Indian Pass is a 13 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, camping, and backpacking and is best used from November until May.

Length13.0 miElevation gain1,870 ftRoute typeOut & back
BackpackingCampingHikingViewsRockyScrambleWashed outOff trailNo shadeFee
Waypoints (0)
Getting There

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.

California Travel and Tourism Commision, P.O. Box 1499 , Sacramento, CA, 95812-1499, Phone: 800-862-2543

Directions from Furnace Creek: Drive 6.5 miles north on Highway 190. The trail starts near the 104 mile marker and leads east of the road into the mountains.

UV Index
Reviews (8)
Photos (5)
Recordings (4)
Completed (10)
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Kate White
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 2, 2021

Awesome trip. The trail map doesn’t exactly fit what needs to be done in reality but we had fun exploring. We camped overnight just for fun and didn’t see a single other soul. Super quiet and beautiful.

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Dmitry Yuryev
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarDecember 22, 2019
HikingOff trailRockyScramble

I'd recommend choosing other trails, not because it's bad, but because of nothing interesting. Without Alltrails, I would have to stay there at night, because it doesn't have any signs and it's extremely difficult to navigate after sunset

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Nicholas Cicchetti
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarDecember 16, 2019
No shadeOff trailScramble

Had a great time! Hiked in mid-December and the weather was clear and in the sixties all day. There was very little water in the canyon when I passed through, so definitely bring enough for the entire day. As others have mentioned, finding the canyon mouth is the hard part. If you look at satellite images (on Google maps) you can see the path/road that marks the correct entrance that other reviewers have mentioned- the Alltrails map shows another entrance that is not nearly as navigable. Starting at the 104 marker, hug the right side of the middle "mound" as others have mentioned and you'll stay in a nice gravel riverbed. You're looking for the brightly colored pink, red, and yellow hills to be on your right; you'll have to pass a lot of other false entrances before you find the right one. You should come across a gravel "road" that's been ploughed out of the scree. The road dead ends at the canyon rim and you'll have to backtrack a little to find a safe way down into the canyon. There is some nice shade in the canyon. The day that I went was pretty calm so there was no wind and it was almost eerily quiet while I ate lunch. Highly recommend you leave at 8am or earlier (if hiking in winter) to get back to your car before sunset, assuming you'll take a few wrong turns. I left at 9 and the last mile was hiked with a headlamp, and finding the car on the side of the road in the dark was a little sketchy.

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Rachel Rahoohee
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 22, 2019
HikingOff trailRocky

This hike is probably one of the best and weirdest we’ve ever done. We decided to make Indian Pass the culminating day-hike of our week in Death Valley. The night before hiking, we studied Nathan and Sayyar’s reviews to make a game plan and orient ourselves. Even so, we spent a full 9 hours getting lost and back on track multiple times. We definitely didn’t do the traditional route, but here is what we did and what we’d do in the future: First, we should note that this hike is not for people with weak ankles, or people who need to follow a trail/plan. It’s very rocky, and there are no markings and a lot of similar-looking paths. We also didn’t see water at any point during the hike. We parked at the 104 marker, and went between the middle and right-most mounds of the three mentioned in the other reviews. HUG THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE MIDDLE MOUND (what Sayyar’s review mentions, when he says to stay to the left). We did not do that, and instead went more in the center, and ended up having to cut across tons of rocky stream beds, walking parallel to the road, to get close to the canyon mouth. If you follow the right side of the middle mound, you should be able to walk in a relatively smooth stream bed up to the canyon. Looking from the mounds, there is a canyon mouth with pink and yellow mountains. We found this to be the easiest way to eventually make it to Indian Pass. There are several other canyon mouths, we just found this one to be the most traversable and straightforward (the others have several wrong turns). We had originally taken the canyon entrance that Nathan mentioned and is on the AllTrails map, which led us to a dead-end and some backtracking. We only discovered this alternate path as we were taking it back to the road. That canyon path ascends until you reach a rocky plateau, with a steep drop-off. Make a left and walk along the plateau until you can descend safely. You will see a man-made road in the mountain. There will be an area with reddish rocks on the left that’s relatively easy to descend further, and then you’re in the canyon to Indian Pass. We turned around after about 45 minutes into the Funeral Mountains, because of timing. We tried several different ways to turn around (following the canyon back past the red rocks that we had originally descended), but only found dead-ends or steep drop-offs. We ended up coming back the way that we had come (getting out of the canyon by climbing up the red rocks). The way back is mostly downhill. We tried following the AllTrails map, and it led us to several dead-ends and we got pretty lost; it was helpful more as a general guideline. We started at 8:30AM, and ended at 5:30PM. We walked a little less than 16 miles overall, with a 30-minute stop for lunch and several short snack breaks. Overall it was a lot of exploration and spontaneous decision-making; it was beautiful and fun to be so deep in the canyons. Make sure to bring sunscreen and lots of water (we each had 3 liters of water, and plenty of food and headlamps). We saw no one else the entire hike. When we finished, we had dinner near the roadside at sunset and the stars afterwards were incredible. Happy hiking!

