Surprise Canyon Trail is a 12.6 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Death Valley, California that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

Length12.6 miElevation gain4,360 ftRoute typeOut & back
BackpackingCampingHikingNature tripsBird watchingRunningCaveViewsWaterfallWildflowersWildlifeMuddyOver grownRockyScrambleNo dogs
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Reviews (73)
Photos (97)
Activities (54)
Completed (122)
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Robert Pelletier
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 2, 2021
HikingGreat!MuddyOver grownWashed out
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Tom Pescatore
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Hiking

All going up, mostly difficult terrain to go through. Lots of pushing through foliage and walking through streams for the first 2.5 miles

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Robert Finch
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HikingGreat!MuddyNo shadeOver grownRockyScramble

Awesome hike. Did it in a day, but would recommend starting early. Contrary to the mileage posted, from trailhead to the smelter it was 7.2 miles so 14.4 round trip. Expect to get your feet wet at the bottom of the trail as you cross streams and climb up boulders and small waterfalls. Brewery Springs is around 4.5 miles in. After that the hike is dry with a fairly steep, long, and slow grade. Totally worth it when you make it to Pantamint City (one of the most beautiful parts of the hike). Highly recommend.

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Jess Basham
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 19, 2021
Hiking

Amazing hike

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Derek&Heidi Faller
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Hiking
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Kim Maize
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HikingGreat!MuddyRockyScramble

I hiked this trail last Saturday with a group of friends. We all accomplished our goal of hiking up to Pantamint City and back in one day. If you plan on doing it make sure you start no later than 8:00am so that you can get to the city, enjoy the sights at the city and make it back before dark. It’s a tough hike with the streams and falls that you go through. I was grateful that we had some strong men to help us navigate up and over some of the more difficult boulders. After you get through the first 1.5 miles of some bouldering, you will then have a gravely and rocky hike with a steady climb up in elevation. I’m a 66 year old woman and I did this in a day, I’ve got lots of hiking experience and am in good shape. It’s a tough hike but a really interesting one with all the surprises to be found in the canyon.

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Jessica Rushing
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Hiking
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Austin Vaughn
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Hiking
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Blake Riihimaki
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Snowshoeing

Lots of scrambling and bushwhacking. Very easy to lose the trail at multiple points. Cabin at the top was a nice surprise.

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Kevin Leon
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HikingMuddyOver grown

Was not prepared at all for the bushwhacking. Turned back and just chilled near the trailhead. Would definitely return, with waterproof boots and ready to bushwack.

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ryan fisher
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 12, 2020
Hiking

wow. some easy parts. some wet parts. some overgrown parts. wear waterproof boots or have wet feet. and that is just from the springs. no rain or snow around. some wet rocky parts to scramble up. what a great hike.

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james listerman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 2, 2020
BackpackingOver grownRockyScramble

extremely rocky.lots of scrambling. bushwacking.its a difficult hike but rewarding.

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Sammy Chung
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Hiking
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Jay Shumo
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Hiking

Wow but not enough daylight. Waterfalls definitely for an hour experienced hiker. I will be back to complete

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Steve Kielbasa
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 8, 2020
Hiking

Challenging all the way up. You’ll def spend some time hiking in the water so bring some shoes that can get wet and keep your feet dry!

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Ric Roks
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 20, 2020
Hiking

Get ready for some rocky trails, water trails but fun overall

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