Explore the most popular trails near Teakettle Junction with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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Teakettle Junction, California Map
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hiking
1 month ago

This part of the park appears to get visited significantly less than the main part of the valley floor, especially now that the road to Scotty's Castle is closed due to flood damage. This is really unfortunate because the landscape here is really one of a kind and the view from the top of Ubehebe crater is absolutely amazing, you almost feel like you're on a different planet.
There is a path that goes around the whole crater if you have time, and if you don't, this short trail will take you to a great vantage point over the crater itself. It is also possible to hike down into the crater, which I very much enjoyed, just be aware that getting back up on the gravel that keeps slipping under your feet makes this much more strenuous than it appears.
Overall, to me, this may have just been the prettiest part of Death Valley. If you have time, you should definitely come here!

The road is a long and bumpy ride. We drove in a Toyota Rav and has no issues thankfully but it took us 3 hours each way. I wouldn’t mess around with this, we saw no one out there.

The Grandstand or black rock structure was so awesome. It sticks out on as a stark distance between the playa. We climbed around on the rocks easily, it was very fun. Some bigger lizards too.

The Sailing Stones were my favorite. Unfortunately, a lot of people have vandalized them and you can tell the rocks that made the trails are not the rocks that someone placed there. There are also a lot of trails with no rocks at the beginning or end. It’s disappointing no one has respect for such an awesome phenomenon. There are some legitimate ones but I wish they would keep a better eye on the place.

Follow me on Instagram for pictures of the hikes and other adventures @wildrumpfie

hiking
5 months ago

Deep gravel most of the way which makes it difficult so a decent workout. The dry fall at the end was rather anticlimactic. May be better in a different season. Went in the evening and saw a lot of little bats hunting for bugs.

Went from cotton wood canyon to Deadhorse Canyon to marble canyon. Only uphill to get out of cottonwood and cross into Deadhorse. We used this app GPS feature and hiking project GPS and where able to stay on trail the whole time. Had water in both cottonwood and Deadhorse.

off road driving
7 months ago

Off-road clearance recommended and not really fo cars.
note that the trail is often washboarded and that can really slow you down.
There are a couple of good trails you can explore further (and an alternative out) but those are for experienced off-road drivers only.

Good winter trip. Both springs running and I was able to get water. I ended up parking at the 2wd parking spot but in retrospect I could’ve saved hiking a few miles on rocky,sandy wash by driving into the divide. Getting down the dry falls on marble was a little tricky but it has some good hand and foot holds to help. Very few trail markers which made for a fun adventure.

Never made it to trailhead. You need a high clearance vehicle. We drove a Subaru with all wheel drive, but we kept scraping bottom on sand and rocks. Not worth it unless you have a high clearance 4x4. Also expect the dirt road drive to take longer than planned. It is slow going. Good luck to others trying to get there!

Just was up there recently and weather was perfect! Wrote a little trip report too. Definitely be careful driving out there, we did get a flat tire on our way back! Still totally worth going to see this place in person.
http://www.shedreamsofalpine.com/blog/2017/12/6/a-weekend-in-death-valley-visit-the-racetrack-mesquite-flat-sand-dunes-and-badwater-basin

