Corkscrew Peak is the towering sentinel of the Grapevine Mountains of northern Death Valley National Park. Corkscrew Peak derives its name from the twisting, corkscrew-like exposures of the Lower Cambrian Corkscrew Quartzite. It juts out from behind the Grapevine Mountains. There is a sign that points to it while traveling along 374 East toward Nevada. It is an impressive peak.
Lat/Lon: 36.77000°N / 117.0031°W
Elevation: 5804 ft / 1769 m
Death Valley Directions and Information
Map with wonderful information
I can only surmise that name comes from how a pioneer might see it as they enter from the east to such desolated surrounding and what it was going to take to cross it. I am sure stories abound of those who entered,lived, crossed, or didn't make it. Records back then didn't keep track of everyone who may have perished here. Sadly, people still perish here because they come so unprepared and do Not Heed the Warnings of not taking certain Safety Precautions.
The vista's from Hell's Gate you can see at the intersection of 374 and 190 on the east area of the park. A real beautiful view.
Death Valley Directions and Information
Just another wonderful place to explore is Jayhawkers Canyon.
Beginning Elevation: 3,000 Feet
Elevation Gain: 2,600 Feet
Length, One-way: 5 Miles
USGS Maps: Emigrant Canyon
Season: Mid-September - Mid-May
From Furnace Creek, Travel northward on Highway 190 33 miles to Emigrant Campground. Continue driving westward on Highway 190 to the 3,000 feet above sea level marker. Park here and find the trail on the eastern side of the road.
The Jayhawker Canyon Trail begins on Highway 190 at the 3,000 feet above sea level marker, which is 2.3 miles past Emigrant Junction. The route follows the path of emigrants who traveled through the region in 1850 on their way to California. You'll see the signatures of some of the emigrants who carved their names on a large boulder about two miles in from the highway. The Jayhawker Canyon drainage leads five miles to the southeast to the base of Pinto Peak. It is a gentle grade with little navigational skills needed to wander through the canyon. Because of the low elevation, this trail is not recommended for summer use. Bring lots of water in preparation for the extreme heat.http://travel.yahoo.com/p-parks-225522-jayhawker_canyon_death_valley_hiking_walking-i
Death Valley Direction and Information
The Panamint mountains appear along the horizon beyond Death Valley. This range contains the highest spot in the park- the summit of 11 plu thousand foot Telescope Peak.
The mountains are literally eroding on themselves. Sediment washed away as a result of flash floods is deposited at the base of the range and on the mountains' flanks. The sediment spreads out into fan shaped formations which are visible at closer distances and are known as alluvial fans.
From this vantage point near Golden Canyon, it is impossible to see the fans. But there's no mistaking these mighty giants which dominate the below sea level landscape.
Red Cathedral is a series of steep rust colored cliffs appearing just beyond the walls of Golden Canyon, is only a half mile round trip walk from the end of the Golden Canyon trail.
Red Cathedral is a point of interest for more reasons than its color contrasting hue, standing out amidst the golden and pale yellows of the canyon. Red Canyon is composed of a stronger rock surface than the mudstone of the canyon. As a result, steep cliffs formed here, in contrast to the more gently sloped canyon.
Favorite thing: Panamint Springs is a tiny town along hwy that borders Death Valley. From here, the road continues to Wildrose and Echo Canyons, and eventually to Stovepipe Wells. This place is an alternative to staying in the park and is located at the beginning or end (depending on where your point of origin is) of a scenic drive.
Favorite thing: This is supposed to be one of the best off road routes. Its 27 miles one way and winds through an incredible canyon. I didn't attempt it in a rent a car because they usually don't like that sort of thing, but I'd heard that its a great drive. It passes the ghost town of Leadville and an area where fossilized remains were once found.
Favorite thing: The Salt Creek Interpretive Trail is a 1/2 mile walk on a boardwalk which passes salt creek and some of the vegetation that can actually grow in the area. The pupfish, a unique animal found in Salt Creek, can be found here. For some reason, the pupfish only makes an appearance during certain months of the year. According to the sign I saw, pupfish viewing doesn't begin until the month of February.
Favorite thing: Wildrose Canyon is a scenic detour which steeply winds its way through Emigrant Canyon before ending at the Wildrose Charcoal Kilns and the trails leading to Telescope and Wildrose Peaks. The road is not advised for RVs and motorhomes as it is extremely narrow in some places, but its a beautiful drvie for anyone in a passenger vehicle. Another point of interest along the Wildrose Canyon Road is the turnoff for the dirt road leading to Skidoo, one of the abandoned mining camps now known as a ghost town.
Favorite thing: Heading towards Wildrose Canyon and Mahogany Flat, you'll first encounter Echo Canyon. This area contains some of the most spectacular scenery that can be viewed via paved Death Valley road. This area is less visited than the popular attractions in the valley, and you just might have the wide open winding road to yourself.
The Wildrose Canyon Road terminates at the area where the kilns are located. Like most remnants still standing in Death Valley, the kilns were used for mining. They stand approximately 25 feet tall and about 30 feet wide. The kilns don't do anything as mining operations ceased about a year after they began in the late 1800s.
But many people like to come out here and look at the kilns. Keep in mind that the road leading out to the kilns is unpaved for the last 3 miles and may be closed in the event of a storm. When I visited, the last part of the road was impassible. At least it was for a Floridian driving an SUV. I didn't see any road closure signs, but, then again, I didn't see any other cars either. Its a good idea to check on road conditions before making the drive out here, especially if you're traveling anytime between late October and early May.
Fondest memory: Sliding along on a sheet of ice damn well wasn't by fondest memory, but I suppose it'll be good for a laugh someday.
Favorite thing: Stovepipe Wells and Panamint Springs are located in the northern section of the park. Here you'll find higher elevation, mountains and some of the most scenic areas of the park. Due to its higher elevations, certain portions of this area may be closed off in the winter due to snowfall.
Favorite thing: This area is unique if for no other reason than that water can be found here. Not a lot, but a marshy swampy area which hardly qualifies as a body of water yet is enough to sustain life. Its amazing how nature will struggle against the harshest of elements and continue to bear fruit, even under such adverse conditions.
Favorite thing: Only devil can turn the dry, barren salt flats into cornfield. Actually, these are not corn. These are arrowweed bushes that grow in individual chumps resembling corn shocks. Devil's Cornfield is located a few miles east of Stovepipe Wells' Sand Dunes along Route 190. You can find them on both sides of the road.
Favorite thing: Furnace Creek Ranch has palm trees. Lots of them. In the middle of a hot, dry desert, the palm trees seem to tell the travellers they have just found an oasis. With the adjacent golf course and all that, for a while I thought I was in Palm Springs.