Coyote BM (Grapevine Mountains) hiking video

On Saturday, June 15, 2019, I carried out a solo hike to the summit of Coyote BM in the Grapevine Mountains.  This was a peak that I had been hoping to reach for the past several years.  It felt good to finally make it.  In the near future, I will be releasing a brand new Death Valley hiking report covering Coyote BM.  But in the meantime, I have something to share with you.  Being that I was out on a solo hike and decided to do something a little fun and different, I filmed a 20-minute video showcasing the route and my journey to the top.  This video is a companion piece to the regular hiking report which will come out later.  I don’t do these very often, so I hope you enjoy it.  (Also, just a note that I do not advise others to do this hike during times of hot weather in the park.)

Quail BM new DV report released

Tonight, we are officially releasing our brand new Death Valley hiking report which covers a hike to Quail BM, the high point of the Quail Mountains.  This was a truly fantastic peak hike with abundant wildflowers, wild burros to keep us company, outstanding views, and so many interesting things to see along the way.  To view the report, check out report #176 (currently) on the site’s Main Page or click on the link below.

Quail BM new DV report

Owlhead BM new DV report released

Well it took over a month due to a busy schedule, but I finally found enough time to finish up the report for part 2 of our backpacking trip to Death Valley in Feb 2019. This new report documents Days 2 and 3 and showcases Owlhead BM, Owlhead BM Slot Canyon, and Lost Lake. Truly incredible scenery from our traverse of the Owlshead Mountains.  To view the new report, click on the link below or check out (currently) report #180 on the site’s Main Page.

Owlhead BM new DV report

Death Valley (March 21-23, 2019)

Last weekend, I returned with my wife and young son for a family trip to Death Valley.  As part of this, we did a couple of hikes.  First, we did a family hike to Darwin Falls.  That means I will finally have an updated report on the area in the near future.  Second, my friend Tom from NPS joined up and we did a hike of Death Valley’s newest major summit – Quail BM in the Quail Mountains.  And to our surprise, it turned out to be one of the best wildflower hikes that we had ever done in Death Valley.  After hearing that it was not such a great wildflower season in Death Valley this year, we were not expecting much in that regard.  But the hiking route that we chose through the Quail Mountains just happened to have a spectacular bloom nonstop for 3 straight miles.  It was completely beautiful, stunning, and unforgettable.  You will see much more in my upcoming report on Quail BM, but for now here are 8 teaser images of one of my lifetime favorite hikes in Death Valley.

Fremont Phacelia blanketed the ground everywhere
Wildflowers everywhere as we headed into the Quail Mountains
Burro trails guided us most of the way
Hillsides covered by green, purple, and yellow colors
Beautiful wildflowers everywhere around us in the Quail Mountains
Painted Lady butterflies were enjoying the flowers also
Lupines were blooming in the canyon we passed through
Standing at the summit of Quail BM (5,103 feet)
Wild burros with Lost Lake in the background (picture also added to our Wildlife Page)

Never-Ending Ever-Changing Canyon new DV report released

For the first time since June 15, 2018, when I released my report for Wahguyhe Peak, I am releasing a brand new Death Valley hiking report.  As you may have read in my previous post, we recently carried out an incredible 3-day backpacking trip in the Owlshead Mountains.  This new report covers Day 1 of our route, featuring a visit to Never-Ending Ever-Changing Canyon.  Part 2 will be coming along soon and will cover Days 2 and 3 together.  Is anyone out there up for an epic 25 mile round-trip day hike?  Because that’s what it takes to see this amazing canyon in one day.  Of course, it’s better off done as a backpacking trip up Wingate Wash.  Which is, in my opinion, one of the best backpacking destinations in Death Valley despite there being no water available anywhere along the route.  The new report for Never-Ending Ever-Changing can be found by visiting report #179 on the Main Page.  Or you can click on the direct link below.

Never-Ending Ever-Changing Canyon new DV report

Death Valley (Feb 7-10, 2019)

Below I am sharing a few teaser images from our recent visit to Death Valley showcasing some newly-explored slot canyons in advance of the more detailed reports to come later. For Days 1-3, we backpacked (while carrying nearly 5 gallons of water each) and explored 33 miles of seldom-visited terrain in between Warm Springs Rd and Owlshead Mountains Rd.  We did this by hiking up Wingate Wash, turning off to the south and exploring four small canyons, crossing over the range and reaching the summit of Owlhead BM, and then concluding by hiking across the entire length of Lost Lake to our second vehicle. Along the way, we explored Never-Ending Ever-Changing Canyon, Wingate Slot 4, White Ring Hill Canyon, and Owlhead BM Slot Canyon. On Day 4, we did a natural bridge check in Eureka Valley which turned out to be a massive fallen boulder (collapsed canyon wall) across the wash and then we explored a place I’m calling Symmetry Canyon. It was freezing cold, windy nonstop, challenging with so much weight, but worth all the effort to see such beautiful rarely-explored places in the park. And this was my friend Jordan’s first-ever lifetime backpacking trip. The upcoming reports will detail our 3-day backpacking trip in two parts: Never-Ending Ever-Changing Canyon and Owlhead BM will be the titles.

The lower portion of Never-Ending Ever-Changing Canyon in the Owlsheads.
Never-Ending Ever-Changing Canyon has a spectacular array of colors on display.
Never-Ending Ever-Changing Canyon upper left fork narrows.
Tom and Jordan in the NEEC Canyon upper right fork narrows. A massive cave overhang.
Wingate Slot 4 had this neat wedged boulder in the conglomerate rock narrows.
Incredible slot canyon narrows in a canyon below the summit of Owlhead BM.
Not a natural bridge in Eureka Valley but still a really neat collapsed portion of canyon wall forming a false bridge.
Symmetry Canyon mid-canyon area in Eureka Valley.
Towering walls near the upper end of Symmetry Canyon in Eureka Valley.