Death Valley - Cottonwood Canyon

cover photo
Mar 14, 2021 - Mar 16, 2021

Loop hike in canyons of Death Valley

Drove deep into Death Valley to the trailhead outside of Stovepipe Wells campground in the middle of nowhere. Parked 2 miles too soon b/c I didn't read the directions well enough so hiked an extra hour just to get to the trailhead lol. Followed road that my Sube couldve easily handled for an hour to the trailhead. Left only a couple more hours of daylight up the canyon before dark. Easy to camp on flat sandy ground left by the dried riverbed though the wind did kick up a few strong gusts and even got a little bit of rain while in the tent.

Up early to some very direct sunlight so not much morning chill. Jeep drove by carrying some clients to the TH. Followed road for a few more hours to the start of the actual trail, near a seasonal spring. Followed the trail up canyon past a boggy spring then onto some open canyon until I heard the spring water of Cottonwood springs burbling.

Filled up the bladder and continued north then NE past the springs campsite towards deadhorse canyon. Long hike up canyon to a high saddle up & over then down some steep gulleys to the Deadhorse springs camprounds. There were quite a few campers here who mustve come from the Marble canyon TH for the night/weekend. Found a spot away from the groups & had an early dinner.

Up early to head down the remaining Deadhorse and Marble canyons in the morning. Nice gentle downhill and great rock formations to see. Reached the marble canyon road & hoofed another couple hours back to the car.

Long drive home through the desert and down to the 15.

Fun Facts

Didn't need much more than 1 liter of drinking water / day but carried 3L.

Still no bighorn sheep sightings

No scorpion or spider sightings either

DifficultyClass 1
Distance~25 miles
Highest Elevation4922 ft
JurisdictionDeath Valley
TrailheadCottonwood Canyon