Corkscrew Canyon was a location which I stumbled across simply by studying my topographical map at home.  Seeing it on the map raised my curiosity as to what it could possibly be like, since many other canyons in the area (such as Golden and 20 Mule Team) are spectacular.  I then came across an old 1929 historic photo of cars driving through Corkscrew Canyon.  The only problem was that it appeared the cars were actually driving through 20 Mule Team Canyon, perhaps on an old road which once connected with Corkscrew Canyon.  Thus, I set out to determine if indeed there was an old road which connected the two neighboring canyons.  In the hiking route between 20 Mule Team Canyon and Corkscrew Canyon, I did find a wash that was in really good condition, as well as several rock cairns.  Because of this, it leads me to believe that there may have been a connecting road at one time.  Once somebody takes this cross-country route and arrives at the mouth of Corkscrew Canyon, they will find a road which leads up the canyon.  It makes it easy to walk, but also detracts from the beauty at the same time.  As we walked up Corkscrew Canyon, we eventually reached a closed gate.  There were no signs on this gate saying we could not proceed, so it's safe to assume that the gate is locked to keep vehicles out of upper Corkscrew Canyon.  Not long after that comes the highlight of Corkscrew Canyon.  The Corkscrew Main Side Canyon is naturally marked by a rock beacon, which seems to beckon visitors to come inside and explore.  We entered and were surprised to find ourselves immersed in a world of beauty... amazing natural rock and mud formations, seemingly endless twisting narrows, dark passageways, and 1 of Death Valley's 7 known large natural bridges (as of January 2013).  Winding our way through the Corkscrew Main Side Canyon, we couldn't help but wonder if Corkscrew Canyon was named after this place.  Imagine you are drawing the letter "S" on a piece of paper.  But instead of stopping when you get to the bottom of the "S", you keep drawing curves and "S"'s all the way down your paper.  This is what the Corkscrew Main Side Canyon is like.  We had a lot of fun hiking through here and hope to be able to come back and visit again someday soon.

Despite the fact that this is one of the most amazing places in all of Death Valley, we found out that the main canyon is probably off limits to the general public.  Thus, these photos we have provided will probably have to make up for you not being able to walk through the Corkscrew Main Side Canyon.  If you absolutely are determined to see it for yourself, inquire at the Furnace Creek Visitor's Center as to whether or not you are permitted to walk through Corkscrew Canyon or not.  Also, we were told that Upper Corkscrew Canyon, beyond the main side canyon, is definitely off-limits and private property.  So by all means, make sure you stay on park property.  Hopefully someday everybody will be able to take a walk through this amazing place.  Until that time, here are a few photographs.
This historic photo of Corkscrew Canyon was taken in 1929.  Seeing its similarity to 20 Mule Team Canyon made us wonder if there was once a road which connected the two canyons:
View from the wash which connects 20 Mule Team Canyon to Corkscrew Canyon.  Notice there are rock cairns stacked along the way:
Corkscrew Canyon is just around the bend from this photo:
Notice the ridges along the mountain range in the background of this photo.  Now scroll back up and compare these ridges with the old historic photo.  This confirms that the old historic photo was actually taken in Corkscrew Canyon:
Once you go around the bend and climb out of the wash, you find yourself on a maintained gravel road:
Scenery off to the west as you're walking up through Corkscrew Canyon:
Here was the gate in Corkscrew Canyon which we encountered.  Notice there are no signs on it asking hikers to keep out, so it is probably there to keep unwanted vehicles from driving up canyon:
The scenery starts to get impressive along the canyon, as the next three photos reveal:
About halfway up the canyon, this is the turnoff for the Corkscrew main side canyon.  From what we were told, this is where you must stop and go into the side canyon.  To proceed further up the main canyon would take you on to private property and perhaps get you into trouble:
One final view a little farther up Corkscrew Canyon of the terrain in the background.  Such beautiful, colorful hills:
Passing by a dry fall that is along the wall as we begin hiking in the main side canyon:
Towering rock slabs in the early portion of the Corkscrew Main Side Canyon:
Notice how the canyon begins to twist and turn a lot right from the start:
Looking straight up a massive wall of rock:
It's hard to believe this large crescent moon shaped rock is sitting on top of the mud tower in the canyon:
Soon the narrows got very tight and the endless stretch of "S" narrows started:
Steve getting a picture at this spot in the canyon:
The walls had a similar texture to what is found in Funeral Slot, Sidewinder, and Mormon Point Canyons:
Notice how a very small drainage cuts between the two sides of the canyon walls:
Most of the turns were so tight that it was hard to avoid touching the walls:
Steve preparing to make another dramatic turn in the canyon:
Look carefully and you can see that we are nearing one of several dark passageways:
I went in the first dark passageway and looked out at Daria, who was hiking behind me:
It was very dark in here, but we managed to get through without flashlights:
Once back out, the amazing narrows of Corkscrew Main Side Canyon continued to impress:
This is a typical turn, where you're not sure if you should walk in the narrow wash or on the side ledges:
When the sun was shining in the canyon, the walls lit up quite brilliantly:
We had to climb under this huge boulder jam:
Steve made it under and then looked back for a picture:
A small easy dry fall had to be climbed in order to continue:
And then, something incredible was found.  This is Corkscrew Bridge, 1 of the 7 currently known major natural bridges in Death Valley (as of 2013):
Four more pictures showing Corkscrew Bridge in all its glory.  Corkscrew Bridge is interesting because it is so low to the ground but it is such a wide bridge:
Farther up canyon, we found more beautifully colored narrows with overhangs:
A spectacularly sculpted passageway to walk through:
After quite some time, the canyon finally straightened out and led to grander places:
The canyon got a little bit wider a short time later, but not by much:
We were running out of daylight, so this is the point where we turned around:
The desert environment has perfectly sculpted this small pinnacle:
Two final pictures of Corkscrew Bridge taken on the way back down:
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