When you think of a desert, images of waterfalls with sparkling pools and lush vegetation may not be the first to come to mind. However, Darwin Falls is a notable exception. Set just inside of Death Valley National Park, Darwin Falls is a short 3-mile drive from Panamint Springs. After driving down a 2.5-mile dirt road you will reach a parking lot where you will find the Darwin Falls Trailhead.
This is a 1-mile free hike to the falls following the canyon walls. The hike is fairly obvious because there are no other possible trails to take. Just follow the irrigation pipe along the north wall, and it will lead right where you need to go. The canyon floor stays flat with no real elevation change until the very end, where you need to scramble over a couple of small rocks and traverse the creek in a few areas. It becomes apparent you are getting closer to Darwin Falls when you enter the canopy of trees and become surrounded by lush vegetation. This is the lower falls area, and it is here you will find a series of smaller falls that grow increasingly larger as you approach Darwin Falls.
Darwin Falls sits at the narrow point of the gorge. It is a relatively small waterfall, only about 25-feet high, but it is majestic in it's own way with a perfect split and a tree that juts out over the pool.