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Golden Canyon

Death Valley National Park

Death Valley, California

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Golden Canyon

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  • Golden Canyon Trailhead.- Golden Canyon
  • Heading into Golden Canyon.- Golden Canyon
  • Starting the hike through Golden Canyon.- Golden Canyon
  • Easy start through Golden Canyon.- Golden Canyon
  • A few short, easy climbs.- Golden Canyon
  • Diverse geological colors.- Golden Canyon
  • The terrain has been eroded and shaped by floods.- Golden Canyon
  • Hiking through Golden Canyon.- Golden Canyon
  • Golden Canyon in Death Valley National Park.- Golden Canyon
  • The way to Zabriskie Point or the Red Cathedral.- Golden Canyon
  • The Red Cathedral in the distance.- Golden Canyon
  • The Red Cathedral in Death Valley National Park.- Golden Canyon
  • The Red Cathedral.- Golden Canyon
  • Sun rising on the Golden Canyon.- Golden Canyon
  • One of the few marked trails in Death Valley National Park.- Golden Canyon
  • Golden Canyon in Death Valley National Park.- Golden Canyon
  • The glowing hills in Golden Canyon.- Golden Canyon
  • Golden Canyon in Death Valley National Park.- Golden Canyon
  • Golden Canyon in Death Valley National Park.- Golden Canyon
  • Zabriskie Point.- Golden Canyon
  • Trailhead to Gower Gulch via Golden Canyon Trail.- Golden Canyon
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Close to Furnace Creek. Amazing photo opportunities. Panoramic views.
Cons: 
None.
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Region:
Death Valley, CA
Congestion: 
High
Pets allowed: 
No
Net Elevation Gain: 
850.00 ft (259.08 m)
Parking Pass: 
National Park Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Fall
Total Distance: 
5.40 mi (8.69 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
-250.00 ft (-76.20 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Contributor

Death Valley National Park is considered a photographer's paradise because of the amazing assortment of different desert landscapes. One of the most sought-after photo locations is the Golden Canyons near Furnace Creek. As the sun rises over the Panamint Mountains, the canyons catch the sunlight and the golden-hued earth starts to vibrantly glow. This is the prime time if you are looking for photographic opportunities. This is also the best time to hike because the canyon walls provide shade until later in the day when the sun is overhead.

The hike to Zabriskie Point is roughly 3 miles from the Golden Canyon Trailhead. Along the way, there is a half-mile there-and-back detour to see the Red Cathedral. The trail begins by following the flood washouts of the canyons and eventually leads over the rolling Golden Canyons until it reaches Zabriskie Point. This is essentially a free hike through canyons, though there are trail markers and signs that let you know where you can and can't go.

The Golden Canyon Trail is a there-and-back hike, though you can take Gower Gulch that loops back to the parking lot if you wish to extend your trip. This is an additional 2.3 miles through more canyons and washouts with a few spots that have a short technical climb down. The trailhead to Gower Gulch is 1 mile from Zabriskie Point. Golden Canyon, Red Cathedral, Zabriskie Point, and Gower Gulch together add up to a worthwhile 6-mile round-trip hike. 

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Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide + Trail Map

Field Guide + Trail Map

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(6 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(23 within a 30 mile radius)

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