With the alarm set to four o’clock in the morning, I zipped up in my sleeping bag for six-hours of shut eye. Our shelter was a Mesh House 3 paired with a 100 Wing Shelter. Continue onto Badwater Road till Westside Road is reached. 3PM Telescope Summit "From here, the lowest point in all the Americas, I gazed across the pale lenses of the valley floor to the brown outwash fan of Hanaupah Canyon opposite, ten miles away, and from the canyon’s mouth up and up and up to the crest of Telescope Peak with its cornices of frozen snow 11,049 feet above sea level. about 80 meters The summit of Telescope Peak is at 3,367 meters of elevation. Having regained sure footing at Shorty’s Well, we started up the enormous alluvial fan leading into Hanaupah Canyon. Near Badwater, California. We’ll save our selfies for up there. We toasted these trail angels with ice-cold Corona’s in the ninety-degree heat. The trailhead is in the general Badwater Basin area, i.e. Wildflowers and canyon walls colored the landscape. That’s as much relief as there is between the summit of the highest peak in the Lower 48, 14,505-foot Mount Whitney , and the tiny Eastern Sierra towns lying at its foot, and between the summit of Mount Everest and its primary base camp. We hiked, actually backpacked to Telescope Peak a few days ago. Also we’ve experienced that the mosquitos can be fierce around perennial springs in the desert. “How did we get here so fast?” “I was sure it would have been later.” “I thought we’d be busting out the headlamps for sure.”. Telescope Peak Main article: Telescope Peak Its summit rises 11,331 feet (3,454 m) above Badwater Basin, the lowest point in Death Valley at −282 feet (−86 m). In terms of tourist crowds, January and most of February are quiet months. There are few things more demoralizing than hiking empty stretches of gravel road in the desert. A shiny silver cooler and large tank of water sat on the tailgate with a note for “the backpackers” to help themselves. “Yeah it doesn’t add up,” jokes Mike as he plunge steps past me through the mud. The canyon trail continues to gradually increase in elevation as is winds into the mountains, Springtime brings color and life to the desert. Telescope Peak presides over Death Valley’s vast salt flats, a rocky, snow-capped beacon for much of the year even while the desert below is scorching. Not just any flats. The small, minimalist Mesh House keeps out the biting insects and weighs next to nothing for its size. Badwater is the lowest point in North America at 282 feet below sea level, and has a spectacular view of snowy Telescope Peak (11,043 ft). Both the highest, and lowest points within Death Valley National Park But at a meager elevation of 3,700-feet, our decision to bivouac in the proximity of fresh water meant saving about 9,000-feet of climbing for tomorrow. For reference, Shorty's Well is on the western edge of the Badwater Basin ( 282 ft below sea level ). A scenic trail that provides views of the Panamint Mountains and Badwater Basin. But after escaping the breakable crust mud bog of Badwater, there isn’t too much grumbling from our team. His account of getting off course and spending an extra night out doesn’t inspire confidence. Also take a moment to pick out Telescope Peak in the Panamint Range to the west; at 11,049 ft (3, 368 m), this peak is over two miles (3.2 km) above you. Finally the snow was continuous enough for us to don traction and we kicked steps in the spring snowpack all the way to the ridgeline leading to Telescope’s summit. Death Valley from the summit of Telescope Peak. The vertical rise from Badwater (which is at -282 ft) to Telescope Peak is one of the greatest on the planet. Sunset over Badwater Basin and Telescope Peak. This is a great day hike to enjoy a rare view of the lowest (Badwater) and highest (Telescope peak) points in Death Valley. Glancing up at our snowy summit goal brought dismay in its continued distance, but looking back down through thousands of feet of sky to the Badwater salt flats was exhilarating. The trail from Henry's Fork to Kings Peak (Utah's highpoint) rises a paltry 5,252 feet in 12 miles. Hanaupah Spring is the only water source on the entire route, so we each filled up 5.5 liters and took a break for lunch before taking on the very steep climb to the ridge which leads to the peak. A place of extreme terrain and extreme conditions. A natural spring gushes forth from the canyon’s South Fork creating a good sized creek up canyon. The rugged evaporated lake is worn smooth by thousands of visitors who walk out a thousand feet for that obligatory selfie. To the left is the area known as Badwater, which is -252 feet below sea-level, and to the right is the hill that leads to the summit of Rodgers Peak. Climbing Telescope Peak from Badwater