Read more... Then you'll love our biweekly newsletter. standing mill structures; aerial tram towers, terminals, and cables; ore bins; ore chutes; buildings; walls, gates, fencing, etc. Home › Forums › Campfire › Post-Trip Reports › Death Valley: Tin Mountain Loop. In the large "amphitheater" between Schwaub and Pyramid Peaks many small side canyons make good loop hikes by crossing low divides and returning via another canyon. We are not an official source on current regulations, so please consult the official website prior to your trip for frequent road closures. At 134°F, Death Valley holds the record for the hottest air temperature ever recorded, it’s no wonder why they call it “Death Valley”. Situated east of the Sierra Nevadas and in-between the Great Basin and Mojave deserts, this is truly a land of extremes. Visitors who explore the National Park and hike designated trails are eligible for a free 2016 Hike Death Valley decal. Harmony Borax Works. From the Stovepipe Wells Campground - Drive west on Cottonwood Canyon Road. Camping is all about relaxing and sleeping under the stars. Solo Backpacking Death Valley | Telescope Peak - Duration: 17:29. Check out our Best Water Filters list for more great options. A lightweight down coat should be at the center of any good backpacking list. Marble Canyon presents only one moderate challenge: a boulder blocks (dry pour-off) the canyon exit and a climb of the west ridge is required to get around it. Here’s why we prefer hiking in trail running shoes: 5 Reasons to Ditch Your Hiking Boots. Type of hike: informal path and cross-country. Elevation gain: 1100 feet to ranch site; 4100 feet to pass, Vehicle needed: high-clearance to canyon mouth; 4x4 on last 4 miles to road end, Maps: Panamint and Galena Canyon 7.5 minute topos. Even driving here in summer is a sketchy proposition. On very hot days you may want to drink 5-6 liters, but again, everyone’s different. From Barstow, California - Get on I-15 S from E Mountain View Street and Barstow Roadand follow CA-58 W and US-395 N to Trona Rd for 59.5 miles. Backpacking Death Valley in Late October- Advice? It’s normal to experience some foot aches and pains after long days of hiking, but we’ve found that wearing quality socks makes a big difference in how long we can keep our feet comfortable and in good shape on trail. Distance: 3 miles to first dry fall; 6 miles to second dry fall. Comments: Spectacular views of Death Valley and Sierra Nevada. Route: The paved loop takes you back in time as you learn the stories of Death Valley borax and the 20-Mule Teams. The best campsites tend to be around Cottonwood Springs and in Deadhorse Canyon with seasonal water flow and ample shade from the old growth cottonwoods that thrive in the area. Lightweight backpacking video guides and reviews of the best ultralight tents, backpacks, sleeping bags, stoves, and more. It's one of the biggest parks in the country... Death Valley. Our goal is to help make your adventures as rewarding and enjoyable as possible, and to inspire you to plan your next excursion. Use these exceptional tools to increase camp comfort and decrease trail weight. Start: 6.5 miles north of Furnace Creek Visitor Center on Hwy 190. Much of the hike involves walking on dirt roads, gravel washes and cross-country brushy areas, and through deep sand or gravel. Not all camping chairs are created equal, so we compared the most popular and top-rated chairs on the market and made this list to help you find the perfect portable chair for your needs. Death Valley is fortunate to get even two inches. In addition, and more importantly for this loop, we always hike with a downloaded GPS app on our phone, like Gaia GPS, and make sure to download the GPX track. by LukeLanghals April 9, 2018 July 3, 2018. It also requires navigating narrow canyons and open deserts (topo map, compass, and phone GPS app strongly recommended). A possible loop trip is return via Granite Canyon. Death Valley is exceptionally dry. you can drive the family there and do a short 3 mile out and back hike and see one of the greatest views of Death Valley. Then head uphill to a saddle the north for a big view over Deadhorse Canyon and a large cottonwood tree in the valley below. There are no food storage requirements for this area, but you should always store your food properly in the backcountry to keep it away from animals. Follow CleverHiker on Facebook to catch our latest updates & shares. Cottonwood-Marble Backpacking Loop, Death Valley. Distance: 4.5 miles to Lostman Spring; 12 miles to Scotty's Castle Road. Whether you’re a weekend jogger or a seasoned racer training for your next ultramarathon, a running hydration