Death Valley Thru-Hike: Section 1
DVN001 (From Harry Wade Road, cross over the dried-out Amargosa River and hike north for 2.7 miles through low-lying hills. Prepare to move slowly across the sandy terrain.)
DVN002 (Pass the Ibex Dunes, then hike north 5 miles through sandy terrain, passing dunes and rugged hills. Between the dunes and Ibex Spring, you'll gain 800 feet of elevation on a long, low-grade slope. The first 600 feet of climbing are soft and sandy; the remaining 200 feet are much rockier.)
DVN003 (Pass Ibex Spring and follow an old mining road west through a narrow gap in the hills. (The gap reveals a large broad wash flanked by the rugged Black and Ibex hills). Drop down about 300 feet into the wash, and then climb about 700 feet up and across Buckwheat Wash. Head through rocky and rutted terrain toward the large, white stains on the hills, which are remnants of an 1800s mine.)
DVN004 (End of Day 1: Set up camp in Buckwheat Wash at the abandoned mine (look for the large pile of talc at the base of the Talc Hills). The next day, leave camp and hike north along a rutted wash with hard-packed terrain. Stay along the base of the mountains to the west.)
DVN006 (The channel narrows, revealing a thin, private slot canyon with 100-foot walls, warm colors, and a sandy bottom. Continue hiking through the canyon and be aware of flash floods. )
DVN007 (Bear left through the canyon. Turning right will lead to a dead end. )
DVN008 (Exit through the wide mouth of the canyon. Continue east in the channel, heading toward American Mine. )
DVN009 (Pass a 10-foot, rocky waterfall on the left. Climb out of the channel and reach a very faded mining road. The American Mine is on a hill to the east.)
DVN010 (Optional side trip: Hike up to American Mine to explore this hidden mining camp and a wooden homestead built into the mountain. Bottles, cans, and metal debris cover the area. When finished, retrace steps back to the old mining road.)
DVN011 (Continue northwest, following the faded road. )
DVN012 (Walk across the wash (the first of three that have destroyed the already faded road). )
DVN013 (Second wash crossing. )
DVN014 (Third wash crossing. Follow the road and begin climbing toward the pass that's 650 feet away. )
DVN015 (Reach a mountain pass with views of 11,049-foot Telescope Peak, the highest peak in Death Valley. Follow the road until it intersects with I-178, then bear right onto the highway and walk up Salsberry Pass. )
DVN016 (Hike along the shoulder of I-278/Jubilee Pass Road toward Salsberry Pass.)
DVN017 (Salsberry Pass may not be the day's highpoint, but what it lacks in elevation it makes up for in scenery. Pastel rocks and wildflowers are prominent features here. The expanse of Greenwater Valley stretches out to the north; Calico Peaks are to the left, including Salsberry Peak. )
DVN018 (Cache)
DVN019 (Turn left off I-178 and walk toward the large monolith, entering Greenwater Valley. The monolith is visibly distinct from the surrounding terrain and offers high-lying flat spots to camp. )
DVN020 (End of Day 2: Camp on a high, flat spot to avoid flash floods. From Day 2's camp, head northwest across the alluvial contours of the Calico Peaks until a large mound isolated from the low hills becomes visible. Continue northwest and skirt its northern base. Then proceed west-southwest into an increasingly narrow section in the hills. Follow a small wash up the hills to the low pass about 1,000 feet above base of the Calico Peaks. )
DVN021 (Scramble up boulders and scree to an unnamed, low pass with vast views of Greenwater Valley and Gold Valley. From the pass, hike west down a broad slope into a narrow cut in the mountains. )
DVN022 (Cache )
DVN023 (Reach Lost Section Road, another old mining route. Follow it southwest through a narrow cut in the mountains and into Gold Valley. )
DVN024 (Bear right at the fork in the road and head north, entering Gold Valley. )
DVN025 (Bear right at the second fork in the road and head north. When the short cliff of sediment along the right edge of the road reaches head height, hike northwest toward Sheep Saddle. )
DVN026 (Climb up the short but steep route to Sheep Saddle and enjoy views of Telescope to the left. After taking in the scenery, hike northwest into Sheep Canyon. Watch your footing as it is a 700-foot descent on loose talus from here to the canyon floor. Once the hard and smooth canyon floor is reached, head west. Climb along the right wall of the canyon, navigating around a series of three 30-foot, dry waterfalls. From there, continue west down the canyon.)
DVN027 (End of Day 3: Pick a flat shelf at the bottom of the canyon, just past the side canyon that joins Sheep Canyon. The walls are high and steep. This spot is very secluded and the view of the night sky past the rock walls is unforgettable. From Day 4's camp, hike west through an open, flat area of Sheep Canyon. After exiting the canyon and hiking down the alluvial material, walk out onto the salt pan.)
DVN028 (Cache )
DVN029 (After hiking northwest for 8 miles from Badwater Road (a few hundred feet below the sea) over flat and salty terrain, turn right and walk north along West Side Highway. This is a seldom-traveled dirt road with a few unreliable springs: Shorty's Grave and Bennett's Last Stand. )
DVN030 (End of Day 4: This is also a cache site. Park rules dictate backpackers must camp 2 miles away from West Side Road. Though this route cuts across alluvial material to Day 4's camping spot, turning left off West Side Road onto Trail Canyon Road makes for an easier route. The next day, leave camp and walk down a rutted, 4WD road until it intersects with West Side Road. )
DVN031 (Head north on West Side Road. The Panamint Mountains are to the left; Amargosas to the right. Continue through Middle Basin, which looks like a small, frozen lake. )
DVN032 (Reach Corduroy Cross, an old settler's crossing. From here, walk toward the transmission lines to the north that run from Furnace Creek to Stovepipe Wells. Follow the telephone lines as they bend northwest toward the base of Tucki Mountain. )
DVN033 (End of Day 5: Camp at a flat spot on the eastern base of Tucki Mountain, near Cottonball Marsh. The marsh is a shallow pool of salty water with polygonal salt formations beneath it. Begin Day 6. From camp, hike north-northwest over alluvial material. Detour around small washes, losing the transmission lines in the meantime. Climb more than 600 feet up a steep grade to I-178. )
DVN034 (Head towards two large mounds near the road. Cross I-178 and walk towards the dunes to the west. After checking out the dunes, rejoin the road and follow it to Stovepipe Wells Campground. )
DVN035 (End of Day 6: Reach Stovepipe Wells Campground, the only designated camping spot on this thru-hike. A sign notifies travelers that they are at sea level. Fires are permitted here. There is also a general store, gas station and a motel with $4 showers. The ranger station is next to the general store. From Stovepipe Wells Campground, head northwest towards a major alluvial fan and Marble Canyon, about 8 miles away. Both features are very noticeable. Walk through a low dune and then climb the fan, using the washes as routes into the canyon's mouth.)
Ibex Hills
Gold Valley
Valley Floor
Salt Pan
Trail Canyon