Surprise Canyon, Panamint Range, Death Valley National Park.

A Mind-Boggling Chunk of Lonely: Backpacking in Death Valley National Park

In Backpacking, National Park Adventures   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   4 Comments

By Michael Lanza

“Can you believe how much water there is?!” Katie asks incredulously. It’s a logical question, and the response of silence from the rest of us answers her pretty succinctly: No, we can’t.

We’re backpacking in a lonely corner of the water-starved and nearly barren Panamint Range in southern California’s Death Valley National Park. One of the most insufferably hot and dry deserts on the planet, Death Valley averages less than two inches of rainfall a year. The temperature on this mid-May evening still hovers around a steaming 90° F in the shade, even as sunset fast approaches.

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4 Responses to A Mind-Boggling Chunk of Lonely: Backpacking in Death Valley National Park

  1. Matt Johnson   |  November 15, 2016 at 9:15 am

    Reminds me of Darwin Falls in its unexpectedness in Death Valley. Though DF is much easier to get to.

    • Michael Lanza   |  November 15, 2016 at 9:21 am

      Hey Matt, I’ll have to get over to Darwin Falls next time I’m in Death Valley.

      • Matt Johnson   |  November 15, 2016 at 9:49 am

        It’s a much easier hike. More of a long day stroll than a hike. Only took me 5 years or so of visiting Death Valley and driving by it to get there. Water is deeper and I did get to watch a frog climb the Falls.

        • Michael Lanza   |  November 15, 2016 at 9:55 am

          Sounds nice, thanks for the suggestion, Matt.

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