The hike to Lower Monarch Canyon is an outstanding way to spend a half day, or even a full day.  The first half of the hike is spent just getting to the canyon, as you have to walk across an alluvial fan for a mile and a half.  We parked our vehicle about 0.7 miles south of Hell's Gate on Beatty Cutoff Road and began walking across the fan, which at times followed the old Upper Monarch Road.  The old road is mostly gone now, so mainly we headed to the right of the hills in the distance, and once we got around those, we began hiking upwards into the canyon.  Lower Monarch Canyon was not very impressive at first, but slowly the walls grew higher and the canyon began closing in on us.  And the grand reward after hiking for about 3 miles was the sudden appearance of water, in the form of Monarch Spring.  Soon we climbed past two small waterfalls and reached the end of the passable canyon-- Monarch Falls.  Monarch Falls drops 110 feet in the portion which is visible.  To see as much as possible, I hiked up a nearby hillside (getting further away from the falls) and was able to see a full three places where water is dropping in Monarch Falls.  This area is very pretty and I highly recommend it to everybody.
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View of Monarch Canyon in the distance from our parking area on Beatty Cutoff Road. The canyon cuts to the left into the mountain:
Walking across the fan, we found some evidence of the old Monarch Canyon Road:
This was the view looking down into central Death Valley as we walked across the fan:
Look closely and you will see small hills in the foreground.  It's important to walk around these to the right, to make the hike easier:
Now we are heading up the Monarch Canyon wash:
We stopped to look back at Death Valley Buttes.  Our vehicle was parked on the road somewhere that we couldn't see.  Our guide to finding it was to follow the saddle between the buttes down:
After hiking through Lower Monarch Canyon for a short time, we found this side canyon which turned off to the right.  Make sure you stay in the main wash and continue straight:
Soon the canyon began closing in and the walls growing higher:
We came across this Coyote Melon or Gourd, which surprised us:
Starting to enter the canyon narrows:
The walls really closed in on us at this point:
There were remnants of old pipes and other relics, as you can see in this photo:
We bypassed this dry fall and continued hiking up canyon:
The next two pictures show you some of the beautiful canyon walls which we encountered:
And then we came to Monarch Spring.  This was the first water which we spotted:
After a short time, the water became even more abundant:
This is the first of two smaller waterfalls, which appear before you get to Monarch Falls:
And this is the second waterfall, which is a lot bigger than the first one:
Looking down at the base and pool below the second waterfall in the next two photos:
And finally this is Monarch Falls, majestic and beautiful at the same time:
When I backtracked up a nearby hillside, I was able to get this view of three portions of Monarch Falls.  From the ground level, only two portions are visible:
A fellow hiker did some scrambling around the mountainside next to the falls, but I don't recommend it:
Steve getting a close-up at the base of Monarch Falls:
The same picture, but taken from a little further distance to show more of the waterfall:
Daria relaxing on a natural rock bench next to Monarch Falls:
Looking up at Monarch Falls from directly below it.  This gives you an idea of truly how much water is coming down:
Zooming in on the edge where water tumbles over the lower portion of Monarch Falls:
One final picture of Monarch Falls: