Monday, December 14, 2015

Death Valley detour

A happy couple take in the breathtaking view from Zabriskie Point.
Note the rare sight of water on the valley floor below the Panamint Range.

Morning light in Golden Canyon

In mid-November, Frank and I took a little detour off US Highway 395 in order to drive through part of Death Valley National Park. I had always wanted to visit there, so, since our itinerary was fairly loose, we hung a left at Lone Pine and drove east toward the Panamint Valley.

Prior to our visit, I had heard about flood damage in the area from what officials are calling a "one-thousand-year rainfall event" that had occurred a month earlier (video footage of the floods may be viewed here). So we weren't surprised to hear that road closures were going to make a good portion of the park - Scotty's Castle, the area south of Badwater, and Artists Drive for starters - inaccessible to us.

But the area is vast, and since we were only going to spend one night in the park, we decided to get a campsite at Furnace Creek and explore the nearby Golden Canyon/Gower Gulch loop trail the next morning.

Here are some images from our early morning walk in the canyon:

Flowing water over the eons sculpted these canyons in what is the hottest, driest part of North America. And evidence of the most-recent water event is preserved in mud - at least until the next rainfall washes it away.

The sublime quiet of the Mojave Desert paired with the majesty of its geology made me a very happy girl indeed!


  1. Great photos, Laurelle. It's very cool to see a hint of water in the distance. Wonder how deep it still is?

    1. We didn't get very close to the water. I imagine it's dried up by now.