Funeral Slot Canyon is an extremely impressive long winding canyon of towering narrows that is located very close to Furnace Creek and remains relatively unknown to most park visitors. Difficulties encountered on the hike include route-finding to access the canyon and dealing with some medium difficulty obstacles while progressing up canyon. Topographical maps of the hiking route can be found by clicking on the buttons above. GPS coordinates for the mouth of Funeral Slot Canyon are 36.472925, -116.818959. GPS coordinates for the left junction turn in the canyon are 36.477834, -116.808063.
Funeral Slot Canyon is one of the most outstanding examples of lengthy towering conglomerate rock slot narrows in Death Valley. It has been growing steadily in popularity ever since this original report was published back in 2010. What started out as a quiet favorite of NPS staff members has now progressed to showing up in Death Valley guidebooks. How did this positively beautiful canyon become so well known? Going into my Fall 2010 trip, I was looking for another outstanding Death Valley exclusive which I could hike. I'm always trying to find impressive hikes in the park which are off the grid and unknown to most park visitors. Thankfully, a good friend of mine who works in the park told me about Funeral Slot Canyon. He actually told me about it a couple of years ago, but this was my first opportunity to hike into it and see it firsthand. That's how backed up I am on destinations that I've been trying to get to. Just as I fully expected it to be, Funeral Slot Canyon turned out to be outstanding. The main feature is nearly 3/4 of a mile (or more) of incredible high-walled narrows in a setting much like you would find in Sidewinder Canyon or Mormon Point Canyon. My friend feels that Sidewinder Canyon is superior by a small margin, but personally I liked Funeral Slot Canyon better. Mainly because the narrows went on for so long and they were incredibly scenic. To reach Funeral Slot Canyon, the starting point is at Texas Springs Campground. As my first topographical map shows, the key is to follow the main wash which is north of the campground until you reach a wash split. During this first portion of the hike, the easiest route is simply walking along the horse trail. At the wash split, take the left fork and follow that up toward where it originates from, which is the mouth of Funeral Slot Canyon. It helps to first target a small outcropping in the wash as an aim spot. The narrows start a ways into the canyon and there is a major junction after the first stretch of narrows. The canyon splits and you need to stay left to be in the main Funeral Slot portion of Funeral Slot Canyon. But the right fork (or main canyon) also has some interesting scenery. Much later on in Funeral Slot, there are a few easy climbs and a few medium climbs in order to see the entire narrows. It really seems like they go on forever. After the narrows, the canyon opens up again as it enters a pretty section reminiscent of Artists Palette before dead-ending at a double dry fall. The hike is 4 miles one-way with an elevation gain of about 1,500 feet. It took our group five hours round-trip to see everything. This is a perfect hike to do if you are staying at Furnace Creek, Sunset campground, or Texas Springs campground. Since I first did this hike and shared my report, many others have hiked out here to see Funeral Slot Canyon for themselves. And I doubt anyone went home disappointed (unless they got lost). Our hike took place on November 23, 2010 and I returned to Funeral Slot Canyon on November 27, 2016 to explore the Funeral Slot Main Side Canyon. Be sure to check out that newer report to see some more current images of Funeral Slot Canyon and to see what secrets are contained within the main side canyon.
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