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Pets allowed
No
Elevation Gain
?
Trail type
Loop
Distance
0.50 mi (0.80 km)
Please respect the outdoors and leave no trace. One tip how to dispose of waste properly: Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products. For more information, visit https://lnt.org/learn/7-principles

Located nearly 150 feet below sea level where temperatures can exceed 100 degrees by mid-morning and water salinity is higher than the ocean, most people don’t expect to find animals living here. Yet you might be surprised at what you can find as you explore the Salt Creek Interpretive Trail. The harsh salt marsh environment of Death Valley National Park provides habitat for a variety of flora and fauna to survive. One in particular is the Salt Creek Pupfish (Cyprinodon salinus), which is found nowhere else in the world. It’s story is one of environmental change and an animal’s adaptation to that change. During the last Ice Age, about 15,000 years ago, Death Valley was actually a land of large lakes and marshes. Over the years the geology and climate has changed, and consequently so has the life of the pupfish.

This short and ADA-accessible loop trail provides a wonderful opportunity to view wildlife such as the rare pupfish. Springtime is the best season, and the boardwalk allows you to get right up to the water’s edge. Interpretive signs are located along the trail, and these describe the different plants and animals found in this unique desert environment. A few benches are scattered around the boardwalk as well.

Help protect the fragile ecosystem by staying on the boardwalk. Dogs are not allowed.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

National Park Pass

Pros

Wildlife viewing. ADA accessible.

Cons

No shade.

Trailhead Elevation

-150.00 ft (-45.72 m)

Net Elevation Gain

25.00 ft (7.62 m)

Address

Salt Creek Interpretive Trail
CA 92328
United States

Features

Wildlife
Wildlife
Bird watching
Big vistas
Wildflowers
ADA accessible
Geologically significant

Location

Field Guide + Map

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Comments

05.26.18
Salt Creek Trail in springtime!
A nice short hike along a small stream that have tons of pupfish that are very easy to spot from the boardwalk
12.07.14
I loved this hike. It was so different than anything else in DVNP!
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