4wd · death valley · marble canyon · petroglyphs

Marble canyon, Death Valley

I had it in my mind that a trip to marble canyon in Death Valley would be very worthwhile after reading a trip report by Jim Boone on his excellent website (thanks Jim!). The trailhead is about 14 miles from Stovepipe Wells on a sandy, corrugated and very rough dirt road. Riding there on my bicycle and doing a day hike was my first idea. After 2 hours of riding/walking/struggling on my folding bike, I realized it would take 8 hours of time to get to and from the trailhead on the bike, so I turned back.
A lot was rideable, but it was not easy.
The next day, we rented a 4wd. After the first rough 8 miles, we pretty much just followed a bouldery stream bed. Stacks of rocks helped keep us going in the right direction. We met a couple who had bravely driven their 2wd passenger car the first 8 miles, and gave them a ride the rest of the way.
Rough going the last 5 miles. The 4wd rental cost about $200 for the day.

 

near canyon entrance

 

 

 

The wash was dry and easy walking. One area was blocked by a giant rock, but there was an easily found trail around the obstruction on the right.

 

the author, for perspective

 

 

petroglyphs vs graffiti

 

 

 

 

Tim in the a narrows

 

 

 

We took a side canyon to the right after a couple of miles or so and followed it

 

some sort to inclusions in the metamorphic rock..

 

 

 

a four foot scramble-up

 

The rocks told an ancient story we did not understand; maybe there are fossils here.

 

 

 

 

 

Barrel cactus on the cliff above.

 

the side canyon was narrower. It had surprises and nice views every step of the way

 

Petroglyphs on the canyon wall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our walk was 4 miles in and 4 miles back.
The End
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3 thoughts on “Marble canyon, Death Valley

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