Death Valley May 2007

A Walk in Golden Canyon: Part 1

A very short drive south from Furnace Creek Ranch brings you to a small spot from which Golden Canyon can be hiked.  It was 102 Fahrenheit at the start, so I was not going to go far.  By the time I got to Red Cathedral at the top of this little canyon, it was 111 F on my watch.  Having reflective rock in all directions was cooking me.  So I hightailed  it out of the canyon and made it to the Panamint Range to walk in the coolness of a sunset at an altitude from 8,000 to 9,000 feet.  It was 40 to 50 degrees (F) cooler there.

Near the start of Golden Canyon are remnants of a road once built into it. The occasional local thunderstorm and its flash flood wiped it out:

The canyon is made up of more than just yellowish sandstone:

Our goal is to got to one of the ends of this meandering canyon, the end with Red Cathedral at its head (a red sandstone cliff not visible until one gets about a third of the way up).  Looking back to the start, the Panamint Range beckons on the horizon with its promise of cooler air:

There is a bit of evidence of erosion in the way of fallen rocks:

On a smaller scale, embedded boulders say something about the intensity of flows that carried the sand and rocks that led to layering we are walking through.  It looks like muddy flows with some gravel and an occasional boulder:

Closer to the top, with the red sandstone wall of the Red Cathedral visible, there is another example of an embedded boulder:

On a smaller scale, as water runs through these layers and comes to an edge it evaporates, leaving white calcite and silica layers in the cracks:

Since water evaporates into the rock over time, a broken surface will have calcite-silica outlining of its fractures:

It is time to push forward and quit gawking at the rocks:

 Go to second Golden Canyon Walk page

 Go to third Golden Canyon Walk page

Take a walk in the Panamint Range

Take a walk in a sand storm

 Go on a tour with the Amargosa Conservancy

Visit the Devils Golf Course

Visit the Devils Race track (virtually, as shown on TV)

 Go to 2007 Yearbook Page

 Go to Link-Outline page

 Go Home to ThoughtsandPlaces.Org start page