While there is no specific “trailhead” when you first set out, most backpackers begin the route at the intersection of Cottonwood Canyon Rd. New backpacking videos, trip reports, gear reviews, inspiring stories and more. We rounded up a bunch of the best coolers and put them to the test. So when you're in the market for a new shelter, pick up one of the Best Backpacking Tents of 2020. Nobody likes waking up with numb hips. Much of the hike involves walking on dirt roads, gravel washes and cross-country brushy areas, and through deep sand or gravel. It certainly doesn’t hurt if they have a flattering fit too. Keep up with our latest tutorials and gear reviews on YouTube. You’ll wear it just about every night on the trail. If Bighorn Gorge wasn’t enough desert for you, or you’re looking for a more traditional backpacking route or loop hike, Cottonwood and Marble Canyon is the most popular backpacking route in Death Valley. It’ll keep you toasty warm, even after spending hours jammed into the bottom of your pack. Comments: Follow wash bearing left (north) staying in drainage nearest ridge; head for low pass in mountains to the east. Start: 5 miles north of Hwy 190 on unmarked dirt road leading past Lake Hill. We researched and tested dozens of headlamps to put together this list of this year’s 10 Best Headlamps. The CleverHiker Top Picks page is reserved for our personal favorite backpacking gear. Walking on, climbing, entering, ascending, descending, or traversing any archaeological or cultural resource is prohibited. See our full review here: https://www.cleverhiker.com/blog/outdoor-research-helium-rain-jacket-amp-pants-review, Need a gift for the outdoorsy person in your life? Cottonwood-Marble Backpacking Loop, Death Valley. If you’re on a tight budget or new to backpacking, check out our Best Budget Tents of the year. This map includes color-coded symbols and trails, mileages between trail junctions, latitude/longitude, UTM grids, contour lines, vegetation, and elevations at trail junctions. At 3 miles you reach a dry fall, which can be passed on the south side with moderate difficulty. Then snuggle up with one of the Best Sleeping Bags & Quilts of 2020. The route is undeniably beautiful, though a bit tricky to follow at times. CleverHiker.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Everything was against us … At CleverHiker, we believe that backpacking adventures provide some of life’s most rewarding experiences. From that point you can turn right and head downhill much easier that the route the GPX track would take you on. Hiking toward Cottonwood Spring, the trail gets rougher and makes its way up an easy slope to a steep canyon before entering an oasis of cottonwood trees. Distance: 4.5 miles to Lostman Spring; 12 miles to Scotty's Castle Road. INSECT REPELLANT: At higher elevations insects weren't a problem for us at all. Scorpions found in the park are not poisonous, Sun exposure - little shade along most of the route, Few reliable water sources - plan very carefully, Sketchy trail at times (deep, loose sand, gravel, wash outs), few signs, Scorpions, rattlesnakes and black widow spiders live here, Flash floods in the fall can be very dangerous, Decent amount of elevation gain along a mostly unmarked route. If you’re an ultralight backpacker or a long distance thru-hiker an ultralight tent can be a great choice. Still very much a backpacking frontier, Death Valley National Park, at 3.4 million acres, is the largest national park in the US south of Alaska. 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