Hiking in Death Valley National Park is one of the best ways to explore this extreme landscape. Start right outside your door at Stovepipe Wells Hotel in Death Valley. Additional suggested hikes available at the Death Valley National Park web site or by talking to a ranger at the Visitor Center or Ranger Station.
Easy to Moderate Hikes
Golden Canyon Interpretive Trail
Length: 1 mile, one-way
Start Location: Golden Canyon parking area, 2 miles south of Hwy 190 on Badwater Road.
Description: Easy trail through a colorful canyon. Red Cathedral is located 1/4 mile up the canyon from the last numbered marker. An interpretive trail guide is available from the Visitor Center, ranger stations, or here.
Gower Gulch Loop
Length: 4 miles round-trip.
Start: Golden Canyon parking area, 2 miles south of Hwy 190 on Badwater Rd.
Description: This hike offers colorful badlands, canyon narrows and old borax mines. Hike up Golden Canyon to marker #10, then follow trail over the badlands to Zabriskie Point or down Gower Gulch (no trail) to finish loop. Two easy dryfalls must be scrambled down. Ask for a Gower Gulch handout at Visitor Center or at the Death Valley National Park web site.
Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes
Length: 2 miles to highest dune
Difficulty: easy to moderate
Start: 2.2 miles east of Stovepipe Wells on Hwy 190.
Description: Graceful desert dunes and numerous animal tracks are seen on this hike. Walk cross-country to the 100 ft. high dunes. Best in morning or afternoon for dramatic light and also good for full moon hikes. No trail.
Length: 1/2 to 2 miles, one-way.
Start: Mosaic Canyon parking area, 2 miles from Stovepipe Wells Village on graded gravel road.
Description: Popular walk up a narrow, polished marble-walled canyon. First 1/2 mile is narrowest section. Some slickrock scrambling necessary. “Mosaics” of fragments of rocks cemented together can be seen in canyon walls. Bighorn sheep sighted occasionally.
Cooler places at higher elevations that are good hikes when the valley floor is hottest. These trails may be snow-covered in winter.
Wildrose Peak Trail
Length: 4.2 miles, one-way.
Difficulty: moderately strenuous
Start: Charcoal Kilns parking area on upper Wildrose Canyon Road.
Description: A good high peak to climb (9,064 ft.) The trail begins at the north end of the kilns with an elevation gain of 2,200 ft. Spectacular views are seen beyond the 2 mile point. Steep grade for the last mile.
Telescope Peak Trail
Length: 7 miles, one-way.
Start: Mahogany Flat Campground at end of upper Wildrose Canyon Road. Rough, steep road after Charcoal Kilns.
Description: Trail to highest peak in the park (11,049 ft.) with a 3,000 ft. elevation gain. Climbing this peak in the winter requires ice axe and crampons, and is only advised for experienced winter climbers. Trail is usually snow-free by June.