definitely do this loop (preferably at sunrise) if you go to DVNP!

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John Jack
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HikingGreat!

Did the hike counter clockwise starting at Zabriskie Point. The detour to Red Cathedral was well worth it. The finish through Gower Gulch was a bit of a slog but not difficult. February is a great time to be in Death Valley.

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Fakename Realperson
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George Waterman
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Mitch Master
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Silvia Smith
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Hiking

Mejor empezar por Zabriskie Point, ya que hay más estacionamiento y más baños allí. Muy bonito entre todo. El parte final por Gower Gulch se abruma bastante porque el sendero es pura grava y se cuesta moverse.

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Jeremy Duguid
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Judith D Lopez
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HikingGreat!

Great hike with wonderful geologic formations to marvel...

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Maria Lally
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HikingNo shade

Amazing! Hiked the loop and started at the golden canyon trailhead instead of zabriskie point. Views along the trail were almost better than zabriskie point itself. Start early, the trail gets hot and parking lot fills quickly.

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Joe Sokol
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Jack Walker
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HikingGreat!

Absolutely fantastic hike. I suggest getting to Zabriskie Point roughly 30 min- 1 hr before sun rise and take in the chasing shadows. Then start your hike from there. The start/end points are not official trails and marked off by park services. Start at the Zabriskie Point trail head instead. Also suggest going to red cathedral as there are some fun slots to play in. I went counter clockwise and highly recommend that direction. Gulch road is still beautiful just a slightly less steep grade.

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Johnnie D
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Great!

This is one of those trail you think back at the end of the day and go Wow, that was an awesome trail! The canyon is gorgeous and when you get to the other side you feel so accomplished. A lot of places to extend the hike and explore further too!

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Guy Strauss
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HikingGreat!

This was my favorite trail in DVNP! We did an out and back extension to Red Cathedral along the way, which I would highly recommend. Every turn reveals a spectacular vista! The best marked trail in the park. If you can only do 1 hike in the park, make it this one!

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Jen Man
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HikingGreat!
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sharon paul
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Gretel .
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HikingGreat!No shadeRockyScramble

1/2021. My favorite hike in the park! Great few from start to finish. We even took a little detour to check out the red cathedral. The whole hike is sandy, rocky, and/or gravely. If you enjoy geology this is the place for you. There’s so many interesting land formations and colors.

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