Golden Canyon is located just off a main road south of Furnace Creek. A guide pamphlet is available at the parking lot near the trailhead. A relatively easy trail leads through the canyon. White mineral deposits can occasionally be seen on the canyon walls.
An interesting sight is the ruin of a paved road that apparently was destroyed during a flash flood in 1976. What was more amazing than the ruin was the fact that someone was once able to fit a road through the narrow canyon.
The trail offers splendid views of the canyon walls and cliffs beyond. Given good lighting late in the day, the contrasting shapes and colors can be spectacular. Some hikers mentioned a slightly difficult to reach and hard to find overlook that they claimed was about an hour down the trail, but we never found the mysterious location. The scenic trial was exceptional in the last hours of daylight. But do allow yourself enough time to get back before darkness falls.
For people like us, who live in a green area, this hike in the rocky, sandy canyon was quite an experience. It was here that I realised why the rangers warn the people for flash floods at the start of this walk. Considering that it might rain in Death Valley... If it rains you're trapped in a fast-flowing river. Exciting! Anyway, we didn' make it till the end of the loop. It was just too hot for us, in spite of the "so called" mild Spring temperatures. But the scenery is marvellous. We enjoyed the different shades of brown, grey, yellow, and white colors of the rocks against the deep blue sky. We even saw a roadrunner.
For those who are braver than us: there are little maps at the entry of the canyon. It's a 4.3 miles loop.
This was one of my favorite hikes. The canyon walls, filled with layers, crags, and eroded rock formations, were golden yellow in places, with other colors mixed in to add to their barren beauty. At the trailhead you can pick up a trail guide that matches numbered signs along the first mile (one way) of the route. This pamphlet will tell you about the geology in the area, helping you to understand the sites around you. The trail wanders along a gravel wash through this badland canyon, and provides you with a wonderful view of the Red Cathedral cliffs. There is a gradual, but constant elevation gain of 300 feet, making the walk an easy to moderate one. Even so, I would recommend good walking shoes, as the trail is rocky and uneven in places. Also carry water, as even in March when we were there, it was very warm. From the last numbered post, we decided to walk another one quarter of a mile up the canyon to get a closer view of the Red Cathedral?s fluted walls. If you did not find the first mile too tiring, I would recommend this extended hike. Simply hike another one-quarter mile further up the main wash, keeping to the right at forks in the drainage. We did this walk too early in the day to get really great photos, if I were to do this again I would go in late afternoon when the light would be better and the shadowing would accentuate the textures of the rock formations.
Its not hard to figure out how Golden Canyon got its name. This canyon is located about 4 miles north of Artist's Drive. Its a one mile easy winding walk through the canyon. The sun drenched hue of the golden sand at your feet and the amber-esque walls that flank the path are worth the short stroll. For an even better hike, take the trail at the fork to Gower Gulch.
Along the scenic drive is the Golden Canyon. Walking into it, you will no doubt find out why the canyon is called after the precious metal. The walls and rocks seem to glitter and glance in the heat and the bright burning sun. The walk can be quiet hot and dry and if you decide to go the whole way, take a bottle of water with you.
We were not able to hike to the other side to Zabriske Point but that would have been cool, especially with a lift back to the parking lot! This is an interpretive trail with plenty to look at.
We made it almost to the end of the interpretive section before turning back in order to make it to the dunes before sunset.
Always so much to see, so little time.
So named for it's pretty yellow walls, this is the first major site south of Furnace Creek. You can make the trek as long or short as you want - the first part of it is relatively flat. If you keep going, the trail becomes steeper, heading up to Zabriskie Point. I only went as far as the first half mile or so because there were a number of other sites I had put priority on seeing. It is a nice place to stretch your legs, and depending on the time of day, there are several spots that are pretty shady.
Golden Canyon is only a short distance from Furnace Creek. It's right by the road with a nicely paved parking lot. To see how it got its name, come here in the afternoon when the mountains reflect the golden colors of the shining sun. If you like, you can hike all the way through to Zabriskie Point. The trail is called Gower Gulch, about 2 miles one way.
.. is visible from Golden Canyon. It’s now standing above it’s alluvial fan and composed of cemented gravels which eroded from another mountain range ages and ages ago.
Golden canyon is a very narrow canyon. Its entrance, in the middle of the photo, between two rocks, is not more than 1 meter wide. Later it is a little wider but it is evidently for hikers only !
A nice walk through a nice canyon in a nice national park :) Easy signposted, just make sure you take enough water and protect yourself against the heat.