Funeral Slot MSC DV report released

By now, most all Death Valley regulars are familiar with and have visited Funeral Slot Canyon.  If you’d like to see a little bit more of the general area then be sure to check out our brand new report on Funeral Slot Main Side Canyon.  Funeral Slot MSC features Crown Bridge and Oriel Tunnel as highlights, but there is more to see as well.  The report is currently listed as #131 on the Main Page and you can also click on the link below.

Funeral Slot Main Side Canyon new DV hiking report

Lee Wash DV report released

Our second brand new Death Valley hiking report of the season is being released this evening.  This new report documents a 16-mile one-way hike of Lee Wash, starting from Saline Valley Road and ending at Big Four Mine Road.  This was such a great canyon with tremendous scenic beauty.  I’m sure you’ll enjoy the report.  The report is currently listed as #95 on the Main Page and you can also view it by clicking on the link below.

Lee Wash new DV hiking report

Sidewinder Ultimate report released

This evening, I am releasing the first of 4 brand new reports being published from our November 2016 trip to Death Valley.  This first report is called Sidewinder Ultimate.  And it truly is the ultimate showcase of never-before documented portions of Sidewinder Canyon.  This report includes the discovery of Cavern Bridge.  Learn the details of the planning and actual hike which led to making the discovery of Death Valley’s 17th major natural bridge.  Three more reports will be coming in the near future.  To read the new report, click on the link below or follow the link at #147 (currently) on the site’s Main Page.

Sidewinder Ultimate new DV report

DV Natural Bridges database page updates

Having just wrapped up four days of hiking in Death Valley National Park, I have returned home and begun sorting through my photographs and considering potential new hiking reports.  The new DV hiking reports will take a while to put together and I may not work on them until after I have completed my last two French Polynesia hiking reports.  So don’t look for them anytime soon.  In the meantime, I went ahead and fully updated the Death Valley Natural Bridges database page.  While not being official, this database is the closest thing that Death Valley has to an official database on the major natural bridges.  Updates to the database page include the additions of Turret Bridge and Crown Bridge (previously discovered by Kauri in 2014, but only now visited and confirmed by myself).  Also, my newest discovery of Cavern Bridge has been added to the database as #17.  Finally, toward the bottom of the page you will see some new photographs of Oriel Tunnel, an unusual natural formation that Kauri and I discovered and are now documenting fully.  In the near future, I will publish four brand new trip reports – Cavern Bridge Slot, Lee Wash, The Cauldron & Turret Bridge, and Crown Bridge & Oriel Tunnel.  Until then, be sure to check out the DV Natural Bridges database page linked to below and also on the main page in the top left box.

Death Valley Natural Bridges database page

DV Fall 2016 Day 4: Funeral Slot Canyon

For our last day of hiking, we did a hike of Funeral Slot Canyon along with some of the surrounding areas.  It had been six years since I first hiked Funeral Slot Canyon and introduced it to the world by means of my published report.  This will be a report that I will update in the near future by adding some additional photographs as well as some pictures of interesting formations from nearby areas.  I had a lot of other hikes planned for this trip, but because the weather was cold and a few roads were washed out (such as Harry Wade Road), I had to scale back my hiking plans for this trip.  I hope to make up for that in the Spring of next year.  I had excellent hikes planned in the Owlsheads and Grapevines which I couldn’t get to as planned.

Back hiking through Funeral Slot Canyon once again after six years.

Back hiking through Funeral Slot Canyon once again after six years.

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So many spectacular sections of narrows.

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One of my favorite spots in the canyon.

The largest natural tunnel ever found in Death Valley is in a nearby area

The largest natural tunnel ever found in Death Valley is in a nearby area

DV Fall 2016 Day 3: The Cauldron and Turret Bridge

Our third day of hiking started with a complete hike coverage of what I call The Cauldron, which is the circular area of badlands located in between Fall Canyon and Palmer Canyon.  I have been meaning to write a report on this area to show off what is there, which includes slot narrows, false natural bridges, and stunning cliff formations.  After that, we hiked over to check out Turret Bridge, which is now a confirmed major natural bridge in Death Valley.  I’ll make another post once our DV Natural Bridges database page has been updated with the addition of Turret Bridge, Cavern Bridge, and some additional new information.  Here are a few teaser images.