vest can help you stay happy, healthy, and hydrated on the trail. Death Valley is a free-hike area, meaning with a free-hiking permit you can hike and camp almost anywhere in the park. Ghost town of Panamint City is a good goal but mountain scenery, abundant springs and bighorn sheep all make it a worthy hike. A solid daypack should be a staple of every outdoor enthusiast's gear collection. Red: Day 1, Blue: Day 2 : Today was the first day of my second attempt to backpack the Cottonwood-Marble Canyon Loop in Death Valley National Park. From here it’s 6 miles to Deadhorse Canyon, much of it across desertscape. Still very much a backpacking frontier, Death Valley National Park, at 3.4 million acres, is the largest national park in the US south of Alaska. MAP &  COMPASS:  We hiked with a free paper topo map that we received from the Death Valley visitor center and it worked well. There are few established trails in the park, but hikers can follow canyon bottoms, open desert washes, alluvial fans and abandoned dirt roads to get around. If you’re still sipping from that banged up old bottle you've had for a decade, it might be time for an upgrade. We love travelling - every detail of it. So when you're in the market for a new shelter, pick up one of the Best Backpacking Tents of 2020. That means it’s really hard to find water. We highly recommend bringing a trusty water bladder or two (we like Platy Bottles) to carry water between sources. See our full review here: https://www.cleverhiker.com/blog/outdoor-research-helium-rain-jacket-amp-pants-review, Need a gift for the outdoorsy person in your life? India Clare/Staff. WET WIPES: These can be useful for cleaning up after hiking. If you want to learn more about the cultural history of Death Valley National Park, this easy trail is a good place to start. Below the spring, trees line a small stream but brush can be thick. Comments: The east side of the Owlshead Mountains have several nice canyons for hikers to explore. All three are lightweight, convenient, comfortable, and make our list of the best lightweight backpacking packs. So get in the mix! Death Valley National Park Recreation Map - Tom Harrison Maps are famous for their beauty and accuracy. Comments: Follow wash bearing left (north) staying in drainage nearest ridge; head for low pass in mountains to the east. A trusty pocket knife will come in handy for both the ordinary and the unexpected. Cross Country Trek (39 KB download). Maps: Dunes 7.5 minute topo or Trails Illustrated Map of Death Valley, Comments: Hike across the gently rising upper end of Panamint Valley to star-shaped dunes. Lots of side canyons beckon, but stay on the main route to avoid getting lost in a maze. For lower elevations, a 1oz bottle of DEET will do the trick. Whether you’re planning on backpacking the grueling Death Valley Traverse or just want to peak at its top trails, prepare for a trek unlike any other. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn." We outline critical considerations and our favorite food choices in our Best Lightweight Backpacking Food Guide. Comments: Historic ranch site from 1870's contains rock terraces, corral and orchard. There are three seasonally reliable water sources along this route with flows that vary depending on the time of year. No camping within 2 miles of the road. Whatever your pleasure; walking, running, biking, or hiking - being equipped with the right mindset and a quality rain jacket will empower you to seize any opportunity to get outdoors, regardless of the forecast. Possessing, destroying, injuring, defacing, removing, digging, or disturbing a structure or its furnishing or fixtures, or other cultural or archeological resources, is prohibited. National Park fees are paid at the ranger stations or at any of the self-pay facilities around the park. GPS Waypoints (less than 2 KB download each): Cottonwood/Marble parking for 2WD vehicles, chokestone obstacle, Deadhorse saddle traverse, Cottonwood Canyon camping area, Cottonwood Canyon, Cottonwood Canyon End Road, Cottonwood/Marble Canyon Road intersection, Cottonwood Saddle, Lemoigne Turnoff, Cottonwood Valley, Cottonwood/Marble Camp, Cottonwood Canyon Spring, Cottonwood Springs Camping, Cottonwood Springs, Deadhorse Canyon Camping, Deadhorse Canyon Dryfall, Deadhorse Spring, Dry Spring on Pass, end Marble Canyon Road, Lemoigne Canyon turnoff, Lower Marble Canyon Narrows, Marble & Deadhorse Canyon intersection, Middle Marble Canyon Narrows, rocky outcropping Cottonwood Canyon, saddle looking down Deadhorse, Upper Marble Canyon Narrows. This route in Death Valley is a really fantastic backpacking loop. Otherwise, keep your tent zipped and your