I love the woods. Take me to the forest, and I would be happy if it will be a forested peak with an impressive view – even better. Secluded beach surrounded by rain forest – oh, majestic!
And though I admire the strange cosmic beauty of deserts. I was so impressed with Utah and Nevada last year that I wanted to take a second look at Death Valley National Park.
Last time – Feb 2015 – when were there – it was scorching. But not this time: there was plenty of fresh air, moisture, and low clouds; snow-covered mountains peaks.
Hiking Desolation Canyon
When we’ve been there the first time, we hiked Golden Canyon. But for this visit, I found a nearby trail in Desolation Canyon.
The hike is 3.6 miles out and back, moderate to strenuous. The most challengeable is the second part of the way with two dry falls – 8 and 6 ft. If you are like me, scared of going down on steep slopes, you find it’s harder to hike them down.
After dry falls, there are few intersections with other canyons; both times, you need to take a right.
The canyon ends above the Artist’s Drive, so the hike is very colorful with a rewarding view. If you sometimes hate crowdy Artist’s Drive but love the mix of colors of the rocky walls of canyons, then you will appreciate the hike.
The very end of the trail has an overlook over the Artist’s Drive and the valley.
Visit Natural Bridge Canyon
One of the places to visit in Death Valley National Park is Natural Bridge Canyon.
The natural arch in the dark brown canyon looks impressive but is a top-rated stop. We didn’t hike beyond the span though I saw several beautiful photos from the further trail.
The trail after the bridge follows red rock formations where the canyon narrows, climbs over two small dry falls.
Then there is a bigger fall about 20 feet high. But most sources tell canyon after it becomes shallower and not worse further hiking.
The distance from parking to the bridge is near 0.3 miles and 0.8 miles to the 20 ft dryfall.
In 2015 Zabriskie Point was closed both for those who drive and those who hike Golden Canyon trail. But this time, it was open.
Zabriskie Point is, probably, the most popular overlook in the park. You can find it busy most of the time, but sunrise tends to be more scenic at sunrise. We planned to stop before the sunset. When we arrived, clouds covered most of the skyline, and we didn’t want to test our luck.