Death Valley: Land of eternal thirst

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Death Valley: Land of eternal thirst

Death Valley’s Thimble Peak and Titus Canyon Road
Scaling Thimble Peak looks intimidating from a distance. Once on the summit block, trust the mountain and go straight up the rock.
Titus is one of the rare canyons in Death Valley that bifurcates a mountain range successfully. Enter a passageway not much wider than a vehicle. The sinuous limestone and dolomite walls are water-blasted smooth
January light accentuates erosion furrows in mountains that were lake deposits eons ago.
Titus Canyon Road is noted with a blue line. The black-line route is the hike to Thimble Peak. From the Red Pass Trailhead, hike south to Point 6,120’. Descend southwest to the saddle, then mount the northeast ridge of Thimble. Return as you came.
Travel basics

Death Valley National Park Fee: $25; National Parks Annual Pass, $80
Campgrounds in the Furnace Creek Area: Texas Creek Campground has the best views in a premiere location. Sites are cramped but campers are friendly and quiet. $16 per night, 92 sites. Furnace Creek Campground: if you like to party, or you must have reservations, this one is for you. $22 per night, 136 sites. Swimming pool and showers at Furnace Creek Ranch, $5.
Travel: Arrive in the park with a full tank; the price of fuel is sky-high. Titus Canyon Road is 27 miles, one-way east to west. It goes over Red Pass in the Grapevine Mountains and plunges to the Death Valley flats through the Titus Canyon narrows. Inquire about varying road conditions at the visitor center. While four-wheel-drive with high clearance is recommended, the road is often graded so well, two-wheel-drive vehicles with moderate clearance and sturdy tires plow through without trouble. Climbing Thimble Peak commits you to the entire stretch.
Thimble Peak Distance and Elevation Gain: 3.5 miles; 1,750 feet of climbing
Hiking Time: 2 to 4 hours
Difficulty: Well-established social trail; navigation easy; Class 3 scramble with moderate exposure; carry all the water you will need.
Map: Trails Illustrated No. 221, Death Valley National Park

Death Valley: Land of eternal thirst

Scaling Thimble Peak looks intimidating from a distance. Once on the summit block, trust the mountain and go straight up the rock.
Titus is one of the rare canyons in Death Valley that bifurcates a mountain range successfully. Enter a passageway not much wider than a vehicle. The sinuous limestone and dolomite walls are water-blasted smooth
January light accentuates erosion furrows in mountains that were lake deposits eons ago.
Titus Canyon Road is noted with a blue line. The black-line route is the hike to Thimble Peak. From the Red Pass Trailhead, hike south to Point 6,120’. Descend southwest to the saddle, then mount the northeast ridge of Thimble. Return as you came.
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