We’ll talk a little about the more popular areas of Death Valley, but we have a bit of a love/hate relationship with them. If a place has a name and is on the main map, people will go see it. But all good places don’t have names and not all of the good places are on all of the maps. And the named places get too crowded.
Take, for example, Golden Canyon. The parking lot was packed, but the description of the canyon sounded good. We got about a hundred feet into the canyon before deciding to turn around. It was just too crowded, there were kids running around, a baby crying, and I had seen a dirt road and canyon about a mile down the road that looked appealing. So we got back in the car, drove a mile to an unmarked, unnamed dirt road, and found ourselves in Desolation Canyon.
Of course, we didn’t know at the time that this was a named canyon, but neither did anyone else. What we did know: we were all alone in a colorful wonderland.
Here’s a little more information about this hike (I think we went farther in and you should too). It’d be funny to see the random paths we’ve hiked.