Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
6,852.00 ft (2,088.49 m)
Trail type
24.60 mi (39.59 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

This route is a 24.6-mile out-and-back through Hanaupah Canyon in Death Valley National Park. Hanaupah Canyon is located on the east side of the Panamint Mountains and drains from Telescope Peak, the highest point in the national park. A rocky, dirt road path leads through the canyon starting from West Side Road and ascending up to Hanaupah Spring and an old mining site. It is a moderate to strenuous route with extreme changes in elevation, historical significance, and expansive views overlooking Death Valley and the Badwater Basin. 

Hanaupah Canyon flows down from Telescope Peak, the highest point in the national park, to Badwater Basin, the lowest point in North America. This is a rugged, remote area. Prepare yourself for rough terrain with boulders and loose gravel, as well as a poorly maintained trail. 

Around 8.6 miles into the hike, the road ends and hikers follow a faint trail to Hanaupah Spring and the old mining area.


The start of the route is accessible via West Side Road, a dirt road that circles the west side of Death Valley. West Side Road is generally accessible for most cars; however, it is always advisable to contact the ranger station in advance to find out about current road conditions. 

The journey begins by ascending Hanaupah Canyon Road until it ends. Enter a gravel wash, using cairns as a guide, and follow a faint use trail to reach the mouth of the canyon where you’ll find Hanaupah Spring and the historic mining area. 

The area is great for exploring and for backcountry camping before turning around and heading back down the canyon to the start/end.


  • Hikers may encounter high clearance vehicles along Hanaupah Canyon Road.

  • Water is generally available year-round at Hanaupah Spring. However, visitors are advised to contact the park beforehand and inquire about the quality of the water, as certain contaminants have been discovered in the past.


NPS - Backpacking Death Valley


Logistics + Planning



Parking Pass

National Park Pass

Open Year-round





Remote wilderness. Historical significance. Unique lush canyon within desert.


Water may be unsafe to drink.

Trailhead Elevation

-230.00 ft (-70.10 m)

Highest point

5,746.00 ft (1,751.38 m)


Backcountry camping
Historically significant
Geologically significant

Typically multi-day


Permit required



Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping


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