Death Valley 2015, Arrival

Posted on Posted in Truck Camping, Uncategorized

It’s the end of December, it’s cold and snowy in Oregon.  But I want to get out and get a few more days of camping and hiking in before the outdoor adventures turn to skiing for a few months.  With a few days off before Christmas, Death Valley seemed like the place to be.  It’s a bit of a drive so I headed out after work and made it about halfway there the first night.  I found a nice out of the way camp on the Battle Mountain district of the BLM to spend a few hours before getting back on the road Saturday morning.  The Battle Mountain district is an astonishing 10.5 million acres, a huge chunk of Nevada.  Starting out the next morning, I was treated to a great sunrise over the basin and range setting that dominates Nevada.

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Sunrise, Nevada

I made my way through Austin, grabbing breakfast and a little local gossip before deadheading for Death Valley.

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Decent to Death Valley

I had enough time to roam the sand dunes at Stovepipe Wells before hitting the road to the trailhead at Marble Canyon I intended to explore the next day.

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Death Valley, Stovepipe Wells Sand Dunes
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Waves of Sand
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Shadow in the Dunes
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Creosote, Death Valley Sand Dunes
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Dunes, Death Valley
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Making Tracks, Death Valley

After hiking the dunes I headed to Marble Canyon.  It’s a bit of a bumpy road, about 14 miles or so, about 4 miles up a wash, the rest though various stages of alluvial fans, sand to boulders.  It made for a good trek.  After eyeing the possibilities I chose a spot near the trailhead to get a good launch to the trail in the morning.  With the short days, I got there just in time to savor the last of the light on the mountains.  It was a nice quiet camp with nothing but the wash to keep me company.

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Road to Marble Canyon Camp
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Marble / Cottonwood Junction
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Flood Erratic, Sitting on Mud Flat, Marble Camp
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Marble Camp, Last Light

 

It was quiet enough that I couldn’t hear a thing.  I just savored the last light and looked forward to the morning hike.

 

 

 

 

 

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