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Sayyar Hakeemov
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarDecember 30, 2018

Originally planned to do this as a backpacking destination, but decided to go for a day hike. The key is to find the canyon mouth, which was difficult, even with gps destination (unfortunately we did not find it). The trail is loosely marked with rock towers. For best results, park at mile 104 marker, and hike into the direction of funeral mountains. In front of you there will be 2 large brown hills. Keep left, along the left hill (this is what we should have done). This part will probably take you about 2 hrs (4 miles) until you reach the canyon mouth, which should be obvious as per other reviews. At this point, once you enter the canyon, just continue about 2 miles within that canyon until you reach the lower springs. Of note, right before the lower springs, there is a junction with the left trail going uphill, and the right one is actually hidden behind a person sized wall of rock, which you will need to climb over. Do not take the left uphill one, as it will lead you to nowhere but barren rock. You will know you reached the lower springs when you see more vegetation and some “puddles”, which you will see right after climbing the aforementioned rock. We actually decided to stop here and have lunch, before turning back. In sum, the challenging part is finding the canyon mouth. The lower springs part can be done in one day, but make sure to leave as early as possible. Also, there are good websites online if you google “Indian pass Death Valley” with pictures etc

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Nathan Goodfellow
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 7, 2018
First to Review

Now Please understand I am VERY!!! Old Fashion and I dont like or enjoy technology when Im In the Wilderness/Desert/Forest/Mountains so GPS's and or Phones stay in my car so I did the best I could by drawing this Trail for you but If you go to the Ranger station they will tell you that this is an unmarked trail because of the years of wash and very few folks ever find it . BUT!!! I ASSURE YOU IT IS THERE GOOGLE IT IF YOU LIKE. It is an old Indian Trail that even the Spanish used when they were moving across the West in search of Power and Gold as well as the Gold Miners of 49 they used it to get through the Mountains (This is How I know about it and went looking for it) You will experience everything Death Valley has to offer if you attempt this .Rock,Canyons,Sand, Salt ,Alittle Climbing, Very Dry and No Shade.They say there's water but NOTE!!!the ranger said its there sometimes but very rare. I was out there for 3 days and only saw 1 puddle that had maybe 1 gal in it and at that it was full of rabbit poop but I used it ( ALWAYS take a filter!!!!) There is a small stream called Poison Spring the water is brown and very bitter but with a filter can be drank(per the Ranger) I never found it, I dont know how I passed it ??. The spot to locate your starting Point is North of Furnace Creek at Mile Marker 104 just South of Beatty Junction. Park at Mile Marker 104 on the side of the road (if you are going North from Furnace Creek and the Ranger Welcome Center Marker 104 will be on your RIGHT SIDE down a few miles. from there look to your EAST( the side you are parked on,The salt flat is on your left) you will see 3 Brown hills (If you choose google earth it) you will see a small hill then the other 2 to the north. I went into the right of the small hill(note my picture) I heard there was an Old Gold Miners Wagon Trail that headed East of that hill from behind it and YES IT IS STILL THERE ! The wagon wheel marks have stood the test of time and wind absolutely AMAZING!!!! From there I followed the wagon trail until it was gone from the wash I climbed the highest point and looked across to find my very faint trail which is Indian Pass Trail you can see it from your high point to the North East corner at the base of the Mountains the Trail is there you"ll see it (google earth it if you choose) . Follow that trail up to the canyon (NOTE The trail/road dead ends up around the backside but makes for a pretty canyon picture because you are high above the canyon walls) when you get to the section of Trail that begins to go up the hill (The dead end) you go down to the Canyon wash and follow that all the way around, it will pass through the Mountains and come out on the other side . You can't get lost because the Canyon walls are very high . As the Ranger told Me there are very few Folks Know about the Pass so there are very few who ever pack or hike it its mostly locals if any. I set up Carins VERY BIG in some spots once you get back about 3-4 miles if you choose to follow my route . TAKE WATER!!!! I took 5 liters and got 1 liter from that poop puddle and I returned 3 days later with 8oz of water and 1/2 pint of Swedish water,Svedke (: There is no shade except that of an occasional hanging rock in the Canyon so beware of the sun (you are in a desert!) I may sound like a wise ass but You'd be surprised at how many times Ive passed a person in Arizona Utah or Cali in the desert and they were headed out because they needed water and they had to cut there venture short. once I even gave up some of mine to a kat who needed abit. think wise this was an awesome venture and if you can read a compass can follow the Sun and have Water you will be fine. We have more to our advantage then any Gold Miner did that ever walked through this Pass . ENJOY!!! Oh and if you like being where you wont see a person for as long as you are out you'll LOVE it here! SLAINTE!!!

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Jackie Mendelson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMarch 12, 2019
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Ethan Chao
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarDecember 28, 2017
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