in Death Valley. Telescope peak is located in Death Valley and is the highest point in Death Valley National Park. We can see that morning light already bathes the 11,048-foot summit of Telescope Peak, the highest peak in the Panamint Range and Death Valley National Park. The four of us piled out of the SUV for another predawn start in a pull-off on the side of the road. We also got our first glimpse of our destination -- Telescope Peak. The last thousand feet to the top had drop-away views. We quickly took care of camp chores and an evening meal to facilitate getting everyone to sleep early. Therefore the hike involves an elevation gain of about 3450 meters. The lush valley surrounding Hanaupah Spring is the obvious place to make camp as there is not much flat ground on the route above us to Telescope Peak. About 90 minutes into the hike we were already well above the bottom of the valley. We gained about 3300 feet in 2 miles over loose footing. For about 10 hours, our team worked hard for each thousand feet of gain. Of course there’s the badwater 135 (climbs Mt. Add in some false summits and a roller-coaster ridgeline, and we’ll climb about 14,500 ft when it’s all done. It seems so simple, but I recall when researching this route how difficult it was to estimate how long it was going to take us. Telescope Peak, rising 11,300 feet from the salty wastes of Badwater- Death Valley NP I stand by the cairn on the summit of Telescope Peak, looking out on a cold, windy and barren world. The beauty lifted our spirits as we dove into the wash. An hour later we came across the 4×4 parked in the wash while its owners went for a day hike. “You know it doesn’t add up,” I say to my friend Mike Barcom as we cruise the tourist-buffed flats. The trail to Telescope Peak, the highest point in Death Valley National Park, is a 14 mile round-trip hike, beginning and ending at the Mahogany Flat campground. The final climb to the maintained trail was absolutely steep and brutal, Taking a break from the highly strenuous climb to look back on our route, After we reached the maintained trail it wasn't long before we had Telescope Peak in sight. Telescope Peak Trail General Description A hike to the magnificent Telescope Peak is a challenging thrill ride that is sure to get your heart pumping. But Telescope from badwater sounded perfect! The morning light illuminates the target -- Telescope Peak, The trail follows a long 4x4 road which winds up into Hanaupah Canyon. For gear choices in regards to MSR, the WindBurner Stove was an obvious choice. Turn onto SR 190 and follow it to Furnace Creek. What a day. They don’t add up for us to pull this off in an overnight,” I add. This path continues around the mountain until you see Telescope Peak for the first time. He responds with a quizzical look. Sunrise colors on Telescope peak reflected in pond at Badwater Valley Low, Mountain High Although many tourists come to Death Valley to visit Badwater Basin, the lowest point in North America at 282 feet below sea level, most of them have no idea that the park also encompasses high-country areas that climb to more than 11,000 feet. To the east at over 11,331feet (3,454m) below sits the lowest point in North America, Badwater Basin at -282 feet (-86m) below sea level. I'll sleep there again for sure. Few hikes can match the relentless climb of connecting these ridgelines from Hanaupah Canyon to Telescope Peak. These are the famed salt flats of Badwater in Death Valley National Park. The seven mile, 3000 foot descent to Mahogany Flat the next day was a piece of cake after that feat. It is a short and easy walk along the ridge to the summit of Telescope Peak (36 o 10.21'N 117 o 5.36'W and an elevation of 11049ft). To the east, you’ll see Badwater Basin below you along with 11,916 foot Charleston Peak which rises above Las Vegas. “The stats. It belongs to the Panamint Mountains and from it's summit (on a clear day) you can see both Badwater Basin (lowest elevation in the United States) and Mount Whitney (highest elevation in … Fees: $25 per vehicle to enter Death Valley National Park, valid 7 days. Telescope Peak is the highpoint of the Panamint Range, rising over 11,000 feet from Death Valley to the east, and slightly less from the Panamint Valley to the west. It begins with a 4x4 road which steadily rises out of the valley at a gradual rate. Then the salt crust starts to give way under our weight, plunging each step ankle deep in a sticky mud. In April 2016, two of us decided to do the hike from Badwater Basin - the lowest point in North America (-282 feet) - to nearby 11,043 foot Telescope Peak, and we wanted to do it in one day. Badwater to Telescope easily beats out the much more famous single-day grinder "Cactus to Clouds" near Palm Springs which racks up 10,400 