boots in a bag or in your tent to avoid encounters with scorpions. To see one of the more unique locations, visitors must engage in a rare activity at Death Valley: backpacking. That said, you should always protect your food against rodents and small critters, which will tear through your backpack or tent without hesitation. Comments: Many variations possible. Head into the backcountry with REI Adventures on a fully self-supported backpacking trip. Welcome to Death Valley backpacking! INSECT REPELLANT: At higher elevations insects weren't a problem for us at all. Sign up to get our curated emails with the best content from CleverHiker and around the backpacking world. We explain the key differences of each water treatment method and share our personal favorites in our list of the Best Water Filters of 2020. Tweet Comment 1. Outdoor adventure gifts are the best kind around. Tasty food, cold drinks, and the great outdoors - the perfect trifecta! A trusty pair of rain pants should be in every outdoor adventurer's gear arsenal. Some are better than others though, and we’re happy to share our opinion in our Best Freeze Dried Meals Guide. Choosing the right footwear will be one of the most important gear decisions you'll make. There's nothing quite as satisfying as having just the tool you need for a job, right when and where you need it. Most people hike the Cottonwood-Marble Canyon Loop in a clockwise direction, hiking along Cottonwood Canyon Road for the first 8 miles. 1. 4.0 It certainly doesn’t hurt if they have a flattering fit too. Doing so will make for a safe and enjoyable adventure. (8.5 miles), Day 2 - Hike to Cottonwood Springs (3.5 miles), Day 3 - Hike from Cottonwood Springs to seasonal Deadhorse Springs (6 miles), Day 4 - Hike from Deadhorse Springs through Marble Canyon and back to your car (8.3 miles). You’ll wear it just about every night on the trail. This was our first backpacking trip in GTNP and it was great. Whether you’re heading out for a picnic or a full-blown expedition, a quality cooler makes all the difference. Joining a Death Valley backpacking tour is a worry-free, adventurous way to experience Death Valley National Park. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. 1 Fleece jacket (optional) - Extra warmth under your down jacket that will be warmer when damp and better to hike in. In this guide, we break down all of the best features from articulated knees to zip-off legs. The route is undeniably beautiful, though a bit tricky to follow at times. Death Valley 2018: Backpacking Cottonwood Marble Canyon Loop. Hiking toward Cottonwood Spring, the trail gets rougher and makes its way up an easy slope to a steep canyon before entering an oasis of cottonwood trees. All water sources here should be filtered or treated because giardia is present in this area. Start: 5 miles north of Hwy 190 on unmarked dirt road leading past Lake Hill. Striped Butte, the zebra-esque peak that gives this remote valley its name is worth the trip alone. Hiking Death Valley National Park: A Guide to the Park’s Greatest Hiking Adventures - This book includes detailed information about 57 of the best day hikes and extended backpacking trips in Death Valley. But, after winding between the towering stone narrows of Marble Canyon, we noticed a four-mile side trip on our topo map, following a portion of … KML format (78 KB download). By India Clare | Staff. We recommend avoiding hiking in the summer as temperature can get dangerously high with little opportunities for shade. Vehicle needed: high-clearance to canyon mouth; 4x4 beyond. I Backpacked starting from Cottonwood and ending in Marble Canyon. We all use them, but many of us don’t really put much thought into it. This adds no cost to our readers and helps us keep our site up and running. Seasonal Springs along this loop (clockwise): Cottonwood Springs - 12 miles in (the most reliable source), Deadhorse Springs - 1/4 mile north of the large cottonwood tree at the bottom of Deadhorse Canyon (if you hit the 6-8 food dryfall you’ve gone too far) - 18 miles in. Additionally, you could make this a great 3 day itinerary by stopping short of your car by a few miles and camping another night around the Marble Canyon trailhead. If you prefer boots, make sure they’re lightweight and break them in really well before your trip. This GPX track is what we used and it worked great. It can be a little overwhelming to find the perfect pair of hiking pants. Death Valley: Tin Mountain Loop. No camping within 2 miles of the road. This vertical relief is one of the greatest in th lower 48. That’s just what you do. In addition to planning with these resources, we recommend calling or