Death Valley Geology Hiking: Dec 28, 2023-Jan 1, 2024

Event Phone: 510-495-7035

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  • Five days, four nights
     December 28, 2023 - January 1, 2024
     4:00 pm - 8:00 am

Join us for three full days exploring the geology of Death Valley

This trip will be Thursday-Monday, Dec 28, 2023-Jan 1, 2024. Thursday and Monday are generally days spent driving to and from Death Valley, so we have three full days for hiking and learning.

Our general Death Valley details page is here. Please visit it for further details of our Death Valley trips.

This year the total area of the park that we can assess is limited due to Hurricane Hilary, but we’ve designed hikes in the area open to the public. Due to uncertainty of opening of North Highway, we won’t be traveling to Ubehebe Crater this year.

Deadline for a ‘quorum’

Tuesday, November 21: In order to ensure a decent size group for conversations, and to ensure we don’t run a deficit on the trip, we need at least 12 people to register and pay by November 21st. If we don’t get this many, those who have registered by then will be reimbursed in full.

Online Q&A sessions

Katie and I will be hosting several online Q&A sessions. Our first one will be hosted on Google Meet, an alternative to Zoom that allows us more time (up to 60 minutes). If you have questions, feel free to join us and ask.

Tentative itinerary

  • Thurs, 12/28: Travel and arrival.
    • Afternoon/evening arrival at Texas Spring to set up camp. Campsites are not reservable, but never sell out. We’ll have some way for people to identify which camp sites we are in.
    • Some folks may want to stay in a hotel (see options here); this year Katie and Lee are staying at the Stovepipe Hotel, 25 miles from Texas Spring ($200/night compared to $330/night for The Ranch), but we’ll join campers for campfires. Some years people have stayed in hotels outside of the park, but these may not be as accessible this year (e.g. the road to Beatty is closed).
  • Fri, 12/29: Exploring south:
    • Desolation Canyon (3.6 miles, 784 feet rise)
    • Ventifact Ridge (short walk from a car stop)
    • Badwater Basin (the road is open, but south of Badwater is not supposed to open until ‘late December’ according to Google Maps)
    • Artists Pallet (short drive on the way back, best colors as sun is getting low).
  • Sat, 12/30: Big hike day
    • Mt. Perry via Dante’s Ridge. Beautiful hike along a ridge above Badwater Basin (out and back, 8 miles, 2,000 feet total climb). Since this hike is out and back, of anyone doesn’t want to go the whole way they can turn around at any point.
    • The hike starts at Dante’s View, which is a destination in itself.
  • Sun, 12/31: A couple options, depending on which is open:
    • The Crack (6.6 miles, 1,000 ft rise). The Crack is a loop trail.
      • We were thinking of Fall Canyon (6.1 miles, 1,364 feet rise) but Google Maps says the road toward the north end of the park won’t open until .
    • Dinner in the evening at one of the restaurants at The Ranch. These are ‘affordable,’ but also Death Valley pricing.
    • On some years, some folks decide to leave after the hike on this day.
  • Mon, 1/1: Pack up camp and head back home.
    • Timing is on your own; drive safely.

Group size

  • We usually have 10-20 people on these trips.
  • Some years a few people arrive or depart a day late/early, but we encourage everyone to join us for the entire trip (no discount for fewer days).
  • Each day you are welcome to join us for all of that day’s events, or pick and chose (just let us know if you’re not attending any event).

Ticket prices

Our goal is to make the trip affordable to as many people as possible; with that in mind we offer four levels of tickets:

  • Individual: $100. Helps us with our expenses.
  • Patron: $200. If you can afford this level, we appreciate it.
  • Kids under 18: $25 (must have an adult with them).
  • Limited income: $25. If this is all you can afford, we welcome you to join us.

When you make a reservation, you will be provided with several payment options (including sending us a check through the mail!).

Costs not covered by registration

  • Death Valley entrance fee ($30/vehicle, good for one week, free with various passes you might have or purchase).
  • Lodging
    • Campsite (about $12/night, can be split between two cars) or hotel
  • Food. Everyone brings there own, but some years people will plan on sharing meals at the campground; we’ll decide this once we know who’s going and their desires.



Venue Website:

Furnace Creek, California, 92328, United States


We camp at Texas Spring Campground,