Lower Bad Canyon and Lower Hades Canyon are two short hikes which are in close proximity to each other.  We had specific reasons for wanting to check out each of them.  For Lower Bad Canyon, we wanted to go in and see the 30 foot dry fall (shown above) which blocks access to the narrows just beyond.  And we wanted to check out the bypass route which leads to a nice overview of those narrows.  For Lower Hades Canyon, we wanted to get an overview of the Bad-Hades Ridge from down below, in view of our historical Dante's View to Badwater hike which ends at the mouth of Hades Canyon.  We were also curious as to just how far a hiker could make it into Hades Canyon before being stopped at the first major dry fall.  We accomplished both goals in December of 2010 and have some interesting pictures to share with you.  Below we have a Google Earth map showing our routes.
Panoramic looking down on Badwater Basin
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Heading up the Bad Canyon alluvial fan from Badwater:
Looking down on the Badwater parking lot as we headed up the fan:
Panoramic view of the Badwater Basin from near the mouth of Bad Canyon (click to enlarge):
Looking across at Telescope Peak and the Panamint Mountains from the mouth of Bad Canyon:
The early part of Bad Canyon as the walls begin to take shape:
Looking back down at the flooded Badwater Basin salt pan:
High vertical walls in Lower Bad Canyon:
The wash was very steep and rough to walk across:
Once again looking out towards the mouth of the canyon and beyond:
Passing by a huge oddly shaped boulder resting in the wash:
The canyon begins winding quite a bit early on:
The canyon is still fairly wide open with views of the surrounding cliffs:
A nice variety of colors and rock types:
Entering the lower narrows of Bad Canyon:
The portion of narrows which are accessible to hikers is very limited as progress is stopped at a 30 foot dry fall:
A picture of Joe in front of the 30 foot dry fall:
Another view of the 30 foot dry fall.  Definitely a pretty spot to end the hike:
Looking straight up the dry fall from down below:
We hiked and climbed our way up the first portion of the bypass route.  This was the view of Badwater Basin:
But daylight was fading and we had to choose between finishing the somewhat scary bypass and having enough time to see Lower Hades Canyon.  Ultimately, we decided to see Lower Hades Canyon.  This was the view of people walking out at Badwater from the mouth of Bad Canyon:
Next we drove a couple of miles down the road and started heading for the mouth of Hades Canyon:
The fading sunlight cast a pretty glow on the mountainside around Hades Canyon:
Heading into Hades Canyon as we wondered how far we could get:
Rugged walls in the early part of the canyon:
Looking back down the wash of Lower Hades Canyon.  The walking was very easy along the nice terrain:
Entering the narrows of Lower Hades Canyon:
Climbing around a field of huge boulders which have fallen into the canyon:
We walked up the polished white rock on the right side of the boulders:
A very pretty spot to look back down Lower Hades Canyon:
Steve getting a picture at this spot in the canyon:
Another short climb around some fallen boulders:
Up ahead we could see a dry fall which would probably mean the end of our short hike:
Sure enough, this was a two stage dry fall which was beautiful to look at:
Another view of the two stage dry fall which stops hikers:
Joe climbing the lower dry fall.  It looks tough, but it was a relatively easy climb:
Close-up view of the lower dry fall:
Polished surface of the upper dry fall with white streaks across the rock:
Looking straight up the upper dry fall.  Notice on the left side there is a chute.  If we really wanted to, we probably could have made it up the chute and continued up the canyon.  But we decided this was a safe place to stop:
The view down the lower dry fall as we headed back down Lower Hades Canyon: