Death Valley is one of three National Parks near Bishop, but also one of the lesser known and lesser visited ones. This National Park offers superb desert hiking into shaded canyons where roses grow and unique species such as pupfish live. Deeply eroded canyons with polished limestone grottos lead to dry waterfalls. Telescope Peak rises in one massive sweep from below sea level to over eleven thousand feet. Petroglyphs scratched into canyon walls by people who long ago figured out how to survive here. The Sierra Nevada may close for hiking in the winter, and that is when Death Valley opens up!
We will set up our base camp at a campground near Furnace Creek. Over three days we will choose from our list of seven possible day hikes, depending upon the desires of the group. While the options here are nearly limitless we have selected seven hikes that will give you the best introduction to Death Valley. Some of these are maintained trails and some are true cross-country routes where few people go.
- Fall Canyon – A five-mile round trip to the spectacular canyon narrows with some bypasses around dry falls to a high fall that blocks higher access.
- Funeral Slot Canyon – Possibly the longest and narrowest slot canyon in the Park with a nine-mile round-trip hike.
- Grotto Canyon – An intricate, labyrinthine canyon, deep enough in places that the sun rarely penetrates. Careful scrambling and climbing around dry falls makes this seem longer than its six miles.
- Lower Bad Canyon – This is one of the giant canyons. It drops over 6000 feet from Dantes View to Badwater! We venture up in enough to get a feel for the magnitude and scale of these unique canyons.
- Mt. Perry – An eight mile round-trip on a rough use trail from the spectacular Dantes View to the summit of the Argus range, with expansive views over the whole of Death Valley Park.
- Natural Bridge Canyon – A canyon hike that takes us to the largest natural bridge in the Park and then a little beyond to the impassable fall blocking our access.
- Telescope Peak – The 11,043 high point of the Park sits between Death Valley and Panamint Valley. It is a fourteen mile round trip to the summit and back along a good trail. Winter may have snow, which we will be sure to prepare for.
Price includes guiding, permits, campsite, group camping gear, tents, kitchen gear, and all meals. Car camping means we eat fresh, healthy meals all trip!
No prior hiking or backpacking experience required, but you should be in good physical shape. See our detailed tips on physical training in the “Resources” tab.