Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Hike 2016.013 -- Lower Monarch Canyon, Death Valley National Park, CA
I've gotten off to a very slow rate of hiking this year. I'm also still struggling to find the time to blog what hikes I do take. This hike was taken at the end of last week. It was my second visit to Death Valley this spring.
The previous blog entry, for example, included a mere 3/4 to one mile, along the road. Very pretty, though. Also, the pictures do not fully convey the feeling of looking over those rolling hills of yellow. It's an amazing sight.
The descriptions I read gave a distance of three miles to the waterfall at the canyon's end, with about half that distance being the walk across the relative flat of the alluvial fan to get to the canyon mouth. In real life, however, I felt as thoough, distance-wise, it was more like 2/3 of the distance was spent on the flats. Much of that was just cross-country.
The wildflowers became more common once in a wash.
The waterfall is described as perennial. Still, the flow was not that high, despite this being winter, and with the heavy rain the night before. Probably more magical in the summer time, when it's crazy hot.
So whether the other car owners went up some other canyon, or just left their car there and road off with someone else's car for a while, I don't know. But I didn't see them during my walk to and from Monarch Canyon.
It's probably a record visitation year for Death Valley National Park.
I have one more trip planned for the park, in early April. So, I shall return. I'm hoping to get at least one decent hike out of that trip, but I'm mostly going for the astronomy outreach. That's assuming they get back to me with additional information, as I have requested. "Marsfest" is April 8-10.