After the wind buffeting at Ubehebe Crater (I love that name), we drove to the mouth of Titus Canyon for a hike into “one of the largest and most scenically diverse canyons in the park” according to the park’s newspaper guide.
Entering Titus Canyon
A single lane gravel road in the dry wash can be traveled by foot or, one-way east to west 26 miles (41.84 km) by high clearance vehicles. Not us.
Mosaic pattern on canyon walls
We drove to the canyon’s mouth from the west on a short section of two-way road. I say road, when really it’s just the packed rock of the alluvial fan spreading infinite rounded pieces of the mountains beyond carried by water.
Jeremy in canyon
Our hike would be opposing traffic through this narrow 1.5 mile (2.4 km) canyon, down to 20 feet (6 meters) wide. It continues past a spring where Bighorn Sheep are often sighted, petroglyphs, and a ghost town called “Leadville” that only survived one year. But we didn’t get that far.
Bird’s nest in erosion hole
Imagine the power of water moving rock, described as a cement slurry, that it took to carve this canyon during the last 3 millioin years.
Water carved rock and Jeremy in background
How I would love to be somewhere safe, watching a giant flood pour through and feel the towering cliffs tremble. (Ok, so maybe I got carried away with the tremble.)
But then what about going back in geologic time some 1.8 billion years to see the settled multi-colored volcanic deposits and watch a fast forward of the mountains uplift followed by the erosion and carving of the canyon that left earth art upon the walls.
We saw no vehicles and very few people after entering the canyon. I could barely imagine driving thru this narrow cut.
We probably walked about a mile in and turned around as it was getting late in the afternoon and we still wanted to stop at the sand dunes, another Death Valley post soon to come.