Day #2 (Saturday, 3/13/21) of exploring Death Valley National Park included: Ubehebe Crater, Mosaic Canyon, Salt Creek Trail and Mesquite Sand Dunes (take 2).
To see what we did on our first day in the park click: Day #1
The drive to Ubehebe Crater was about an hour and a half from our campsite at Sunset Campground in Furnace Creek. When reviewing the National Park maps our intention was to hike the 1.5 mile loop around the mouth of the crater. When we arrived, we discovered that the pathways were really really loose gravel, the crater was really really deep and it was really really windy so we decided to just take a look, hike a very short distance to the smaller Little Hebe crater, take some photos of Ubehebe , and head to the next stop.
We ventured onto another gravel 4×4 road and attempted to hike up Titus Canyon but there was too much oncoming traffic for this mama’s nerves so we headed back towards Furnace Creek, took a pit stop at the RV and drove to Mosaic Canyon.
Mosaic Canyon was my favorite hike of our trip to Death Valley. The smooth rock was just so pretty.
According to the National Park information on the provided maps, Spring is a good time to see pupfish in the creek next to the Salt Creek Interpretive Trail. We were delighted to easily spot them in abundance. They looked a lot like common creek minnows but they live in water saltier than the ocean that gets up to 110°F. These rare fish are only found in Death Valley National Park.
To end our day, we attempted to hike to the furthest dune at Mesquite Sand Dunes. Much to the dismay of our youngest son, we only made it about halfway. To be fair, halfway was about a mile of hiking up and down sand dunes. If you’ve ever walked in loose sand you can imagine the difficulty level. Our poor kiddo was absolutely devastated at not reaching our goal and we trudged back to the jeep with headlamps on, shoes full of sand, eyes brimming with tears, and forlorn wails of, “We have to come back here again!”
Best Part of Day #2: hiking in Mosaic Canyon
- If you want to make it to the furthest sand dune at Mesquite Sand Dunes, plan for a half-day outing and bring water and snacks
- There is so much to do at Death Valley National Park that we’re going to need to come back
Stay tuned for our adventure on Day #3…