Being in nature makes me happy, and National Parks are a great source of that happiness. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels that way, because the people you meet on hiking trails are in general the nicest and happiest bunch you’ll ever encounter. How can you not be happy when Mother Nature keeps you in awe at every turn around the corner.
Death Valley National Park is the largest in the continental US, but not necessarily the most popular. Maybe people aren’t as drawn to desert landscape, or the name itself turns people off. However, when you dig deeper, you’ll encounter stunning beauty all around you.
This morning we decided to check out Zabriskie Point. The plan was to get there by sunrise, but we didn’t make it in time. By the time we got there most of the photographers had already packed up.
After lingering for a bit we headed off to the Mesquite Sand Dunes, another sunrise site, which we were obviously late to.
Getting there early in the morning offered a more pristine view of the dunes, i.e., less crowds and footprints.
Hiking to the furthest end of the dunes from the parking loss is a short mile journey, but no easy feat on sand.
After a brief break atop the dunes, we reluctantly got up to leave to start our hike of the day at Golden Canyon, which was back near Zabriskie Point.
As we got closer to the Red Cathedral, the trail started narrowing again.
This is probably the only spot along the trail that offers shade, so it’s a nice place to stop and rest. However, instead of stopping, we cautiously proceeded up a steep path and were rewarded with a fabulous view.
We decided to take the side trail in order to get a different view
By the time we were done, it was time to head home. Had I had my way, we would have stayed a few more days to explore the rest of the park. If we ever return, we will need to bring a 4WD to check out the less accessible parts of the park.