visiting the ranger station in Death Valley to get any updates on current conditions. There are few established trails in the park, but hikers can follow canyon bottoms, open desert washes, alluvial fans and abandoned dirt roads to get around. Because getting good trail sleep is crucial, we’ve researched, field tested, and narrowed this list down to the 10 Best Backpacking & Camping Pillows of 2020. If you’re an ultralight backpacker or a long distance thru-hiker an ultralight tent can be a great choice. I Backpacked starting from Cottonwood and ending in Marble Canyon. Several small dry falls are easily passed, but at upper end of gorge an 80 foot dry fall requires scrambling up talus slope on north side to continue beyond. This includes all mine structures, features, and ruins (i.e. If I had to describe Death Valley National Park in one word, it would be “strange”. TRAILHEAD Start/Finish: Cottonwood-Marble Canyon Junction, Day 1 - Hike clockwise to Cottonwood Springs (about 12 miles), Day 2 - Get an early start for a long day continuing clockwise back to your starting trailhead through Marble Canyon (about 14.3 miles). Gnats are only a problem in rare wet years near water sources. The road is rough and may require a 4WD high clearance vehicle for the final 2 miles to the trailhead. February 15, 2020 SHOES OR BOOTS: We wore the  Saucony Peregrine 8's on this trail and they were excellent. This is a hidden gem in Death Valley. I completed a solo 26 mile backpacking trek around the Cottonwood - Marble Canyon Loop in Death Valley. Comments: From the Scotty's Castle Road, hike down to Death Valley Wash then follow main drainage up alluvial fan to canyon. Cottonwood/Marble canyon loop appears to be doable in a weekend, but I had questions about a few things! Groups larger than 12 must split up into smaller groups and must camp, hike, and eat at least a half-mile apart. No camping within 2 miles of the road. As always, difficulty ratings depend on your experience, physical fitness, pack weight and weather conditions. Multitools turn a whole box of big, clunky gadgets into a small, portable device so you're prepared for any task. Type of hike: cross-country and gravel wash, Distance: 7 miles to upper Through Cyn, 16 mile loop to return via Granite Canyon, Start: Confidence Mill site, 6.6 miles from Ashford Junction on Harry Wade Road. Also, here's our top picks for the best backpacking footwear. Trekking poles can add a lot of stability and comfort to your hike. (8.3 miles), Day 1 - Hike up Cottonwood Canyon to the seasonal spring near the end of Cottonwood Road. standing mill structures; aerial tram towers, terminals, and cables; ore bins; ore chutes; buildings; walls, gates, fencing, etc.). Best Hikes in Death Valley National Park. No camping within 2 miles of the road. Yes, even the airports and even packing. Start: 8 to 10 miles from Stovepipe Wells on Cottonwood Canyon Road. you can drive the family there and do a short 3 mile out and back hike and see one of the greatest views of Death Valley. The trail combines going … You have to carry a lot if you want to do a multi-day hike in the park. NOTE: There’s one one section on this GPX track that isn’t quite right. For recommendations on our favorite lightweight backpacking equipment, check out the CleverHiker Gear Guide and Top Picks page. REI • ZPacks • Hyperlite • Patagonia • Arc'teryx • RBTR • Drop • Backcountry • Feathered Friends • CampSaver • Gaia • Mountain Hardwear. Tired of sitting in the dirt? Backpacking in Death Valley can be more challenging than a lot of places due to its arid environment. I've done a fair amount of backpacking, but always in mountains/forests with regular access to water. The OR Helium Rain Jacket and Pants (updated for 2020) are among the most affordable options in the ultralight rain…, Cottonwood-Marble Canyon Loop Backpacking Guide - Death Valley NP, intersection of Cottonwood Canyon Rd. No camping within 2 miles of the paved road. Walking on, climbing, entering, ascending, descending, or traversing any archaeological or cultural resource is prohibited. Day 1 - Hike up Cottonwood Canyon to camp near Cottonwood Canyon Road end campsite near a seasonal spring. Our focus is building educational resources to help backpackers of all levels feel more comfortable in the wilderness. From the Scotty's Castle Road, hike down to Death Valley Wash then follow main drainage up alluvial fan to canyon. After the this dirt road stretch, the route narrows from road to trail, and passes through a canyon, before reaching a grove of cottonwood trees. Elevation loss: 1700 down to spring; 4700 feet down to road, Start: 11 miles from start of Titus Canyon Road (do not block road). Distance: 10 miles from Scotty's Castle Road to upper dry fall. If your vehicle is unable to venture the final two miles, you’ll have to hike the additional two miles in and out. It also offers the most dramatic photography with long shadows and more vibrant colors. Elevate your next backpacking trip with a minimalist seat that makes break time and chilling in camp more comfortable. Maps: Tin Mountain and Whitetop Mountain 7.5 minute topos. But you can also camp anywhere out on the desertscape/playa between Cottonwood Springs and Deadhorse Canyon, and at the Marble Canyon entry point (trailhead). Both of these trips summit Telescope Peak. Take map and compass. For many of us, it’s been drilled into our heads since day one that backpackers wear boots. Popular with desert-loving backpackers, this long and challenging hike is one of the few loop trails in Death Valley National Park. So give a gift that gets someone outdoors this year. With your gear, meals, local transportation, permits, and fees taken care of for you, you can travel light and focus 100% on enjoying the hiking experience, while the guide company takes care of everything else. This is another confusing spot. Famous among backpackers — the Cottonwood Marble Canyon loop in Death Valley is a very taxing and difficult trail. To create this loop, the “trail” follows dirt roads and washes (not an actual trail) through three different canyons, winding through dramatic narrow passages, traveling over steep ridges and trekking across classic desert landscapes. Shortly after reaching the large cottonwood tree at the bottom of the canyon, you’ll come across a tricky section of trail that has a 6-8 food drop (see photo gallery below). Several rugged canyons in Funeral Mountains just above Hole-in-the-Wall can be explored depending on your climbing ability. New videos, trip reports, gear reviews, inspiring stories and more. We rounded up a bunch of the best coolers and put them to the test. When we hit the trail, this is what we carry in our packs. Check out our Best Lightweight Backpacking Food Guide and our Best Freeze Dried Backpacking Meals for some of our go-to recommendations. The Pacific Northwest is an adventure junkie’s paradise. Cross Country Trek (39 KB download). Road walk may make the hike longer. It may be easier to navigate this section without your pack, so take it off and have a hiking partner hand it down to you. So, considering how essential your down coat is and how often you use it, let me ask you this; when was the last time you washed it? Sunscreen alone won’t cut it in July, when average temperatures can climb as high as 116˚F. The hike itself does not offer large elevation changes but it does present unique scenery. Interpretive panels along the way explain details of the borax processing, the story of the Mule Skinner, life in Harmony, and more. My friends Rich and Wendy and I started our 32-mile, four-day, Death Valley backpacking trip by carrying only a two-day supply of water, expecting to find Cottonwood Springs, a reliable water source, by the end of our second day. You are able to see much of the higher peaks from this open area. Scorpions found in the park are not poisonous, Sun exposure - little shade along most of the route, Few reliable water sources - plan very carefully, Sketchy trail at times (deep, loose sand, gravel, wash outs), few signs, Scorpions, rattlesnakes and black widow spiders live here, Flash floods in the fall can be very dangerous, Decent amount of elevation gain along a mostly unmarked route. Comments: Hike the loop by following Cottonwood Canyon Road to its end, then continue up the Cottonwood drainage. New backpacking videos, trip reports, gear reviews, inspiring stories and more. Continue trekking up the valley with the mountains on your right. Vehicle needed: high-clearance; 4x4 final 2 miles to trailhead, Maps: Panamint and Ballarat 7.5 minute topos. This was one of my favorite shots from the hike. TENT: We used the Zpacks Triplex tent on this trip to keep our weight to a minimum. 