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Death Valley National Park: Eureka Dunes to Last Chance Mountain

This 28.7-mile weekend getaway travels from Eureka Dunes, the highest dunes in California, to Last Chance Mountain, an 8,500-foot peak in Death Valley.

Rating

Hike north from S. Eureka Road for a moderate climb into the Last Chance Range. Make sure to turn around for views of the 700-foot Eureka Dunes, the highest dunes in California and some of the tallest in the U.S. The route passes another viewpoint that showcases the dunes and the snowy Inyo Range at mile 1.7. One mile later, the terrain flattens briefly between two 4,000-foot foothills, then continues north, following the canyon’s wash. (Keep left at the two forks in the canyon). After 6 miles, turn left onto Big Pine Road and follow it to Crater Mine. Just past the mine, hikers can set up camp off the dirt road on a flat area near the pass. Pick a spot with protection—this area can get very cold and windy.
The next day, follow the dirt road until it dead ends into the mountains. From here, you’ll scramble up a steep, dirt slope to the first saddle in Last Chance Range. From the saddle, follow the ridgeline over 4 unnamed peaks to Last Chance Mountain. Route-finding will be necessary for this stretch to Last Chance Mountain—there is no trail and the terrain is extremely rugged. From the top of 8,456-foot Last Chance Mountain, savor views into the Last Chance Range, then turn around and follow the same route back to Eureka Dunes.
Note: Route-finding skills are required for this route.

-Mapped by Roger Homrich, the first person to thru-hike Death Valley Traverse.

To Trailhead

From Main St. and Line St. in Bishop, head south on N. Main St./US 395/US 6. In 14.6 miles, turn left at CA 168. In 2.3 miles, bear right onto Death Valley Rd./Waucoba Rd. In 36.4 miles, turn right onto S. Eureka Rd. Go 10.7 miles to the start of this hike.

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