Two very colorful spots along Death Valley’s Eastern border.
For Artists Only.
Artist’s Drive is a seven mile one-way road heading south to north that rises up to the top of an alluvial fan fed by a deep canyon cut into the Black Mountains.
It’s noted for having various colors of rock caused by the oxidation of different metals (red, pink and yellow is from iron salts, green is from decomposing tuff-derived mica, and manganese produces the purple).
One of the main hikes for anyone who is thinking about visiting Death Valley needs to be the Golden Canyon Hike.
It begins with a one-mile trek up Golden Canyon.
The canyon winds its way through huge boulders and layers of geologic history.
It is also the site where different parts of the original Star Wars movies from George Lucas were filmed.
The sides of the canyon are made up of red mudstone and colorful mosaic conglomerates.
There used to be a paved road that ran through it but a rainstorm washed it out in 1976.
Pay close attention to the rock walls surrounding you, there’s a different view with each step you take.
There are numerous short but steep slot canyons along the hike that don’t necessarily take you anywhere but are fun to explore if you have the time.
Since it was 108 degrees out and I had a full list of other spots I needed to hit before making it to Mammoth, I made the decision to cut my hike short. If I had the time to continue the hike, I would of been able to see Red Cathedral, Zabriskie Point, Manly Beacon, Gower Gulch, the badlands and several old mining areas that are begging to be explored. Looks like I’ll be coming back.
From Furnace Creek, drive 2 miles south on Badwater Road and turn east (left) into the Golden Canyon parking area where the trailhead is located.