Marble Canyon Hike
Just down the road from where we camped in Stovepipe Wells is a hike up Marble Canyon. Some people do this as a multi-day 32 mile trip and hike up Marble Canyon and down Cottonwood Canyon but we opted for a shorter out and back. The drive out on the road is really washboarded and rocky. I was happy to park the truck early and just hike extra into the canyon. It isn’t a difficult hike, and it’s beautiful!!!! We spent a lot of time hiking around and looking up at the deep canyon walls.
Death Valley Old Toll Road
Herman William Eichbaum was lured west to Rhyolite during that towns bonanza days in the early 1900’s. While in the area, he envisioned the recreation potential and dreamed of building a resort by the Stovepipe sand dunes. He built a toll road at his own expense after being rejected by the Board of Supervisors twice. This new road allowed people to travel from Los Angeles to the area to experience the scenic splendors of Death Valley. The price for a car in 1926 was $2.
Derek and I parked at Darwin Falls and road our mountain bikes up and back on the gravel toll road. Holy shit, that first 3 miles is a grunt uphill! I have no idea how those old time cars could make it!!!! Along the way we rode past old abandoned mines, steep cliff walls and along gravel washes. All the time I was thinking about the history of the area.
Mosaic Canyon Hike
Derek wanted a day off but I still wanted to hike so I left our campsite and hiked Mosaic Canyon. The 2.5 mile road in is closed while they install some water tanks so I had to walk it. Once at the trailhead, this amazing canyon shows off it’s scenery immediately. The smooth marble walls and interesting slot canyons come right away and for the entire hike I delighted in all the pockets, cliffs, rock ledges and dryfalls. It was a long day at over 9 miles but WELL WORTH IT.
There are several dunes in Death Valley. The easiest one to get to is conveniently located right by Stovepipe Wells. We spent some time roaming around the dunes one morning. If we had our snowboards we could have got some sand boarding in. But we had to settle for hiking.