Corkscrew Peak


elevation: 1,769 m.
height gain: 970 m.
area: Death Valley,California,USA
map USGS 1:24,000 Stovepipe Wells, CA 36117F1 & Thimble Pk, CA 36117G1
2023-Dec-24


Ref: Summit Post

beautiful flowers


Even the most arid environments host beautiful flowers.
Scramble: RT 4.0; 2.5 up. As we neared the end of our visit to Death Valley, we decided to visit the information center in Stovepipe Wells to find out if the access roads to Telescope Peak were soon re-opening. The ranger informed us about prolonged access restrictions due to the recent flash flood's devastation. After telling him we had travelled from Canada to climb Telescope Peak and escape the cold, he recommended this objective as a consolation adventure. Corkscrew Peak appeared worthy of a visit, and its proximity was appealing. We decided to travel light, donning running shoes and carrying very little. The beginning of the hike meanders through the vast desert towards alluvial features. Walking on sand and cobble amongst cacti was a different experience; we kept watch for snakes and tarantulas, but we saw none. Eventually, we reached a narrow canyon and some welcome shade. We located the breach in the canyon wall and followed it to the terrain above; the trail is more distinct as it climbs steadily toward the summit. We reached the top in less than 3 hours. We had a short break to enjoy the view then, we backtracked at a fast pace. We met a young couple at the "The Hole in the Rock" and asked them to take a picture of us; that was the only stop on our descent. Back at the vehicle, we had enough time in the afternoon for a swim at the Furnace Creek Resort. This scramble is easy; however, it would be challenging in the heat of the summer. The ascent and the view will leave you breathless!




the objective

The objective from the side of the road.

beavertail cactus

Opuntia basilaris, Beavertail cactus.

following the trail

Following the trail through the desert.

entering a canyon


At the entrance of a canyon.


shade in the canyon


The canyon grants some shade.


erosion in the canyon


Interesting erosion in the canyon wall.


breach in the canyon


A breach in the canyon wall leads to the terrain above.


ascending the breach


Ascending the narrow breach.


short climb


Short climb out of the canyon.


well-defined trail


The trail is well-defined on the broad barren ridge.


desert five-spot


Eremalche rotundifolia, Desert Five-Spot; unfortunately the flower isn't fully opened to display its stunning red markings.


looking back


Looking back as we begin to gain height.


rocky nook


A little rocky nook along the ridge.


straightforward


Straightforward and pleasant.


badwater basin


Badwater Basin, 86 meters below sea level, stands out in the desertic landscape.


amargosa range


Fascinating alluvial surfaces and eroded mountains of the Amargosa Range.


summit block


Approaching the summit block.


nearing the summit


Nearing the summit.


southern view


Southern view of Badwater Basin nestled between the Black Mountains (left) and the Panamint Range on the right.


telescope peak


Telescope Peak, 3,366 meters, is the highpoint of the rugged Panamint Range.


at the top


South-eastern view from the top.


daylight castle


To the east, Daylight Castle (right center) can be reached from Daylight Pass.


grapevine mountains


The northern view includes taller peaks of the Grapevine Mountains.


mount whitney


Mount Whitney in the distance west of us.


hole in the rock


Selfie in the "Hole in the Rock".
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