Mosaic Canyon Trail [CLOSED]

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Death Valley National Park

Mosaic Canyon Trail is a 3.5 mile heavily trafficked out and back 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 October until April.

Distance: 3.5 miles Elevation Gain: 1,066 feet Route Type: Out & Back

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

wildlife

rocky

closed

no dogs

This trail is experiencing full or partial closure due to COVID-19. Please see the open trails nearby for alternate hiking options.

recorded Mosaic Canyon Trail

hiking
2 months ago

First half mile is the most interesting, some fun climbing after the “end” to another boulder blocking the way.

hiking
off trail
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

beautiful trail — really shows off the array of colors and layered canyon rocks that the park is so well known for. definitely be ready to use your hands to climb up some rocky ledges to get to the end. other helpful hikers have made arrows to guide you along the path (although it’s doable without the arrows) and an “X” marks the end. luckily for hikers who do not want to do the full hike, the most beautiful narrows are located a short walk from the parking lot at the beginning of the trail. enjoy!

hiking
2 months ago

I changed the difficulty to "Moderate" within AllTrails, I felt it was much more suitable. The elevation gain isn’t strenuous but it’s no walk in the park, and there’s mandatory scrambling within fairly claustrophobic spaces. I did not anticipate liking this trail as much as I did. At first glance, it’s merely an open canyon. But it quickly slots down into a narrows lined with finished dolomite. The marble walls are so beautifully carved, you would expect they were hand-crafted as opposed to being scoured out by flash floods from ages past. You’ll also see outcroppings of breccia, the mosaic rock pattern for which the trail is named, along the way that look just as anthropogenic. Don’t miss this trail, but more importantly don’t underestimate the scrambling that is required to do this. This is NOT easy and you will have a bad time past the first narrows if you are not physically fit.

hiking
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

Incredible trail! We went early in the morning and saw almost no people. It was lightly sprinkling which made the mosaic rocks even more beautiful as they were wet and shiny. After the first set of narrows and open space, make sure to continue to the second set of narrows. There are some rock scrambles but they are doable. After this set of narrows, you will come to a point where the trail comes to an abrupt halt at a 15-20 foot rock wall. About 100-200 yards before that wall, turn right to go up on a ridge. The trail actually goes on this ridge which takes you above the rock wall.

hiking
scramble
3 months ago

Great trail with lots of fun scrambles up & down!

hiking
scramble
3 months ago

Trail is not as long as the all trails marker says...unless you scale a 50’ wall. Lots of scrambling, trail only marked with stone arrows...which were still confusing at times. Satisfying but kinda tough.

hiking
scramble
3 months ago

rocky
scramble
3 months ago

Awesome hike! I would definitely say more moderate than easy given the elevation gain and multiple scrambles which were made more difficult due to slick rock surfaces. The second half of this hike was definitely more entertaining, although seeing the rock formations was also fascinating. Make sure to follow the rock directiona/arrows. There are no other markers on this trail.

hiking
scramble
3 months ago

This was not an easy hike. It was certainly fun though. The beginning and the end of this hike we’re the most interesting and fun. The entrance to the canyon has the mosaic rock formations and the end includes 6 or so rock scrambles to maneuver. It’s worth sticking it out until the dry fall at the end.

hiking
3 months ago

This was our favorite hike in Death Valley. While it is not very long or strenuous, there are many sections that are extremely slick rock or require scrambling. Therefore, I think the “easy” rating may be a little misleading. I saw many people on the trail who are very unlikely to have made it to the end... We started on the earlier side (9am) and had the trail basically to ourselves. On the way back to the car the trail got much more crowded and the parking lot completely filled. We had a great time exploring, and my six year old especially love sliding down the slippery rocks on the descent. There is no grand view at the end; this trail really is more about the fun of getting there rather than a big payoff at the end.

hiking
3 months ago

Didn't complete the trail, but the marble canyon at the beginning is awesome. Cool ridge to climb when the canyon opens up.

hiking
scramble
3 months ago

One two favorite hikes of ours in DV. February was a great time as it got warm/hot but not bad. This hike has very unique looking rock formations and patterns. There are areas of very slick slides from past water and high walls showing embedded pieces of various rocks of many colors. I will say you can make this hike more adventurous as you’d like. There are many areas you’ll use your hands and scramble up over slick areas or larger jammed rocks. Depending on what you’re looking for and interested in getting into, there are ways up or around. Even if you’re not up to do that there’s plenty in the beginning of interest. Pay attention for arrows made of rocks for ways around. Part of the fun is exploring. I’m fairly sure we made it past the official end of the hike and could’ve kept going but wanted to make sure we got to other areas of the park.

hiking
3 months ago

Scrambly in some places if you want it to be. There are usually easy ways up too. Forgot to end the recording before we drove away.

recorded Mosaic Canyon Trail

hiking
scramble
4 months ago

hiking
rocky
scramble
4 months ago

This was not as easy a hike as you’d think, though it was a fun hike at times. There were several scrambles to climb up so if you have knee problems be aware!

hiking
4 months ago

Maybe I miss the point, but i"d skip this. Not very special compared to the other canyons out there.

hiking
4 months ago

I’ve never seen rocks like this. Definitely worth the trip even if you don’t get past the first boulder fall. I stopped there and still was amazed.

rocky
scramble
4 months ago

hiking
rocky
scramble
5 months ago

My favorite hike in the Death Valley. Very beautiful canyon hike. There are climbs so it's not an easy hike. I did not make it all the way, stopped at one of the climbs as it was slippery and returned. So I missed the last 0.4 miles. It was still worth it! Would do it again if/when I visit the valley next time, and may be go all the way.

hiking
5 months ago

Gorgeous rock formations! if you do the whole hike, watch for arrow signs to guide you. While the app says this is easy, you need to climb some slippery rocks so be careful.

hiking
rocky
scramble
5 months ago

I recommend this if you want more than a walk but less than big scrambling. There are a few places where you gotta use your hands. The end is kinda sudden and I wish there would have been another mile in. Overall, very enjoyable!

hiking
rocky
5 months ago

Very beautiful trail! We went the day after it rained, so some parts were a little slippery, but overall manageable (bypasses for the dry falls make them doable). In relation to other slot canyons, mosaic canyon is only narrow at a few points in the trail.

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