Death Valley: Scorpion Canyon

Categories: California

I have been to Death Valley many times but I’d never done a technical canyon. I had been just about to reserve some rooms in southern Arizona when I heard some friends were going to do several canyons in the park at the same time that I was leaving town, so I changed plans and met them for a couple of hikes.

The first day we did Scorpion Canyon. We started by hiking through the maze of badlands off of Twenty Mule Team Road. This was a two car trip with the second car 20 minutes away at Desolation Canyon.

Twenty Mule Team badlands.

Hoping we were walking up the right wash.

The canyon was made up of subtle pastel colored hues.

The steepest part of our climb was up this cool mini canyon of steeply tilted slabs.

At the top of our climb we’d gained 800 feet of elevation.

Finally done with climbing and found ourselves leisurely descending a broad wash.

A basin of lavender hues.

We walked about a mile before the first rappel. This section of the canyon was made up of the worst ice cream colors. The cheapest brand too, I tasted every color and they were all terrible.

The first rappel followed by some interesting downclimbing.

The first peek at how far above the valley we were. 

Rapel two

Rappel 3 was listed in the beta as 105 feet.

Entering a pink section!

Rappel 4 Alternative route was a two stage rappel. 

Rappel 5 was short.

There were a ton of cool rocks and boulders in this canyon, like this one.

An interesting section where the stream had not really been able to cut a channel into the bedrock.

The channel widened again. We would be in this yellow rock for a while.

Max descends rappel 6.

Rappel 7 was a 70 foot cliff that showed us getting much closer to the valley floor.

The rock turned bluish for the final rappel. Max and Ella study the descent.

The view out of the canyon and towards the salt flats.

Max makes his final descent.

Walking down the wash to the cars.

It had gotten cloudy during the day but this trip had a ton of variety in rocks and geology.

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