There is water at Cottonwood Springs and Deadhorse Canyon as of Thanksgiving weekend 2017. 4x4 is a must if you're going to start from the junction. I was in a Prius and our car made it to the 2WD parking lot 8 miles in on Cottonwood Marble Road. But it was bumpy and kind of scary. Do not attempt to drive beyond the parking area if you do not have an off-road vehicle. I was tracking our miles on my Garmin and having to hike the extra miles from the parking lot and missing some turns got us to 35 miles for this trip. It's stunning, a real adventure, but really for those with experience. Should not be attempted by newbies. We did it in 2.5 days and we never saw anyone else. I used the topo map on this app as well as following the NPS map and printed info. We also followed wild horse tracks when things got confusing and I found them to be reliable. The section from the second saddle to Deadhorse Canyon is as tricky as everyone says it is. You'll see the Canyon below but you don't see how to get down there. There is basically a steep gully you're supposed to go down. We ended up heading on a ridge instead and I kept wondering how we were supposed to get down there. Once I realized we missed the turn into the gully, we descended down the side of a mountain and slid all the way down to reach the gully (do not try this at home!). This is to say, be meticulous in looking for the second saddle/gully turn. I personally found the 8ft dryfall to be difficult to climb down but my bf scrambled halfway and just jumped. Then I threw our gear down for him to catch it. Climb on the left side of the fall, which has more handholds. There is also a turn we missed near the rock choke after the marble slots. But the trail heads up to the left before the choke. Look for cairns. Because daylight is scarce this time of year, we got up at 4am each day to start. We parked at the 2WD parking on the first night and hiked a little past the junction to setup camp for the night. We started at the junction going clockwise on the first day and ended for the day at North Valley. Second day we went from North Valley back to the 2WD parking. We carried 5L of water for each day and I found that to be enough, we refilled at Cottonwood Springs. Highly recommend it for the solitude and experience. Just do your research.

Death Valley NP is so diverse and this hike is a great example of how to experience its diversity. We hiked around Ubehebe and Little Hebe but also ventured off the trail at various points. It's easy to make your way back to the trail and not get lost. It's also fun to see folks driving out to The Racetrack. I highly recommend wearing gaiters because the soil is mostly very small rocks.

hiking
10 months ago

Most of the hikes in Death Valley are in and out. This is a beautiful loop day hike. It is not for beginners and it involves some scrambling. Anyone with some scrambling experience will likely have no problem getting through a few section will be fun obstacles.

There are beautiful rock formations, narrows and expansive views of the Death Valley once you are on the ridge.

This hike has been named after Scott Swaney. He has explored Death Valley more than anyone else and as of now has about 300 first time canyons descended/explored.

Amazing views, did not go into the crater, just around it. looked too Steep. moderate, but rewarding. it's a long drive to the crater. went in mid September around 1030-1130, pretty warm!

backpacking
Thursday, April 27, 2017

Backpacked this trail in two days (Feb. 24, 2017-Feb. 25, 2017) starting on the Cottonwood side and ending on the Marble Canyon side. I parked in the 2WD parking area and though my 2WD probably could have made it, it only added two miles one way to the trip.

On the first day I made it to the end of the jeep road by about 1:00 PM so I decided to continue on to Cottonwood Spring. Made it to the spring by about 5:00 PM which was perfect. There is plenty of space to camp out near this spring.

On day two, I tracked up the canyon, over the two saddles, and down into marble canyon. That traverse from the first saddle, to the second is not difficult but you must pay attention. I had the GPS way points programmed and I'm glad I did. Second day was by far the most stunning hike. The view of Marble Canyon from the top was incredible. Highly recommended.

All three springs were active when I was there, granted they had a huge rain storm the week before. First cottonwood spring and dead horse spring were only mildly active but the main cottonwood spring was very active (pictured). Beautiful, clean, cool water.

Great trip. If you want to take it very easy and get some side hikes in, three days is very doable. If you're looking to do it in two days, also very doable.

hiking
Thursday, March 09, 2017

Did just a portion of this loop (Marble Canyon to the Petroglyphs). Excellent day hike. The total length can be shortened considerably if you continue driving along the road. 4WD is advised, but not required. Having never been here, I chose to park at the end of the 2WD road, which lengthened the overall trip to 13 miles. Still worth it. The hike itself is awesome and the petroglyphs are really cool. Keep a sharp eye out. They are hard to spot. I walked right by them the first time because someone had told me "you can't miss 'em."

hiking
Thursday, March 09, 2017

Excellent day hike. The total length can be shortened considerably if you continue driving along the road. 4WD is advised, but not required. Having never been here, I chose to park at the end of the 2WD road, which lengthened the overall trip to 13 miles. Still worth it. The hike itself is awesome and the petroglyphs are really cool. Keep a sharp eye out. They are hard to spot. I walked right by them the first time because someone had told me "you can't miss 'em."

