MILEAGE: 260 miles of paved road, 7.8 miles of fair dirt, 10.4 miles of poor to 4WD road
DRIVE: Approaching from Towne Pass on State Highway 190, turn left (NW) on a paved road at the
pground" sign located just W of the General Store at Stovepipe Wells. Drive 0.1 miles to a signed fork
"Campground-Airstrip" and bear left, driving 0.4 miles to a second signed fork "Cottonwood-Marble Canyon"
at the end of pavement. Bear right here and drive 7.8 miles on a fair (sometimes sandy) dirt road to a broad
wash at the mouth of a large canyon. Follow the road as it drops into the wash and turns sharply left up the
canyon. Depending on past weather and/or the back road maintenance schedule of the Park Service, this is
where the road can immediately turn into a 4WD route. If you have the proper vehicle for the road, continue
1.4 miles W to a junction, where you'll turn sharply left (S) up Cottonwood Canyon. Drive 0.8 miles to a fork
and bear left (right will take you up Marble Canyon; See Sidelines 1). Continue 8.2 miles S to the end of the
road at a turnaround. Park. NOTE: This road is particularly subject to storm damage and no guarantee can
be made as to its condition during any time of the year.
CLIMB: From the end of the road head W up a steep, loose
for 50 feet to the beginning of an easy wash
heading W toward the peak. Hike up this wash about 1.25 miles to the 3800 foot elevation level and then exit
left (WSW) up a slope to an E-W running, dark rock ridge. Following this ridge generally W to a saddle at
about the 5280 foot level, turn right (NNW) and climb 0.5 miles to the summit. As an option, continue up the
wash to a fork near 4200 feet elevation. Bear left (SE) here up a side canyon to the saddle 0.5 miles S of the
peak, where you'll join the other route and hike NNW to the summit. On the return to the vehicles drop E off
the summit and follow a great sand slope back to the wash. You'll lose over 1000 feet of elevation in a matter
of minutes on this fine descent route.
ROUND TRIP STATS: 3100 feet elevation gain, 5 miles, 3-4 hours
1. This peak is located within the boundary of Death Valley National Park.
2. If you have a 4WD vehicle, consider a side trip up Marble
on. Follow above DRIVE directions to the
Marble Canyon turnoff. Drive W about 2.0 miles to where the canyon begins to narrow, then on to a very
tight spot that will block wide vehicles from entry. Less than 0.5 miles beyond this point the canyon is
blocked to all vehicular traffic by a huge boulder firmly wedged between the steep walls. Park. Hiking up the
canyon, you'll soon be surrounded by sheer, water polished limestone walls that rise over 100 feet on either
side. Explore the canyon walls for both historic and prehistoric petroglyphs, which abound in this narrow slot.
One particularly interesting historic carving is "J.B. 1849" chipped into the S wall of the canyon. This is
evidence that a splinter group of the 1849 Jayhawker Party found this escape route out of Death Valley.
Records indicate that there was a man named Baker in that group. A good grouping of Indian petroglyphs can
be found high on the N wall in an area of reddish rock.
Revised 7/21/17