Death Valley & Telescope Peak
13 hikers & non-hikers from San Diego
May 2004

Outdoor Pages || Il Labirinto

Death Valley must-see

  • Dante's View
  • Zabriskie Point
  • Badwater
  • Telescope Peak (long hike on a tall mountain with beautiful view of the Death Valley and the Sierras)
  • Golden Canyon (easy hike with wonderful scenery)


Telescope Peak Hike

  • Before the hike can sleep in Ridgecrest (4 hrs drive from San Diego) or camp at Mahogany Flat @ 2000m (6 hrs drive from San Diego). No water at the Mahogany Flat campground.
  • The road to Mahogany Flat is quite rough. The road between Mahogany Flat and the Telescope Peak Hike trailhead is very rough.
  • Telescope Peak hike. Nice view of the Valley, of Badwater, of the Sierra and of the Great Divide. View of Whitney if the sky is clear. (lowest and tallest points of the US at the same time).
  • 7 miles one way. Hike is 3-4 hrs to the top (1000m elevation gain, top is at ~3500m). Easy hike, only difficulty may be losing the trail at the end because of the snow.
  • Three parts for the hike
    1. A mildly climbing trail on the north-eastern side of the mountain (1-1.5 hrs)
    2. A ridge that will bring you just below Telescope Peak (1 hr)
    3. Last strech & switchbacks to the top of the Peak (1-1.5 hrs)
  • The peak is completely exposed, and tends to be chilly.
  • You can alternatively hike Wildrose Peak, which is a bit lower than and just in front of Telescope Peak. The trail starts from the same parking lot.
  • One good hour of drive from the trailhead to the center of the Valley (Furnace Creek)


Zabriskie Point to Golden Canyon

  • Need to sleep in the Valley and wake up very early n the morning to catch the sunrise at Zabriskie Point
  • The Golden Canyon hike does not start from the vista point of Zabriskie, but at the bottom of the small hill, on the right-hand side (there's a sign)
  • Very easy & flat hike, 4 kms one way. From Zabriskie Point to the Golden Canyon is even downhill.
  • The Hike ends at the Golden Canyon parking spot. To come back you have either to hike back or hitchhike (or go with two cars and leave one at each end of the canyon :-)



Group Picture

Telescope Peak (~3500 m)

Group picture on top of Telescope Peak
(Where is Arnaud?)


A breakfast from Italy

Charcoal Klins
(on the road to Mahogany Flat)

View of Badwater

First part of the trail


View of the Great Divide
(Palisades? Whitney?)

Getting togheter on the ridge

Some patches of snow

Elena keeps the rhythm on the switchbacks

Lorenzo and Arnaud discuss on top

Arnaud on top

Elena on top

Food break on top

Mission accomplished

Sunset at Furnace Creek

The Golden Canyon trailhead
Tourists at Zabriskie Point
Golden Canyon - 1
Golden Canyon - 2


© Lorenzo Casaccia