“Punctuated with idyllic waterfalls and irrigated by a lovely perennial creek, the deep narrows of Darwin Canyon are among the most lush and beautiful in the park. The short walk to the lower waterfall is a wonderful illustration of the miracle of water in the desert. The challenging climb through the serene upper narrows to China Garden Spring is a gem for the experienced hiker.”
~from Michel Digonne’s Hiking Death Valley
My Death Valley adventure continued with Wired into Darwin Canyon. Drop n’ Roll traveled back in the evening to Lone Pine after climbing Telescope Peak. Wired and I spent the night at Emigrant Campground enjoying cooking dinner under the night stars and sharing trail stories with two class of 2012 PCT hikers. Such a great community.
We headed out early morning for a quick exploration of the canyon.
Hiking to the lower falls is easy, flat with straight forward navigation. The fun begins after leaving the first falls with ledges and talus to scale. The guidebook description was very helpful and the upper section is not for those afraid of heights, but so worth it.
In my book, scrambling up and around Darwin Falls IS a must do when visiting Death Valley National Park.
TRIP DATE November 29, 2014
LENGTH About 2 1/2 miles round trip
ELEVATION GAIN Less than 700 feet
TRAIL HEAD 1 mile west of Panamint Springs, then 2.5 miles on graded road
DIFFICULTY Difficult with some ledge and class 3 climbing
PERMIT None required
BEST TIME TO HIKE Spring, fall, and winter
GUIDE Hiking Death Valley by Michel Degonnet pages 505-510