By: Andy Zdon
This trip started out as my provisional lead, however for a variety of reasons (including numerous cancellations), the official trip was cancelled. Campy and I decided to do the hike anyway, so Saturday morning we met along the Cottonwood Canyon Road in Death Valley. We drove up to the Cottonwood trailhead, shouldered our somewhat overloaded packs (which contained wine, lemon merangue pie, etc.) and headed up canyon. This could truly be called a "leisure" trip as we took time to take off our packs and relax under numerous cottonwood groves. Eventually we reached Cottonwood Springs, and set up camp in a great spot at the north end of the cottonwood grove. After dinner, we sat around a campfire, and gabbed about trips of the past. Numerous owls hooted through the night A great night to sleep outside under the stars.
The next morning we headed off for Canyon Point, reaching the summit at about 10:30 am. We took time to read the register and take in the views. After about an hour on the summit, we headed back to camp, packed up, and hiked out. Although there is a 5-6 hour round-trip route which ascends the eastern slopes of this peak, this route is a great way to do Canyon Point if the time is available. The hike up Cottonwood Canyon has a considerable amount of shade and is quite pleasant. There is running water in the canyon bottom, however the water is of dubious quality. Although this route can be done as a dayhike, the camping near Cottonwood Spring is fantastic, and any trip half as good as this one would be great!!
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