feet in 17 miles. We saw a scorpion scurry across our tracks as the early morning light rose over the mountains. In April 2016, two of us decided to do the hike from Badwater Basin - the lowest point in North America (-282 feet) - to nearby 11,043 foot Telescope Peak, and we wanted to do it in one day. Tagged: death valley, death valley national park, badwater basin, telescope peak, shortys well, Hanaupah Canyon. Traversing the road is easy hiking. Overview Shuttle hike from Shorty's Well ( 253 ft below sea level ) to Telescope Peak 11,048 then down to Mahogany Campground. Trail Notes: Don’t try this trail when thundershowers are in the forecast; the trail is very exposed and you’ll be the tallest thing around (save for a few bristlecone pines on the slopes of Telescope Peak). Badwater (Death Valley Floor) to Telescope (11,000 ft ) - Trip report with pictures by Seano Winter K2 : Artem Braun says Its Now or Never - from Explorersweb's website Simone Moro, Tamara Lunger and the first winter ascent of Pik Pobeda in Siberia - PlanetMountain. Nothing in Utah comes close. The trail slowly winds itself up to the summit 7 … Telescope Peak (11,049 ft / 3,368m) is the highest peak in Death Valley, with a well-established route to the summit from Mahogany Flat campground. We could have probably gotten by just camping cowboy style, throwing our sleeping bags and pads on the ground unprotected. Nowhere else in America can you see such a dramatic vertical relief over The climb to reach the maintained trail which would lead to the peak was absolutely grueling. Mountain canyons are also notorious for winds, so a fitted, protected stove system would be several times more effective in a stiff breeze. Take in 360 degree views of California and Nevada and gaze for hundreds of miles in any direction. On the summit, you’ll learn firsthand why it’s called Telescope Peak. It was cool to look down at the tiny dot that was Shorty's Well where we'd started 13 hours earlier. The trail has a couple of signs and information on the plant life you will be discovering on the trip before you start on the 14 miles round trip to the summit and back. Our trek will take us quite a bit further, up to the snow covered peak 20-miles distant. It’s the next best thing to bringing nothing. A 4×4 truck slowly passed us, its occupants offering a friendly wave and words of encouragement. With four in our party, we carried the 1.8 L pot and found this plenty of capacity for our needs. Yet we can see the entire route while trekking across the salt flats. Telescope Peak sits 11,049 foot (3,368m) above sea level. Few places in the country have the relief of the Panamint Range: Over 11,000 vertical feet separate the crown of Telescope Peak and Badwater Basin. Turn right onto Westside Road (dirt) and follow it to the dirt intersection of Shorty's Well and the 4x4 road of Hanaupah Canyon Road. Your time for the 7mi hike from the trailhead to the summit will depend on many factors, including the extent of the snow. We would be arriving at our camp after a very long day, so getting hot water into our dehydrated camp meals ASAP was important. The trail starts in the western part of Death Valley National Park at Mahogany Flat campground. Whitney from badwater) but that one is a bit beyond my resolve. And then we reached the snowline at about 7,000 feet further slowing us down. Actually, we climbed it from “Shorty’s” Well, near badwater but 30 feet higher at merely 250 feet below sea level. Fragrant desert blooms also helped relieve the sting of the hours spent walking up the featureless gravel. First views of Telescope Tip : If you visit in the winter months, don't forget to check our hotel deals & tour tips below. Death Valley Annual Pass and National Parks & Federal Recreational Lands Passes are also accepted. The 4x4 road starts to deteriorate farther into the canyon. But we’re making short work of the Badwater segment, completing half of the six-mile crossing in about an hour. The vertical rise from Badwater (which is at -282 ft) to Telescope Peak is one of the greatest on the planet. First light at sunrise looking back at Badwater Basin. By the heat of the day, we had reached the canyon’s massive outflow wash and it was thick with Desert Gold wildflowers. The hot, dusty monotony of the past three hours quickly faded from our memories. Looking across to the ridge which we'd make our final ascent to intersect the maintained trail to the peak from Mahogany Flats, The climb was now steep and much of the footing loose, but the views looking back just kept getting better. It’s a comfortable 60-degrees as we head out onto the salt before sunrise. “It just doesn’t add up,” added Mike in his best deadpan manner. But there are some pretty nasty critters that come out at night in Death