Hike Death Valley's Cottowood and Marble canyons
Flowing water means a lighter load and an easier time exploring
Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.
Bighorn sheep know the Cottonwood Spring. So do savvy backpackers who use its reliable water to lighten their load on the 30-mile Cottonwood Canyon/Marble Canyon Loop, or to linger and explore side canyons. One part of this loop, navigating the upper connection between Cottonwood and Marble, is a task for experienced route finders with detailed topo maps. Others should stick to an out-and-back course in either Marble, known for its deep narrows section, or Cottonwood, with its namesake shade trees. Both are memorable trips. Be prepared: Access may require 4-wheel drive.
Permits from Death Valley National Park: (760) 786-3200, www.nps.gov/deva