Venturing into Death Valley National Park

“Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit.”
~ Edward Abbey

With place names like Funeral Mountain, Furnace Creek, Coffin Peak, Badwater, Black Mountains, Devil’s Golf Course, Devil’s Cornfield, Hell’s Gate, and Deadman Pass, my kids were to say…at the very least… a bit skeptical about visiting Death Valley for Easter break.

Death Valley

For our family Death Valley ended up being the perfect Easter getaway! Space, light, and beauty abounds in this national park. This is a place where troubles fade away just from the shear magnitude of solitude, quiet, and peace.

Death Valley

We had an action packed 3 days visiting Golden Canyon, Devils Golf Course, Badwater Basin, Natural Bridge, Artists Drive, Zabriskie’s Point, Hole in the Wall, Fall Canyon, Salt Creek (with the Desert Pup Fish), Slit Canyon, Mesquite Sand Dunes, and even had time to fit in a round of golf at Furnace Creek Golf Course.

Death Valley

DAY ONE in the park the guys played golf , then we took in the park ranger’s  recommended sites of the park and car camped  at Hole in the Wall. Our campsite was amazing just northeast of Zabriskie’s Point and 3 miles off Highway 190 on a dirt road.

Death Valley

we drove  north to Fall Canyon for a long day hike through canyon narrows and to do some bouldering. We explored the first 4 1/2 miles of the canyon gorge that lead us through spectacular deep, colorful, and winding corridors.

Fall Canyon

About 3 1/2 miles into the canyon is an 18 foot dry fall (a vertical wall of rock that blocks the way). This was a great opportunity for a choice person in our group to fit in some rock climbing moves and of course use gear! I had fun taking photos from above (I cheated and came up and around the slope above)!

Fall Canyon


Fall Canyon

we explored Slit Canyon just Northwest from our camp. This canyon was a rare find with fun twists,  turns,  and lots a dry falls to climb! We hiked about 3 miles into this impressive canyon for a memorable day.

Slit Canyon

This is just one of the many dry falls.

Slit Canyon


I owe a BIG thanks to the informative ranger at the Visitor’s Center in Furnace Creek and I highly recommend the book Hiking Death Valley by Michel Digonnet and the Death Valley National Park website  as  resources to plan your next Death Valley adventure.

As we said “Farewell and thank you,” to Death Valley, I wondered how many national parks ARE there in California and when can we visit?

Death Valley

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