Valley (tarantulas, scorpions) and we all slept better with a small bit of shelter keeping them at bay. Pass Furnace Creek and continue on till Badwater Road is reached, turn right onto Badwater Road. Badwater Basin from Mahogany Flat trail Hiking Telescope Peak by the normal route involves a 14 miles (23 km) round trip hike. After driving from San Francisco and placing one car at Mahogany Flat Campground (~8200 ft.) for an easier exit, we relaxed at Shorty's Well in Badwater Basin where we'd camp for the night. Yet we can Telescope Peak viewed from Shorty's Well Watching a rattlesnake drink from the waters was also pretty surreal. At 11000 feet telescope peak gives a great view of death valley. Reaching the summit was awesome! The topography now featured a lot of trees, and was a bit harder to navigate. And after all that, we still had another 1000 feet to the top. What an awesome hike, and what an awesome peak. Telescope Peak The hike to Telescope Peak starts at Mahogany Flats Campground which is only accessible via a 4 wheel drive road that is pretty tough and should not be taken lightly. Some 13 hours and 11,331 feet of ascent later, we reached the summit, The summit cuisine was pizza and Fort Point Villager IPA, After dinner we weren't far off from being ready for bed at our awesome sleeping location, Telescope Peak's shadow cast over Death Valley at sunset was quite a sight, As the sun set, we settled in under what would turn out to be a very clear and star filled sky, Early the next morning, the sun came around over Death Valley, Telescope Peak's mighty shadow was cast again but in the other direction over Searles Valley. After about 1.5 miles, there’s the first view of Telescope Peak in the Add in some false summits and a roller-coaster ridgeline, and we’ll climb about 14,500 ft when it’s all done. We have three miles of this and sunrise has begun heating up the salt flats. Email Floris van Breugel | + … Near Hanaupah Spring Telescope Peak looms far in the distance, After taking a break to fill up nearly 6 liters of water each, we hit the first steep climb up a ridge, Taking the ridge involved climbing 1600 feet in about one mile, At the top of the ridge we got a great view of the canyon we'd just navigated, Looking towards Badwater Basin from atop the ridge, With Telescope Peak still another 6000 or so feet to go, we pressed on, Now hiking through trees and brush, Telescope Peak was getting closer. Winters also bring snow to the higher elevations and coat Telescope Peak (Panamint Mountains) in white. We packed the 100 Wing Shelter as a wind break, as this place can get some big winds. A steady progression of scree, scrambling, and route finding challenged our progress. We spent an hour on the summit, taking in the 360-degree views and passing around a flask. The Death Valley region consists of several different mountain ranges, including the Sierra Nevada, the Argus Range, the Panamint Range . The sky burst into colors in all directions at sunset. The ridge rolled up and down, and then we crossed a hillside through a forest on our way to the final and toughest climb. Sunrise colors on Telescope peak reflected in pond at Badwater Valley Low, Mountain High Although many tourists come to Death Valley to visit Badwater Basin, the lowest point in North America at 282 feet below sea level, most of them have no idea that the park also encompasses high-country areas that climb to more than 11,000 feet. Alex Stoy chimes in as the only member of this team who has done part of this route on a previous adventure to climb and ski Telescope Peak. An ascent of Telescope Peak from Badwater Basin involves gaining 11,240 feet -- the second greatest gain possible on any peak in the United States, after Mount Rainier. Shoes are tightened, trekking poles extended and packs are hefted (heavier than I had expected) as we prepare to walk out onto the flats. Our three o’clock arrival time surprised all of us. The morning went smoothly and we were starting our slow grind up the ridgelines just as dusk gave the sky a bit of light. The highest point in Death Valley National Park, Telescope peak stands over 11,300 feet above the valley floor just 7 miles east. The general direction of the hike is from east (Badwater area) to west (Telescope Peak), from the lowest point to the highest point. We were so tired and hungry we didn't waste much time before settling in. In fact, the tallest peak in the park, Telescope Peak, reaches over 11,000 feet in elevation and several others, including Bennet Peak, Rogers Peak, and Sentinel Peak, surpass 9,000 feet. At about four o'clock in the morning we hit the trail. It’s a surreal sight to behold once you reach it; gurgling water flowing freely in this desert. 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