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Friday, January 4, 2013

A Walk on the Wild Side (or at least it was for us)

Well, I didn’t play golf after all today.  Turns out they consider Friday to be weekend rates and those are fairly high here, so I opted out.  Too bad because I could have claimed my lowest round ever.  My score would have never been lower – but that’s because the course is the lowest in the world at –200 ft.

So instead we did three activities to the south of the RV park but still fairly close.  I apologize in advance if you have a slow internet connection as there are a lot of pictures in this post.

First we started with a nice 2 mile hike in and out of Golden Canyon.  This walk is supposed to be easy but the footing is sometimes precarious and you climb 300 feet while on the trail.  While on the trail you can use an written interpretive guide that is supposed to list 10 points of interest marked by small numbered signs.  Half of them however were missing.

During the walk, you will see all kinds of rock formations and strata layers deposited over millions of years.  This are is where two major tectonic plates crash into each other, lifting one and subducting the other.

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The path at the beginning of the walk

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Quickly the path narrows but isn’t too bad yet.

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Evidence of the layers being lifted by tectonic forces

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A nice rock view as you come around a corner.

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A different kind of rock, also lifted in layers

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A good view of the different rock types

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The final cliff wall and yes, there is a path going up it.

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Just an odd rock formation

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Rocks towering about 800 feet above the canyon

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The path is full of side canyons waiting for you to explore.

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More interesting rocks

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This rock reminded us of El Capitan in Yosemite

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A huge rock that has broken off and tumbled down

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Another interesting formation

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Another side canyon that can be explored

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The path about 3/4 of a mile into the canyon

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The path gets quite rocky again

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Looking down at the main path from one of the side paths.

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The walls get fairly steep in here.

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The sign at the end of the path.  You can actually continue further and climb up to Zabriskie point (another mile and about 1,000 foot climb.

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Three huge rocks that have broken off and rolled down.

It took us 1 hour and 34 minutes to make the 2 mile hike.  We took a lot of pictures and video and that slowed us a bit, but mostly you go slow because of the path.

We had lunch back at the RV and then set out for Dante’s View, about 30 miles away.  It is a steady climb to get there from the –200 ft. we have the RV at to the viewpoint which is at 5,400 ft.  The view from there is spectacular.

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Looking north from Dante’s View

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Looking West from Dante’s View

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Looking South from Dante’s View

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A view looking down on the salt flats at Badwater that we visited two days ago.

The last part of the road to Dante’s View is a 15% grade and you must slow to about 15mph to make the sharp turns.

On the way back we stopped at Zabriskie point which is another overlook of the park.

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From the parking lot at Zabriskie Point, you walk up a hill to get the view.

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View towards the south

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View out towards the northwest

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Here are some people on the path from Golden Canyon up to Zabriskie Point.

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A formation of rocks with gullies

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More evidence of tectonic shifting in the rocks.

We got back about 3:30 to the RV and are tired from the walks we took.  Tomorrow we plan to do a bike ride in the morning and then I will watch the NFL playoffs.

I am slowly catching up on making my videos from this trip.  You can view the video of our visit to Red Rock Canyon on YouTube by clicking here.

3 comments:

Judy and Emma said...

What an interesting place. I liked your pics. Maybe I'll get there some day.

Sue and Doug said...

great pictures of all the different rock formations! and Dante's view?..amazing!..it is almost like you are on a different planet!

Russ Krecklow said...

That is certainly an interesting place, isn't it? I always thought of Death Valley as big and hot and empty. My memories of the "20 mule team borax" commercials, and such only made that seem like it was that way. When we actually visited there, it was amazing the variety of the landscape! I do want to go back and see more.