Friday, April 13, 2018

Canyon People - Part 2

April 4, 2018
Amargosa Valley, Nevada

We were told. We were even "shown". Still, Titus Canyon in Death Valley National Park is a beautiful and exciting surprise. Once we get over the several miles of rough, washboard, teeth rattling dirt and rock from the highway to the hills, the drive is full of many Wows!.

Everything we've seen in Death Valley has been wonderful, but this is definitely the highlight of our visit. Thanks John and Pam (Oh the Places They Go) for making sure we didn't miss this!!

This shy female quail Chukar (thanks Sue!) greets us as we near the hills. Love her markings.
I always look back at photos of the start of trails and think "We had no idea how amazing this was going to be!"

Colorful mounds,

and dark ridges line our entry.
Tessa likes taking me to the top.

Others show up along the way, but for most of the day we're on our own. Ahhhhh....

This is a one-way loop drive so I remember to look back.

The only other wildlife sighting of the day.
We finally go topless like real canyon people. Bill is happier about this than he looks :-)

Although it is in John's blog post, this section of narrow, shelf road looks "less fun" from the bottom.

Not that bad, and so worth the views!
Our anticipation is for the "slot canyon for cars" that we've heard so much about, so when we come over the top of the pass we are blown away by the beauty below. The colors and textures are stunning. It's a road you have to pay attention to, with large rocks and deeps ruts, but it is a beautiful area. 

Down the road we come to Leadville, a small mining ghost town where the post office was only open for six months before closing permanently. 

Another Jeep has the "prime spot", and gives good perspective for the long views.

At the summit.

What a palette!

In the dictionary under switchback......this.
Surrounded by drama.

1926 gold mine

I like our place better.
Just past our stop at Leadville, we come to the first canyon. With the top off we have views in every direction. We're also reminded to bring hats when we do this next time!

Between canyons, the road enters a wide area where a small panel of petroglyphs sits at the edge. Many seem to be layered, and it is difficult to tell how many are ancient story telling.

What awaits around the corner?

We should have done this a long time ago.

That sun's warm!

We imagine dozens of critters watching us pass below.

It's a privilege to visit this remote place.

The canyon widens.

I'm happy to see that throughout this area, people have stayed on trail, ensuring our continued access.

A park sign marks the location of the petroglyphs, but provides no information on their origin.
The last section of Titus Canyon is a twisting, narrow, tall canyon that is the star of the show. There is a feeling of amusement park fun combined with an ancient sacred path. We take our time and enjoy every minute.

Getting snug.

Fluffy reflections.

Another photographer makes a quick stop and shows how deep the road is in the canyon.

Finding some shade along a short side canyon.

Natural formations mimic rock art.

Up close!

Up high!

Weaving our way through.....

.....and all too soon we're out the other side.
There are no signs for high-clearance or four-wheel-drive for this route, but I wouldn't take anything else. One of the guys we talked to at Leadville said he wished he'd known or had better tires. Another pickup was changing their flat tire in the wash. Again, we're very happy we have our Jeep.

Thursday we move on to Pahrump - where we find some more canyons to explore!


  1. That sure is a tight canyon, Jodee. Tessa is adorable in that mirror shot. :)

    1. They were smart to make it one-way!

      She was in the back seat and just happened to be in the right spot :-)

  2. Loved your Death Valley posts...I've not visited for many, many years. I love how the desert always has subtle and not-so-subtle surprises!

  3. So very glad you made this drive. So many changing features along the way. But the star is the "Slot for Cars!" Isn't it awesome having the tops out! Sure does bring a whole different perspective. We need to return!!

    1. I'm so glad you reminded us of this trail!! We'll definitely be taking that top off now that we've finally done it once :-)

  4. AWESOME photos!! Fun in the sun, but yes, hats are a must with the top down...

    1. Thanks Rene.

      After several convertibles in my past you'd think I'd know better!!

  5. So glad you took this drive and shared it all. I've walked up canyon just a bit in the narrow part. It's superb everywhere.

    1. There were a couple people parked at the end and walking into the slot area. The whole drive is wonderful, but definitely needs the right vehicle.

  6. It looks like Tessa was driving! (the photo of her reflection in the driver's side mirror) :-)) Such a spectacular, colorful landscape. That last section winding through the tall canyon—wow!!

  7. Tall canyon...that sounds weird now that I look at what I wrote. Maybe deep canyon? Tall walls? You know what I mean. :-)

    1. It is a very tall canyon :-)) I'm sure Tessa thinks she could drive!

  8. We did that same drive, not with our toad but a rental! And so glad you made this drive it is indeed an exquisite canyon and scenery all around. Maybe next time, you will drive all the way to La playa :)