birdandhike.com logo
Home | Wilderness | Hiking | Death Valley
Gower Gulch Miner's Trail
Hiking Around Las Vegas, Death Valley National Park

Gower Gulch Miner's Trail
Gower Gulch Miner's TrailGower Gulch westbound: trail to mine on hillside?

Overview

Gower Gulch Miner's Trail is a spur trail off the Gower Gulch Trail. As such, it is not a destination but rather an interesting side trip along the longer hike. Although this route can be used to bypass lower Gower Gulch, it should not be considered a short-cut. The trail appears to climb to a mine high on the mountain, but actually it runs to a saddle. Maps show mines beyond the saddle, but a use-trail descends steeply into the next canyon and runs west to the flats of Death Valley.

This area is picturesque and geologically interesting, and this strenuous, 0.3-mile trail leads to a nice overlook of the area.

Link to map.

Gower Gulch Miner's Trail

Watch Out

Other than the standard warnings about hiking in the desert, ...this hike runs up a steep, narrow, unmaintained trail built by miners decades ago. Parts of the trail have fallen away over the years. While not especially dangerous, slipping off the trail could lead to serious injury, and as such, this trail is not suitable for children or those afraid of heights.

While hiking, please respect the land and the other people out there, and try to Leave No Trace of your passage. Also, this is part of a fairly long hike, so be sure to bring the 10 Essentials.

Gower Gulch Miner's Trail

Getting to the Trailhead

This hike is located between Highway 160 and Badwater Road in Death Valley National Park, about 2-1/2 hours northwest of Las Vegas. From town, drive out to Death Valley, pay the entrance fee, and then drive to the Zabriskie Point Trailhead or the Golden Canyon Trailhead. Use the Gower Gulch Trail to access the Borax Mining District and this trail.

Gower Gulch Miner's Trail

The Hike

From Gower Gulch, the Miner's Trail runs west and up a side wash. Shortly, the trail forks. The left fork continues west to a gated mine entrance (Wpt. 13); the right fork runs northwest and climbs a ridgeline covered with brown rocks.

Atop the brown area, the trail angles up and across yellow mud slopes heading northeast. The trail is narrow and parts have fallen away, but the trail leads up and rounds a corner to head northwest. Passing what looks from below to be a mine entrance, the trail drops into a saddle (Wpt. 14) with grand views over the entire area. Hikers can continue over the saddle on a use trail that leads down the canyon to the floor of Death Valley (Wpt. 15). Note: I've not hiked down from the saddle, but the route goes.

Gower Gulch Miner's Trail
Trail forks: left to mine; right to saddle
Gower Gulch Miner's Trail
Mine entrance (view W from Miner's Trail)
Gower Gulch Miner's Trail
Hiking through brown stones
Gower Gulch Miner's Trail
Trail across steep mud slopes
Gower Gulch Miner's Trail
Hiker bypassing bad section of trail
Gower Gulch Miner's Trail
Hiker on trail
Gower Gulch Miner's Trail
Part of the upper trail is wide ...
Gower Gulch Miner's Trail
... and part is narrow
Gower Gulch Miner's Trail
Saddle (view N from corner)
Gower Gulch Miner's Trail
Death Valley Flats (view W from saddle)
Gower Gulch Miner's Trail
Grand view into Gower Gulch (view E from high on Miner's Trail)
Gower Gulch Miner's Trail
Grand view into Gower Gulch (view E from high on Miner's Trail)
Gower Gulch Miner's Trail
Returning down the trail: approaching the corner
Gower Gulch Miner's Trail
Returning down the trail (view S into Gower Gulch)
Gower Gulch Miner's Trail
Returning down the trail: view SW across hillside
Gower Gulch Miner's Trail
Grand view into Gower Gulch (view south from high on Miner's Trail)

Side Trail to Mine Entrance. From the Miner's Trail, the hike to the mine takes the left fork.

Gower Gulch Miner's Trail
Trail forks: left to mine; right to saddle
Gower Gulch Miner's Trail
Mine entrance and tailings
Gower Gulch Miner's Trail
Mine entrance
Gower Gulch Miner's Trail
Gate inside mine entrance
Gower Gulch Miner's Trail
Parallel tunnels inside the mine (view through gate)
Gower Gulch Miner's Trail
Left tunnel (zoom view through gate)
Gower Gulch Miner's Trail
Right tunnel (zoom view through gate)
Gower Gulch Miner's Trail
Returning down to Miner's Trail (view E up Gower Gulch)

Mine in Gower Gulch Wash. This gated mine is located on the south side of Gower Gulch, about 0.25 miles east of the Mine's Trail.

Gower Gulch Miner's Trail
Mine entrance (view SE from Gower Gulch; looking upstream)
Gower Gulch Miner's Trail
Mine entrance (view S)
Gower Gulch Miner's Trail
Gate inside mine entrance (view S)
Gower Gulch Miner's Trail
Inside the mine (view through gate)
Gower Gulch Miner's Trail
Inside the mine (zoom view through gate)
Gower Gulch Miner's Trail
Mine entrance (view SW from Gower Gulch; looking downstream)

Gower Gulch Miner's Trail
Panorama (view east from high on Gower Gulch Miner's Trail)

Table 1. Hiking Coordinates Based on GPS Data (NAD27, UTM Zone 11S). Download Hiking GPS Waypoints (*.gpx) file.

Wpt. Location UTM Easting UTM Northing Elevation (ft) Point-to-Point Distance (mi) Cumulative Distance (mi) Verified
07 Borax Mining Area 514810 4029931 179 0.00 0.00 GPS
13 Mine 514711 4029926 198 . . GPS
14 Saddle 514691 4030182 326 0.23 0.23 GPS
15 Wash 514021 4029951 -131 0.55 0.78 GPS

Happy Hiking! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 130922

Death Valley Hiking Around Las Vegas Glossary Copyright, Conditions, Disclaimer Home