Death Valley
Moonlight, Kit Fox Slot, Artist Dips, etc - Printable Version

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Moonlight, Kit Fox Slot, Artist Dips, etc - Bluegreen kayak - 2021-11-24

As I mentioned elsewhere, I was visiting Death Valley late October/early November, for a full two weeks. I arrived when the storms were hitting, heavy winds on Sunday (lost a couple of tent poles, should have gotten out of the van and dropped the tent) and thunderstorms on Monday. It did make for some unusual photo backgrounds, like this:

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I was leery of going into canyons with the threat of rain, so I stopped by the Amargosa Opera House instead. Their tours are at 9 and 5 (I was in time for neither) but since they weren't busy, they very kindly had the desk clerk show me some of the painted rooms and the Opera House itself. It was amazing.

I went up Moonlight Canyon and saw the extremely high bridge there:

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I am indebted to Kauri for her trip report's help, and now that I've seen the bridge, I think I want to go back and check out some of the side canyons next time. Her reports also led me to hike the Kit Fox Hills slot canyon. I took this picture of one of the turns and since then, several friends have mentioned how much it looks like a dragon's head. I hadn't noticed it before.

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My son helped me finally get to the upper narrows in Fall Canyon; coming out of there, we hiked north to Room Canyon, which he enjoyed. With his help, I tried to get up Corkscrew Peak the next day, but I guess I had done too much that week and couldn't make it all the way up. Instead, we visited the Beatty Days fair and went swimming.

Later my second week and early in the morning, I hiked down the canyon at the second dip on Artist's Drive, and back up the canyon that goes to the first dip. What a terrific morning that was! The colors were amazing and the hike was relatively easy for me. There were two dryfalls to descend, five and seven feet I think. I was hesitating over the seven footer when I accidentally dropped one of my poles, thereby making the decision for me. These next three pictures show the beautiful rocks. I'm eager to do this one again in the late afternoon to see what the walls look like then.

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Very enjoyable.  I parked at the turnout right after the first dip and walked along the road to the second, so that I could emerge by my car. The turning point on the hike was easy to recognize, as the connecting canyon was large, the view of the valley floor was suddenly expansive, and there was a low wall with medium green boulders on my right side.

Later the same day I went up to Dantes View and hiked up the north trail. Great rocky outcroppings and windows; luckily not too windy, as it feels a bit exposed in some parts.

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Later in the week I went to Vegas to pick up a friend who wanted to see the desert. We went to Valley of Fire first, where we got small-l lost on the Seven Wonders trail, and then I spent the rest of the week doing the Death Valley basics like Badwater and Natural Bridge. When we hiked Mosaic, it seemed to me like the smaller dryfalls were higher than I remembered them, or that maybe I've shrunk a foot. I wondered whether there have been any heavy rains that might have altered the floor there. I noticed some changes in the Crack also - some of my rock landmarks were missing, and a section of red sandstone might have been covered.

It was great being out there, and although the second weekend was old territory for me, it's usually a treat when someone else is discovering it. This was also the first time Kay had ever seen the Milky Way, which was out there in fine display. That's it for this year, but I'll be back in March.

RE: Moonlight, Kit Fox Slot, Artist Dips, etc - DeathValleyDazed - 2021-11-25

Loving your colorful images and color commentary!

RE: Moonlight, Kit Fox Slot, Artist Dips, etc - MojaveGeek - 2021-11-25

Thanks for the eye candy! The light on that pic of Manly Beacon is amazing, really got my attention! And glad to see that the little window north of Dante's is still there.

Interesting idea to connect the two downstream canyons at Artists'. I'll put that on my "chill day" list

Storms. Yes the wind can howl! I've been at SPW when the wind blew sand in under the closed door, and tents across the road when flying off into the dunes.

Hope your March trip is good; just starting to plan my own!

RE: Moonlight, Kit Fox Slot, Artist Dips, etc - John Morrow - 2021-12-08

Love the stormy skies!   Definitely adds to the Manly Beacon photo composition.  Great stuff, thanks for the post.

RE: Moonlight, Kit Fox Slot, Artist Dips, etc - TacoLand - 2021-12-12

Hey Bluegreen, Thanks for sharing your trip! I've been in DV for a few storms and those were some of my favorite times. Helps break up the usual sunny / hot trips and gives the park an entirely different look and feel. Also great that you get to experience the park with your son. I was able to take my dad once years ago and it will always be one of my fondest memories. We didn't set any world records, but getting to share the experience was something I'll always cherish and wish I could have done more.