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.