Mormon Point Canyon is a hike which passes through beautiful conglomerate rock narrows that is similar to nearby Sidewinder Canyon and much less visited. Difficulties encountered on the hike include route finding to access the canyon because it is not marked on any park maps. A Google Earth map of the hiking route (turned to the east for better viewing) can be found by clicking on the button above. GPS coordinates for the parking area are 36° 3.680'N, 116° 45.698'W. GPS coordinates for the canyon mouth are 36° 3.610'N, 116° 45.449'W. GPS coordiates for the central narrows are 36° 2.800'N, 116° 44.670'W.
Mormon Point Canyon was an excellent choice for us to do as a half-day hike on a day off from carrying out major hikes. We had just finished an epic 18 mile round-trip hike into Upper Big Fall Canyon the day before, so we were looking for something shorter with decent payoff in scenery. And on that count, Mormon Point Canyon delivered. When hiking Mormon Point Canyon, it's important to note the similarity to Sidewinder Canyon, which is the next canyon to the north. As you will see, Mormon Point Canyon can hold its own against similar canyons such as Sidewinder or Funeral Slot. All in all, Mormon Point Canyon is a good canyon and it does have a nice, long stretch of narrows. The name of the canyon comes from its close proximity to Mormon Point, which is a "turtleback" or a "large promontory or cape where there are ash beds, mudstone and conglomerate rocks" according to an online resource. Most visitors to Death Valley assume that Mormon Point is simply a spot along Badwater Road where they should stop for views and photographs, because there is a sign along the road with no further explanation. However, the sign is actually referring to geological formations just south of and above Mormon Point Canyon. We first looked into hiking Mormon Point Canyon back in November of 2010 but didn't get around to it until March of 2011. Originally we were going to call it South Sidewinder Canyon, but then somebody ended up hiking it before us and they gave it the informal name Mormon Point Canyon, which is much better. In Mormon Point Canyon, there are several side canyons with short narrows, an excellent stretch of narrows in the main canyon, and a dry fall at the end which makes for a good stopping point about 2 1/2 miles into the hike. All in all, it was a very nice half-day hike which allowed us to rest up a bit and just enjoy the scenery. Our hike took place on March 5, 2011.
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