Kaleidoscope Canyon is a half-day family hike to visit a favorite canyon of many professional photographers due to the spectacular colors on display. Difficulties encountered on the hike include avoiding taking the wrong turns at junctions within the canyon and doing some small climbs if one wishes to continue hiking past the main colorful area. Google Earth maps of the hiking route (turned to the west for better viewing) can be found by clicking on the buttons above. GPS coordinates for the parking area are 35° 54.530'N, 116° 37.039'W. GPS coordinates for the beginning of the colorful area are 35° 56.368'N, 116° 36.666'W.
To wrap up my December 2010 trip, I was looking for something which was interesting and off-the-grid to do in Death Valley. On my trips, I try to spend an equal amount of time visiting well-known canyons and peaks, and unknown locations which fall within the park boundaries. To find these off-the-grid locations, I use a number of different methods. I talk with friends who work and live in the park, talk to regular Death Valley hikers, study climbers reports, search the internet for little known trip reports, and study Death Valley terrain through Google Earth. In the case of Kaleidoscope Canyon, a good friend of mine who works in Death Valley informed me about its location earlier this year. Moving ahead to this trip, we happened to be hiking in the area the day before and that gave me a chance to inquire of further details regarding the canyon and what was found there. What I was told intrigued me, so I made plans to head out to the canyon to see it for myself. If you are curious about this place, here are a few details. Kaleidoscope Canyon is a very pretty canyon which is in the southern Black Mountains, about 2 miles west of Virgin Spring Canyon. When I first hiked the canyon, it had no name designation and NPS staff members gave me the opportunity to assign a name to it. After considering several options, I decided to name it Kaleidoscope Canyon. This is because the definition of the word kaleidoscope gives a perfect description of what can be found there -- "a continually changing pattern of shapes and colors." I hiked about 3 miles into the canyon and stopped at an elevation of around 2,200 feet. My half-day solo hike was very enjoyable and Kaleidoscope Canyon truly is a wonderful place to visit if you would like to become immersed in a world of colors. Since first publishing this report, I have heard back from many hikers who figured out where this canyon was and took some outstanding pictures on their own trips. Professional photographers seem to have taken a special interest in Kal Canyon because of the outstanding potential for beautiful photos. As of 2015, maps and GPS coordinates are now included in this trip report upon approval of NPS staff members. My hike took place on December 26, 2010.
Many more photographs taken during our visit are available for viewing for this destination. To see all of them, choose one of the two options presented below. The two options are Slideshow viewing and Trip Report viewing. The Slideshow option allows for viewing larger images with an autoplay option and a full screen option (available on most browsers). This option works very well for large computer screens and tablets. The Trip Report option allows for viewing smaller pictures in a standard scroll-down format and enlarging of any panoramic photos taken during our visit. Click on the option of your choice to view all of our photos from this destination. The Slideshow format opens in a new browser window and the Trip Report format uses the same browser window for viewing.
TRIP REPORT FORMAT