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Gnomes Workshop
Hiking Around Las Vegas, Death Valley National Park, Death Valley Wilderness Area
Gnomes Workshop
Gnomes WorkshopStarting out towards Gnome Spring (view SE from trailhead)


This short hike runs out into an area of spring seeps that has highly eroded salt and mud badlands overlain by alluvial gravels. The route runs off-trail for about 1.2 miles to Gnome Spring, then loops back to the trailhead (2.3 miles round-trip), although hikers can walk wherever they want. This is not a destination hike, but rather a short hike to cap off the day or to do something quick before moving elsewhere.

A better name for this area might be "Mustard with Salt and Pepper Canyon," as it has the yellow of mustard canyon, plus white salt and gray gravel.

Link to map.

Watch Out

Other than the standard warnings about hiking in the desert, ... hiking in this area is pretty safe, but it can get rather hot. While hiking, please respect the land and the other people out there, and try to Leave No Trace of your passage. This hike is short, so just bring water and what you need of the 10 Essentials.

Gnomes Workshop
Hikers walking on the dry ridges (view E)

Getting to the Trailhead

This hike is located in Death Valley National Park, about 2-1/2 hours northwest of Las Vegas. From town, drive out do Furnace Creek (Table 1, Site 0712), then continue north on Highway 190 for another 2.26 miles to a wide spot on the shoulder of the road (Site 1538). Park here; this is the trailhead.

The Hike

From the trailhead (Table 2, Waypoint 01), the route runs southeast then east following erosion channels that look a bit like a pair of wagon wheel ruts. Hikers can stay in the wet washes or climb onto the low ridges for a better view of the scenery and drier terrain.

Regardless, the goal of this hike is to see the eroded mud and salt, so wander around, walk on the ridges and walk in the washes, generally heading east. Hikers might consider hiking on the ridge and passing under the telephone wires at Wpt. 02.

Gnomes Workshop
Eroded canyon with salt gnomes (view E)


Continuing along the ridges, Gnome's Spring eventually can be seen in the canyons below on the north side of the ridge. A bit of winding around brings hikers to the spring (Wpt. 03). while the single, stumpy date palm tree is little to see, it is a good place to turn back and follow down the drainage.

Hiking down the colorful drainage, and again passing under the telephone wires (Wpt. 05), hikers will shortly arrive at the mouth of the canyon (Wpt. 05). Here, the roadways is visible, and hikers can turn left (south) to return to the trailhead.

Gnomes WorkshopSalt flats (view E) Gnomes Workshop
Salt crust (view E)
Gnomes Workshop
Salt gnomes
Gnomes Workshop
Hiking on a low ridge (view E)
Gnomes Workshop
Salty creek (view SW from ridge)
Gnomes Workshop
Carved stone
Gnomes Workshop
Eroded yellow hills (view E)
Gnomes Workshop
Eroded yellow hills near sunset (view E)
Gnomes Workshop
Hikers on ridge (view W; looking back)
Gnomes Workshop
Eroded yellow hills near sunset (view E)
Gnomes Workshop
Gnome Spring in the distance (view NE)
Gnomes Workshop
Date Palm at Gnome Spring (view E)
Gnomes Workshop
Descending canyon below Gnome Spring (view W)
Gnomes Workshop
Canyon below Gnome Spring (view E; looking back up stream)

Table 1. Highway Coordinates based on GPS Data (NAD27; UTM Zone 11S). Download highway GPS waypoints (*.gpx) file.

Site Location UTM Easting UTM Northing Latitude (N) Longitude (W) Elevation (ft) Verified
0712 Furnace Creek Visitor Center 512035 4034922 36.46130 116.86568 -186 Yes
1538 Gnomes Workshop Trailhead 511662 4038289 36.49166 116.86980 -167 GPS

Table 2. Hiking Coordinates and Distances 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
01 Trailhead 511663 4038287 -168 0.00 0.00 GPS
02 Telephone Wires 512278 4038242 -33 0.46 0.46 GPS
03 Gnome Spring 513162 4038489 139 0.77 1.23 GPS
04 Telephone Wires 512229 4038394 -89 0.63 1.86 GPS
05 Exit Canyon 511687 4038375 -162 0.34 2.20 GPS
01 Trailhead 511663 4038287 -168 0.09 2.29 GPS

Happy Hiking! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 141222

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