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Gower Gulch Loop Trail [CLOSED]

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Death Valley National Park

Gower Gulch Loop Trail is a 4.2 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Death Valley, California that offers scenic views and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips and is best used from September until May.

Distance: 4.2 miles Elevation Gain: 715 feet Route Type: Loop

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

views

rocky

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.

Did Golden Canyon with Red Cathedral and Gower Gulch Loop. Golden Canyon in and out would be easy and very pretty. Lots of side washes to explore. Some easy scrambling if you add Red Cathedral. The Gower Gulch piece by the Manley Beacon got me huffing and puffing. Some easy scrambling where Gower Gulch gets close to Badwater Rd.

hiking
3 months ago

loved it! easy solo hike.

The golden canyon side has more to look at and better views but gower gulch path makes for nice loop. We went counterclockwise which views behind us and made for some steep uphill, but might be hard to navigate going down those areas. Red cathedral very beautiful but didn’t take extra spur up to it.

hiking
5 months ago

Great hike, but why not go all the way up? Also, the south side of that is really boring, and walking all the way on soft peddle ground. Still, great hike

recorded Recording - Jan 23, 12:41 PM

hiking
5 months ago

great, not too difficult. gower is mostly wide flood channel. short section of narrow, steep slots. it's fun.

hiking
5 months ago

Awesome trail, did it clockwise about a mile in you hit a steep incline but it is very short. Going counter clockwise has a more gradual but consistent incline pretty much the whole way.

hiking
6 months ago

Great hike with landscape and scenery changing every mile or so, giving opportunities for many great photographs. Carry a lot of water.

hiking
6 months ago

had a couple steep drops and slot canyon bits. otherwise, good

Fantastic hike for this time of year. Cool temps made it very enjoyable. Started at Golden Canyon. and detoured to Red Cathedral then on up to Zabriski Point then down Gowers Gultch. This defiantly the direction to do this trail.

Easy but bring water. Great views from tons of side hikes.

hiking
6 months ago

Counter clockwise is the way to go. Gradual climb to Zabriskie Point then a steeper decent. Beautiful.

hiking
7 months ago

Another beautiful trail. We hiked it counter clockwise to get the desert part out of the way early in the morning and manage the elevation gain more easily. Really nice geology and views during this first part of hike. Middle isn’t much to mention as you’re walking along a dry river bed. Concluding the Gulch Trail we turned up the trail to Red Cathedral which added about a mile to the hike. Some scrambling involved. The last part of hike back down Golden Canyon again had us in awe of Mother Nature. Some shade along the way was appreciated.

rocky
scramble
7 months ago

We did this loop counter clockwise and were glad we did. It spreads the climb over twice as much mileage as going clockwise. Seeing the condition of the folks at the top of the climb going clockwise, reinforced our assessment. Also, their are some pour offs in Bower Gulch that would be better to climb than go down. We also did the red rock cathedral side trail. Definitely scramble up the last part of the trail, the views are worth it.

Very cool trail. I'd recommend doing the trail counterclockwise to make the elevation gain easier. If you head up to Red Cathedral, it'll add another mile. Be careful at Red Cathedral as the rock and gravel is very loose.

hiking
no shade
Fri Jun 21 2019

Super cool hike. Crazy beautiful. Last 3/4 mile or so is a bummer bc you come out of canyons and rock formations. Maybe do it backwards? There were only a few people when I did this hike on a Friday. Hot but so worth it.

hiking
no shade
rocky
scramble
Thu Jun 06 2019

The parking lot is fairly small, maybe 10/15 spots or so but I don't think it gets really crowded. I did this trail on my way back from Badwater Basin Salt Flats, I arrived a bit after 8am. It was already really hot (around 104F / 40C) but I decided to go anyway. There is BARELY any shade along the way. Do the trail clockwise so the 2nd part of the loop is easier. The last 3/4 mile has ABSOLUTELY NO SHADE. The path/sand/gravel/earth got extremely hot, to the point where I started to get burning sensations in my feet and also had to cover up to avoid the sun a bit. I made it back to the car park around 10:15. The whole loop took me less than 2 hours. I was by myself the whole time after I passed the junction between Red Cathedral and Gower Gulch. I would strongly recommend to start this trail at 7 or even before. Take at the very least half a gallon of water and have snacks to eat along the way. The first part of the trail is the most interesting, the views are stunning!!! It was difficult but worth it!

hiking
no shade
Sun Mar 31 2019

Desert wash hike. Lots of cool rock formations. Go early. Lots of people. We did it counter clockwise and saw fewer people.

hiking
Fri Mar 01 2019

The Gower Gulch part is less crowded.

hiking
Mon Feb 11 2019

Lots of cool geology!

Sun Jan 13 2019

This hike is spectacular! The views the entire time are amazing! The sun was setting the last mile of my hike and it created the most beautiful scenery. Do not come to Death Valley and skip this!

Mon Dec 31 2018

A beautiful exploration of death and nothingness (except for the incredible wealth of geological amazingness). Go early so it’s quiet since it’s the most popular in the park. Take the offshoot to red cathedral and climb all the way up, if you like to boulder, loop it and climb down. Favorite part is the last 1/4 of it (I started clockwise) where you hit the gulch, which is really just beautiful. Definitely do this trail while you’re there it’s a trip.

hiking
Tue Nov 27 2018

It was one of my best trail in this park.

running
Mon Jan 15 2018

Did this as part of the Golden Canyon-Badlands-Gower Gulch loop. Had no problem finding the wash but once I was further in, it was hard to find any trail markers at all. A GPX map would be useful. I made sure not to take any side routes and stayed on the main trail. It narrows down quite a bit with high, interesting rock formations that close in overhead before a short, steep descent that opens up to the mouth of the gulch and 190 in the distance. Make sure to have supportive shoes/hiking boots if you have weak ankles--there are lots of large rocks that have been smoothed by water and deposited in the gulch over time.

hiking
Wed Apr 19 2017

just hiked it today nice trail and we'll marked

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