Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Death Valley National Park

December 10- 12, 2012
In a galaxy far far away... actually in California, there's a beautiful place called Death Valley. After spending an amazing week camping and day hiking in Moab Utah, Canyonlands, and Arches National Parks we decided to cancel the Zion part of our trip to Utah due to extremely cold weather and head over to Death Valley California. Eric and I spent a few days camping, day hiking, and exploring all this magnificent park has to offer. As huge Star Wars fans we of course visited a few of the locations where scenes of the epic Star Wars trilogy were filmed. We spent most of our time in Death Valley completing day hikes, both long and short, we drove to a bunch of the lookouts, took some tours, and even took the Prius on some dirt road trails! Our trip to Death valley was a blast! and I can't wait to go back in the coming year to see even more of the park!

Click here to view all the photos from this trip

Rhyolite Mining Town
What we did while in Death Valley:

Hiking Trails:
Fall Canyon Trail- 6 miles RT
Natural Bridge Canyon- 2 miles RT 0.5 to bridge
Badwater Salt Flats- 0.5 to 5 miles
Mosaic Canyon Trail- 4 miles RT
Salt Creek- 0.5 mile

Driving Only Trails:
Titus Canyon narrows- 1.5 miles
Twenty Mule Team Canyon- 2.7 miles

Lookout Points:
Dante's View
Artist's palette

Site Seeing:
Rhyolite Mining Town
Scotty's Castle- Take the tour!
Harmony Borax Works

The last time I was in Death valley I was knee high and honestly I don't really remember the experience. So having the opportunity to come back as an adult and do whatever we wanted was an amazing treat and a great way to end the year! During our stay in Death Valley we camped at Emigrant campgrounds, only available to tents so we were not disturbed by huge RV's. Most evenings after a long day of hiking and exploring we would enjoy a delicious meal at the restaurant in Stovepipe Wells. Try their mac and cheese, its to die for! Simply one of the best mac and cheese dishes I have ever had.

Dante's View

Eric and I spent the few days we had to enjoy Death Valley hiking every trail we could and seeing all we could see. In that short time We hiked quite a few trails, my favorite being Mosaic Canyon Trail. Only 4 miles round trip, this short hike involves a small amount of climbing to get past each dried waterfall but its completely doable for most hikers. I absolutely love trails that involve scrambling to get past obstacles, I enjoy the puzzle of finding a rout around whatever blocks my path. So when I come across a trail like this one I get extremely happy! There are many great hikes in Death valley but this one was my favorite out of them all.  

Have you hiked this or any other trails in Death Valley? Let me know what you thought of Death Valley and its hiking trails! Comment below or leave a message on my facebook page :)
Salt Creek Trail- All photos are property of Jessie's Trails

Things I Think You Should Know:

It gets HOT!- Being one of the hottest places on the planet, Death Valley is no joke when it comes to keeping hydrated and protected from the relentless sun. Make sure you bring plenty of water for everyone in your group, try not to hike during the hottest times of day and make sure someone knows where you are going and when you expect to be back.

Wildlife is just that, WILD- Help keep the wildlife wild by not feeding them, cleaning up after you and your family, and keeping food in a safe location where animals can't get to it. Teach kids the correct way to be around wildlife and show an example by following all park rules.

WATER WATER WATER!- While in Death Valley you will notice their signs everywhere telling you to carry water and how much each person will need at each trailhead. Always carry water on you and in your car. You never know when or if you will get lost or brake down. Make sure to carry enough water in your car to last you for at least a few days. We kept huge water jugs with spouts on them so we could refill our water bottles at each trailhead.

Rules are not a suggestion- Make sure everyone in your group is well aware of all the parks rules. They are there not only for your protection but the wildlife and other hikers and campers as well. Do your part in making everyone's trip a good one, follow the rules. Park Rules

 Learn more about Things To Know Before You Come

Scotty's Castle

Now it's my turn!


I was born in Los Angeles and raised in SoCal, but in all my years here, I have never been to Death Valley. I hear that in the spring time, when the wildflowers are blooming, it is really beautiful, but don't ever go there in the summer.

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