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Death Valley Spring 2017

We made our annual trip to Death Valley from March 30 to April 1. It was good to see familar sights like the Death Valley Buttes and Corkscrew Peak.

I thought that our timing was good since the previous two weeks saw temps soar into the upper 90's. It was forecasted to be cooler. Unfortunately, we arrived just in time for a major wind event. Thursday afternoon winds hit 60 mph. Blowing sand was so bad near Stovepipe Wells that the road was closed. We started a hike to a minor slot canyon nicknamed The Crack (see here). We had to bail about a third of a mile from the canyon mouth. The winds were steadily picking up to the point of blowing dust and grit into our eyes. Here is a picture of the approaching sand storm.

The winds were a bit less on Friday. We decided to visit Mosaic Canyon for three reasons. One, you don't have to hike across two miles of windy desert to reach it. Two, we thought that the canyon would offer some shelter from the wind. Three, we had not been there in 22 years. I had forgotten just how nice this canyon is. Here are a few pictures.

On Saturday, we headed to Dante's View to hike Coffin Peak. This minor peak is well worth a visit. A Google search will turn up numerous route descriptions.

Heading up the first ridge to point 5410, here is the view back to the parking area.

Once you are on the ridge system that leads to the summit, nice views start in all directions.

On the final ridge to the summit, a surprisingly good use trail skirts the rock outcroppings.

Happy hikers on Coffin Peak with a snowy Telescope Peak in the background.


Very vivid photos. Thanks! I almost went to Mosaic but ended up doing Grotto instead. I guess they are similar.

Howdy Richard  Smile

Fabulous -- thanks so much for sharing.

Miles of smiles,
Chicken Legs

Never been to Coffin Peak

I have a new destination on my hiking list now, thanks for the beautiful pictures and the motivation...

How was the elevation gain since you've now spent a couple years at sea level? Or was there some acclimation beforehand?

Elevation gain

JeffH wrote:
How was the elevation gain since you've now spent a couple years at sea level? Or was there some acclimation beforehand?

The only acclimation was hours on the stair master. Coffin Peak gains 852 feet. The other hikes were also uphill. We totaled 1934 feet for the three days. Fortunately, it didn't bother us.

Gorgeous pictures. I haven't had an opportunity to hike death Valley this year!
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