birdandhike.com logo
Home | Wilderness | Hiking | Death Valley
Golden Canyon to Zabriskie Point
Hiking Around Las Vegas, Death Valley National Park
Gower Gulch Trailhead (view N from parking lot)
Golden Canyon to Zabriskie Point Trail
Golden Canyon Trailhead (view E)

Overview

This picturesque and geologically interesting, but moderately strenuous, 2.9-mile hike starts at Golden Canyon and climbs over mudhill badlands, passes Manly Beacon, and drops into Gower Gulch before climbing out to Zabriskie Point.

This one-way hike requires a vehicle shuttle or other arrangement. Consider hiking back using the Gower Gulch Trail.

Link to map.

Golden Canyon to Zabriskie Point Trail
Golden Canyon (view E)

Watch Out

Other than the standard warnings about hiking in the desert, ...this hike is pretty safe, but stay out of the canyons (and off the mudhills) if rain threatens because of flash flood dangers.

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

Golden Canyon to Zabriskie Point Trail
Marker #10 and trail to Zabriskie Point

Getting to the Trailhead

This hike is located along Highway 160 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 Golden Canyon Trailhead. Park here; this is the trailhead.

Golden Canyon to Zabriskie Point Trail
Marker #10

The Hike

From the Golden Canyon trailhead (Table 1, Waypoint 01), the route runs up Golden canyon for about a mile to Trail Marker #10 (Wpt. 02), which also marks at trail junction. For details on this part of the hike, see Golden Canyon Trail.

From Trail Marker #10 (Wpt. 02), the route forks to the right and ascends, sometimes steeply, a side canyon into the mudhills. Crossing below Manley Beacon, the trail climbs to a highpoint (Wpt. 04) before descending towards Gower Gulch. Past the highpoint, Zabriskie Point is visible to the east. For details on this part of the hike, see Gower Gulch Loop.

Golden Canyon to Zabriskie Point Trail
Sign at trail junction

At a signed trail junction (Wpt. 05), the route to Zabriskie Point turns left and climbs over another ridge, eventually dropping into Gower Gulch at another signed trail junction (Wpt. 12). Arriving at this point, Zabriskie Point is visible above to the east. For details on this part of the hike, see Zabriskie Point to Golden Canyon.

From this trail junction, hikers can follow a use-trail that climbs more-or-less directly to Zabriskie Point, or they can follow the main trail, which circles around behind Zabriskie Point and approaches the point from the other side.

Following the main trail, hikers turn left to go north and start up a tributary canyon to Gower Gulch. In the near distance, a sign post indicates the way, but by then it becomes apparent that the trail follows an old road. Winding up the old road, the road runs through a gap in a ridge and shortly arrives at the Zabriskie Point parking area (Wpt. 10) and the base of the paved trail up onto the point (Wpt. 11). For details on this part of the hike, see Zabriskie Point to Golden Canyon.

Golden Canyon to Zabriskie Point Trail
Human on trail heading for Manley Beacon (view E)
Golden Canyon to Zabriskie Point Trail
Human on trail below Manley Beacon (view SE)
Golden Canyon to Zabriskie Point Trail
Highpoint beyond Manley Beacon (view SE)
Golden Canyon to Zabriskie Point Trail
Zabriskie Point (view E from highpoint)
Golden Canyon to Zabriskie Point Trail
Trail follows canyon beyond Manley Beacon crest (view SE)
Golden Canyon to Zabriskie Point Trail
Trail marker along wash (view S)
Golden Canyon to Zabriskie Point Trail
Arriving at signed trail junction (view S)
Golden Canyon to Zabriskie Point Trail
Signed trail junction (view E)
Golden Canyon to Zabriskie Point Trail
Gower Loop - Zabriskie Point trail junction signs (view N)
Golden Canyon to Zabriskie Point Trail
Canyon narrows beyond signed trail junction (view E)
Golden Canyon to Zabriskie Point Trail
Trail climbs onto mud hills (view E)
Golden Canyon to Zabriskie Point Trail
Traversing mud hills (view E)
Golden Canyon to Zabriskie Point Trail
Traversing mud hills (view SE)
Golden Canyon to Zabriskie Point Trail
Descending into Gower Gulch (view SE)
Golden Canyon to Zabriskie Point Trail
Arriving at the edge of Gower Gulch (view SE)
Golden Canyon to Zabriskie Point Trail
Sign at trail junction (view E)
Golden Canyon to Zabriskie Point Trail
Main trail turns up side canyon (view NE)
Golden Canyon to Zabriskie Point Trail
Side canyon (view NE)
Golden Canyon to Zabriskie Point Trail Golden Canyon to Zabriskie Point Trail
Golden Canyon to Zabriskie Point Trail
Trail follows old road (view E)
Golden Canyon to Zabriskie Point Trail
Old road switchbacks up hillside (view E)
Golden Canyon to Zabriskie Point Trail
Trail follows old road (view E)
Golden Canyon to Zabriskie Point Trail
Trail follows old road through gap (view E)
Golden Canyon to Zabriskie Point Trail
Gap in ridge (view E)
Golden Canyon to Zabriskie Point Trail
Zabriskie Parking (view SE from gap in ridge)
   
Direct Route to Zabriskie Point Overlook
Golden Canyon to Zabriskie Point Trail Golden Canyon to Zabriskie Point Trail
Golden Canyon to Zabriskie Point Trail Golden Canyon to Zabriskie Point Trail
Golden Canyon to Zabriskie Point Trail Golden Canyon to Zabriskie Point Trail
Golden Canyon to Zabriskie Point Trail Golden Canyon to Zabriskie Point Trail
Golden Canyon to Zabriskie Point Trail
Arriving at Zabriskie Point! (view W)
Golden Canyon to Zabriskie Point Trail
Welcome to Zabriskie Point! (view SE)

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
10 Zabriskie Point Trailhead 517080 4030461 656 0.00 0.00 GPS
12 Gower Gulch Wash, Edge 516600 4030309 502 0.53 0.53 GPS
05 Signed Trail Junction 516004 4030275 379 0.57 1.10 GPS
04 SW Flank, Manly Beacon 515644 4030645 500 0.37 1.47 GPS
02 Trail Marker #10 515145 4030868 131 0.44 1.91 GPS
01 Golden Canyon Trailhead 513838 4030440 -167 1.01 2.92 GPS

Happy Hiking! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 130923

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

 

Google Ads