It was just a couple mountain passes from our view of Mt. Whitney to Badwater Flats, the lowest point in the US. We spent the night at a chain-up area due to an iced-over pass, but as soon as the sun was up, we were bound for Death Valley National Park!
Up and over the passes into the Saline and Panamint Valleys, then further and ever lower as we dropped into the bowl of Death Valley itself. The 5000′ drop into the hardpan alluvial fan was incredible, and after another hour’s drive, we arrived at the primitive Texas Springs Campground.
I lit out immediately with Denver in tow to Titus Canyon Road, a currently closed canyon path in the park’s northern reaches that afforded a chance for the dog and me both to stretch our legs (a rare commodity in a national park).
The view from the Titus Canyon trailhead, looking south towards Furnace Creek. Our canyon walk offered a break from teh incessant winds that blew over the desert that afternoon. I still had an hour’s ride to get back to the camper at this point, since the park is so vast (at 3,000,000 acres, it’s America’s largest).