on Fall Canyon Trail

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

This was our last hike. It actually rained a couple of drops. Very easy walk between towering cliffs that we couldn't see the tops of because of the clouds. This was easily the most crowded hike we did. There is room for everyone so enjoy the walk.

on Racetrack Road

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

You can tell who's driving the rentals because they're flying down the road. It took awhile in my Tacoma and if you try this in a car(and we saw cars) be careful. But it's worth the trip.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

This is a great hike for winter. I live in Wyoming, so all we have is winter camping. Not my style. Not a difficult hike and navigating was not an issue. Just watch for the entrance to Dead Horse Canyon and you'll be fine. Since we weren't certain of the water situation we hauled our water. No water filter. Maybe not a good idea if it's hot, but for us it was no problem. We did it from the Cottonwood side, and I think this is the better choice.

off road driving
Monday, December 26, 2016

My Jeep Compass got shock oil leaked at the end of the road but managed to get back with careful driving. I've seen Mustang on the road as well. The south end of the lakebed has more interesting rocks. Amazing landscape.

hiking
Saturday, December 17, 2016

Fun hike to explore a pretty cool crater. It's about 500 feet deep. You can go down the crater to the bottom towards the end of the trail. I chose not to as it's a pretty steep hike back up

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Tough drive, well worth it with the right vehicle, very unique feature if you can make it there

Pretty cool feature, don't have to go all the way around if you don't wish to, kinda like walking on sand, can present a challenge

hiking
Monday, April 04, 2016

Extremely cool adventure hike through a wilderness canyon. With a little scrambling skill, you can even get beyond the first dryfall to a narrow slot canyon. Like a lot of Death Valley, you will feel like you are on another planet in Fall Canyon!

off road driving
Saturday, April 02, 2016

Beautiful once you get to the racetrack. Roads are freshly grated so the drive is slow going

hiking
Thursday, January 14, 2016

Cool trail with really nice photo opportunities. Not a challenging loop hike, long but easy. I popped my tire and had to change to the spare on the sand road, changing a flat in sinking sand was fun! I was in a 4x4 truck with big tires, but anything can still happen. I wouldn't recommend driving to the trail head without a high clearance vehicle some of the rocks are quick large to get over. Added some photo's from the morning sun. Definitely do this as a morning hike when the sun is cresting into the canyon. I camped around mile 9 on the road, was a great spot.

camping
Sunday, January 03, 2016

Cold but beautiful

hiking
Friday, December 11, 2015

off road driving
Wednesday, July 29, 2015

I started the drive out to the Racetrack around 4am to catch the sunrise, with little off-roading experiencing and in a rental mid-size SUV it was intimidating in the dark. But coming back during the day, while other cars were just beginning the drive out, was a thrill. The scenery is interesting with the grove of Joshua trees and desert plants.

nature trips
Wednesday, July 29, 2015

If you start across the Racetrack from the lot near the Grandstand, it's a surprisingly long walk across and back. On the way out from the Grandstand I passed what was left of a stream (moist earth and tumbleweed-type plants rooted) but on the way back didn't see it whatsoever! The rocks you want to see once you've checked out the Grandstand are way to the south end of the Playa, and more to the southeast end of it. If you go toward the south lot, you'll notice a lot of tracks with either no rock or the wrong rock trailing from it, sometimes a rock on each end of the trail smh. But heading east you'll find the less-disturbed rocks and their rightful tracks. PLEASE DO NOT MOVE OR TAKE ROCKS.

And DEFINITELY drive out in a car suitable for offroading. Its a bumpy 27 mile drive the whole way!

hiking
Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Slide your way down into Ubehebe Crater via right-most trail from the lot, so fun! Hard, slippery trek back up though taking the least-steep trail out. Walking the perimeter isn't hard. It's fairly windy so you don't get hot but its like walking through sand so wear ankle-high boots/shoes if you don't want rocks in your shoes. Nice views

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