Death Valley’s Mosaic Canyon

Mosaic Caynon Trail

Once we left Ash Meadows, which you can read about here, we arrived in Death Valley starving because we arrived there a lot later than planned.  After a self-imposed requirement to go to the Visitor’s Center first, we had a nice late lunch (although nothing special) at the Forty-Niner Cafe.  After perusing all our hiking options and realizing that we would only have time for one hike, I decided to do the Mosaic Canyon trail since I love mosaic pictures and it sounded very unique.

Death Valley Sand Dunes

On the way there, though, we got distracted watching all the photographers lining up by the sand dunes so they would be ready to photograph the dunes at sunset. We decided we  just had to make a quick stop there for a quick experience of the sand dunes, although we did not walk that far out on them.

trail on the sand dunes of Death Valley

We were tempted to stay here, but I am very glad we moved on to the canyon because this ended up being the coolest canyon ever (albeit my first real canyon)!  First we drove up a rough, narrow road to the trail head and walked up a short ways of what looked like a dry riverbed.  Even if a person can’t walk far, this trail would be perfect to check out because it didn’t take long before the path narrowed and began to wind its way through the most impressive canyon walls.  Each new turn gave way to more oohs and aahs.

SAMSUNGThere were a few places where we had to scrabble up the rocks and the entire path headed uphill the entire time.  I am proud to say there was just one area where hubby had to give me a boost.  Coming down was a bit easier!

scrabbling up mosaic caynon

I quickly became frustrated with trying to capture the grand-ness of this canyon and the different textures of the stone walls.  The above picture hopefully gives a  slight feel for the mosaic portions of the canyon walls.  I took a couple of close-ups of places I swear a human had come in and mixed up cement and actually made the wall.

There were also areas of smooth marble walls where the water had sculpted just beautiful, smooth, curving designs which hopefully are depicted below.

Eventually the path opened up into a huge area, almost bowl-like, with the towering mountains all around us.

top bowl of Mosaic Caynon

We spent quite a bit of time with my rock-hound hubby sifting through all the loose stones. I just enjoyed the magnificence of the scenery and the overall sense of awe. I wish I could put that in better words but words fail me. I tried to capture how small I felt and in the presence of greatness by making hubby walk back down to the entrance of the narrow canyon (which we still had to go back down anyway) to help get some perspective.  He was walking over to inspect a trail that was an option to getting back down where we could have gone up and over, I guess, but instead we chose to go back into the caynon to the left of him.


It was starting to get dark so we had to head back. Here is the view as we rounded the curve to our car.

sunset death valley


6 thoughts on “Death Valley’s Mosaic Canyon

  1. These are incredible pictures and it makes me want to go there. I noticed there are no other people around…how did that feel?

    • As I understand it, this is a very popularl trail so it was because we went so late that we only saw a couple other people. As we drove up to the trailhead, we met a lot of cars leaving rofl. It was definitely nice having the place to ourselves!

    • Well, we saw a total of 4 people during our short trip and a lot more than that were leaving when we arrived so I guess you lucked out! What if we passed each other?! I would be disappointed we didn’t meet! We were there the last week of Feb.

  2. Pingback: Mojave National Preserve – Hole in the Wall | Jody's Journeys

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