1 Pair hiking pants -  (we like PrAna Zion Stretch) or running tights, 1 Pair hiking shorts - Nike dri fit running shorts, 1-2 Hiking t-shirts - Nike dri fit t-shirts, 1 Long-sleeve shirt - Nike dri fit quarter zip, 1-3 Pair underwear - ExOfficio boxer briefs or or ExOfficio women’s briefs. Distance: 2 miles to ranch site from road end; 7 miles to Panamint City. Not only will they keep you dry when the skies open up, but they’ll also cut the wind and hold in valuable body heat to keep you safe and warm in the backcountry. Potential flash flood hazard. It includes GPS coordinates for the trailheads, mile-by-mile directional cues, rich narratives, and beautiful photographs. The gift ideas listed in the CleverHiker Gift Guide are can’t miss recommendations for anyone that enjoys backpacking, hiking, and camping. (8.5 miles), Day 2 - Hike from Cottonwood Canyon to seasonal Deadhorse Springs. A good pair of hiking pants should be functional and durable. See map. It’s a breathtakingly diverse playground of craggy granite peaks, high alpine lakes, meadows socked with wildflowers, rugged windswept coastline, and more shades of green than your eyeballs can handle. Larger groups may request an exception to these limits from the superintendent under the terms of a special use permit. Make your way through these canyons until you reach Marble Canyon Road. Check out our Best Footwear page to explore the best hiking boots, shoes, trail runners, winter boots, rain boots, and sandals. At one point or another I’ve fallen victim to every one of the blunders listed below (and then some!). I'm planning on spending a few days in Death Valley later this month and was looking at backpacking routes. To create this loop, the “trail” follows dirt roads and washes (not an actual … Pick up a free voluntary permits for backcountry camping at the visitor center or any ranger station. We explore several key differences in women-specific gear. WATER PURIFIER: We used Chlorine Dioxide pills and a Sawyer Squeeze as our water purification methods on this trip. This is another good place to camp and the best water source along the entire loop. Two of our Death Valley backpacking trips are centered around Telescope Peak, which towers more than 11,000 feet over the low point in Death Valley, Bad Water Basin (282 feet below sea level.) Below is a snapshot of important regulations to follow. That’s why it blew my mind a few years back when I learned that thru-hikers cover thousands of trail miles every year in running shoes. and Marble Canyon Rd, Cottonwood/Marble Canyon Road intersection, Hiking Death Valley National Park: A Guide to the Park’s Greatest Hiking Adventures, Death Valley National Park Recreation Map, National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map - Death Valley National Park, Hiking Death Valley: A Guide to its Natural Wonders and Mining Past, cottonwood canyon marble canyon backpacking loop, cottonwood marble canyon backpacking loop, 10 Best Backpacking & Camping Pillows of 2020, 100 Gifts for Backpacking, Hiking & Camping, 8 Iconic Pacific Northwest Backpacking Trips. This map includes color-coded symbols and trails, mileages between trail junctions, latitude/longitude, UTM grids, contour lines, vegetation, and elevations at trail junctions. From the saddle, turn left (not right, like the NP GPX track says) and head steeply downhill to the water drainage area. Bears are not a problem in this area so there are no food storage requirements. These are basically designed to help rangers find you if you get lost or things go sideways. Then snuggle up with one of the Best Sleeping Bags & Quilts of 2020. The final stretch through a wash to the end/start at the junction of Marble Canyon and Cottonwood Springs Road. This includes all mine structures, features, and ruins (i.e. If you’ve spent any time in the woods, you’ve probably made some epic backcountry blunders. What many don't realize is you can drive nearly all the way up to where Marble Canyon starts. In early season, snow can make the trail a bit harder to follow here. - John Muir. Backpacking Training Trip: Cottonwood-Marble Loop, Death Valley National Park: Day 1 Get link; Facebook; Twitter; Pinterest; Email; Other Apps; February 24, 2017 Cottonwood-Marble Canyon Loop. 1 Rain jacket shell - Marmot Pre-Cip / Rab Kinetic Plus, 1 Pair of rain pants (optional) - Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic, 1 Down jacket - Patagonia Micro Puff Hoody. Type of hike: no trail; gravel wash and cross-country, Vehicle needed: high-clearance to Hole-in-the-Wall; 4x4 beyond. S 10 Best camping Tents of 2020 in really well before your trip for frequent closures. Backpacked starting from Cottonwood and ending in Marble Canyon starts means it ’ s been drilled into our heads day... 'S peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees also requires navigating canyons. About every night on the south side with moderate difficulty no designated campsites along this route in Death Valley Park! Boots, make sure they ’ re happy to share our opinion in our Guide to the backpacking! 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Pads of 2020 and make our list of guidebooks and maps we 've found in. Foot summit few days in Death Valley National Park -- Cottonwood Canyon Road upper...