DV March 2018 Day 4 – Tucki area hiking and Devil’s Golf Course

For my fourth and final day of hiking in DV, I did several smaller hikes.  First, I hiked up an obscure Tucki Mountain canyon located west of the summit.  On the hike, I found a surprising old car in the wash (perhaps a Model T?) and also came face-to-face with a Kit Fox that I surprised underneath a dry fall.  Second, I visited Telephone Canyon for the first time in 9 years in order to get some updated photos.  Third, I spent a couple of hours at Devil’s Golf Course to check on the current condition of Salt Pools.  I ended up finding 5 Salt Pools, 3 of which were mostly closed up and 2 of which were fully closed up and covered by salt.  I will update my Devil’s Golf Course report in the near future with new information and photos from this hike.  I was also reminded of how painful it is to try to walk through this particular area.

Finding an unexpected old car in the wash of a Tucki Mountain canyon

The Telephone Arch is a special natural feature found in the Tucki Mountain area

Finding a fully closed-up Salt Pool in the Devil’s Golf Course area

However, some of the Salt Pools still had openings with water visible

DV March 2018 Day 3 – Ubehebe Colors Loop

For the third day of hiking, I was privileged to be joined by Mike Reynolds for a loop of the two (or four if you count each direction from the saddles) major canyons located 3-4 miles south of Ubehebe Crater.  There is a lot to see in this area, but we did our best to cover what looked to be the most interesting areas.  One important note, which will also be made clear in the upcoming report — this is not an area that I am recommending hikers to go to.  There were a lot of challenging dry falls we had to climb and complex bypasses that we had to carry out in order to complete our loop and make it out of the area.  I had nicknamed this area the Ubehebe Colors Loop in trip planning simply because there appeared to be a lot of colorful terrain to see and experience.  And that’s exactly what we found there.  A truly outstanding adventure hike.  I had a hard time choosing 4 teaser photos, so this time I’m sharing 6.  More to come later in the full report.

This was the red-colored entry canyon that we used to begin our hike

We found ourselves immersed in a world of incredible formations

Mike near a huge mud natural bridge that we could stand up and walk through

Notice the distinct opening on the opposite side of the large mud natural bridge

A view of Grapevine Peak as seen from the ridgeline leading to Peak 4120T

This was the neat exit canyon that we used to complete our long and hard loop hike

DV March 2018 Day 2 – Lee Wash Main Side Canyon

My second day of hiking was a solo hike to see all of Lee Wash Main Side Canyon.  Having hiked Lee Wash about 1 1/2 years earlier, we did not have enough time to explore the main side canyon at that time.  Besides, some of the best scenery can be seen from above.  To reach Lee Wash MSC, I parked at the northernmost bend on Hwy 190 in between Father Crowley Point and the Saline Valley Road turn-off.  I then hiked across the Darwin Plateau for 4 miles to the head of Lee Wash MSC.  It was an incredible experience to walk up to the edge of the first major dry fall with thousand-foot cliffs all around. I then hiked along the entire length of the top of the canyon (on the east side).  Next, I scrambled down an extremely challenging gully and used multiple bypasses in order to reach the canyon floor.  From there, I hiked through the entire length of the passable canyon.  It was a truly great adventure hike.  A new report on Lee Wash MSC will be coming soon.  After the hike, I stopped by U2’s Fallen Joshua Tree so that I can provide an updated report on that as well.

View looking down the length of Lee Wash MSC (Main Side Canyon)

Looking back at the first major dry fall (red arrow) of Lee Wash MSC

There are some beautiful canyon narrows in the mid-canyon

The color bands on the walls are even more impressive when walking through the canyon

DV March 2018 Day 1 – Keane Wonder Mine

I started off my March 2018 trip to Death Valley with a full hike of the Keane Wonder Mine area.  I did a clockwise loop hike (what I call the “master loop”) which included visits to Keane Wonder Springs, Keane Wonder Bridge, Cyty’s Mill, Big Bell Extension Mine, Big Bell Mine, and Keane Wonder Mine.  As several site readers have already written in and requested info about the Keane area, I will be happy to share with you my report in the near future.  I’m estimating that this was my seventh time hiking in this area.  Joining me for the hike was NPS staff member Matt.  Here are a few teaser images.

There are some pretty waterfalls and cascades in the Keane Wonder Springs area

Keane Wonder Bridge is one of the highlights of the hike (if you can find it)

The route from Cyty’s Mill to Big Bell Extension Mine includes this cliffs trail

Standing at Big Bell Mine with extensive leftover mining remnants

Maunga Terevaka (Easter Island) report released

The next report that we are releasing is for the hike up Maunga Terevaka, which is the high point of Easter Island.  This was the second of four hikes we did while on Easter Island.  I decided to start with this one since it was one of my favorites on the trip.  The scenery and views were outstanding.  The link for the new report can be found on the Introduction Page under the South Pacific section.  You can also click on the link below to check it out.  The panoramics taken from the summit turned out really well and we hope you enjoy the report.

Maunga Terevaka (Easter Island) new report