The Cauldron has several nice short slots to explore.

The Cauldron has several nice short slots to explore.

The Cauldron also has very scenic cliffs which reminded me of spots in Utah.

The Cauldron also has very scenic cliffs and pinnacles which reminded me of spots in Utah.

Turret Natural Bridge is now a confirmed major natural bridge in Death Valley.

Turret Natural Bridge is now a confirmed major natural bridge in Death Valley.

Looking out the back of Turret Bridge from underneath the canyon span.

Looking out the back of Turret Bridge from underneath the canyon span.

DV Fall 2016 Day 2: Lee Wash

Our second hike in Death Valley was an epic 15-mile one-way hike of Lee Wash.  We got dropped off at Lee Mine to begin the descent of 3,600+ feet, with the hike ending at the parking area for the Panamint Sand Dunes.  Lee Wash was quite a beautiful canyon to hike through.  The highlight was seeing so many colorful rock layers and patterns on the towering canyon walls.  Here are a few teaser images from the upcoming report.

The infamous Plunge Pool Fall in Lee Wash which requires a safety rope downclimb.

The infamous Plunge-Pool Fall in Lee Wash which requires a safety rope downclimb.

New rock layers and patterns around nearly every bend in the upper canyon.

New rock layers and patterns around nearly every bend in the upper canyon.

A massive polished dry fall pouring over the colorful canyon wall.

A massive polished dry fall pouring over the colorful canyon wall.

Typical majestic canyon walls as seen while heading down lower Lee Wash:

Typical majestic canyon walls as seen while heading down lower Lee Wash:

DV Fall 2016 Day 1: Cavern Bridge discovery

For our first day of hiking in Death Valley for our Fall 2016 trip, we spent the morning attempting to enter Upper Mummy Canyon.  That proved to be a failure, because there were four dry falls in between the end of the canyon and Jensen Bridge.  So we exited the area and moved on to another hike.

In the afternoon, I finished exploration of a certain area which I had been planning to check out for some time now.  These efforts were rewarded by experiencing some beautiful slot narrows.  The highlight came when I hiked into a deep and high section of slot narrows which was pitch black inside.  Only light at the very top was visible (at times).  To my surprise, I hiked around a bend and found a previously undocumented major natural bridge.  This newly discovered natural bridge would be nearly impossible to see unless somebody had a flashlight with them while hiking through, as I did.  The natural bridge of conglomerate rock spans all the way across the slot canyon.  But because the area is pitch black, it is challenging to photograph the bridge.  Above the bridge is a cavern-like area where the slot canyon expands, thus I have temporarily assigned the name Cavern Bridge to the new natural bridge.  Here is one teaser photograph.

Cavern Bridge (tentative name) discovered on November 24, 2016 in Death Valley

Cavern Bridge (tentative name) discovered on November 24, 2016 in Death Valley

Cave of Mt Otemanu (Bora Bora) hiking report released

The second and final hiking report from Bora Bora has now been released.  This was another outstanding hike featuring a challenging climb up the slopes of Mount Otemanu to reach a mysterious cave located a short distance below the summit.  There were a lot of great views enjoyed along the way and the exploration of the cave proved to be quite interesting as well.  I do have a couple of additional hiking reports to release from French Polynesia, but those will have to wait as I turn my attention back to some planned hiking in Death Valley very soon.  To see the new report from Bora Bora, click on the link below or use the main link on the Introduction Page of the site.

Cave of Mount Otemanu (Bora Bora) hiking report

Mt Pahia (Bora Bora) hiking report released

This evening we have published our first of two hiking reports from the island of Bora Bora.  This first report covers the summit hike to Mount Pahia (2,169 feet in elevation).  This was one of the most anticipated hikes of our trip and it truly delivered with some of the best views we have ever seen.  It was also an incredibly challenging hike from beginning to end.  The report on Mount Pahia is now available by clicking on the link below or by following the link now posted on the Introduction Page of the site.

Mount Pahia (Bora Bora) hiking report