Titus Canyon is widely regarded as one of the best destinations for a driving tour in Death Valley as it passes through 27 miles of scenery featuring high mountain peaks, remnants of a ghost town, and high towering canyon narrows. Difficulties encountered on a one-way drive through Titus Canyon include having sufficient HC (high clearance) to pass through a few rough sections of road and driving along an exposed section with sheer cliffs on one side. Difficulties encountered on a hike up Titus Canyon (starting from the lower parking lot) include watching children closely and exercising caution in view of oncoming traffic heading down canyon. Route maps and GPS coordinates are not provided because this is a major tourist destination with informational signs along the way and the drive is mostly self-explanatory.
As of the year 2015, I have currently driven Titus Canyon Road at least five times and hiked up the canyon at least once from the lower parking lot that I can remember. In addition, our groups have carried out three hikes which originated within the Titus Canyon area. So we have spent a fair amount of time getting to know the Titus Canyon area and truly experiencing it. During peak visitor times, Titus Canyon receives a large amount of vehicle traffic. It is a fantastic destination for those who are physically unable to carry out hikes because it allows them to see some of Death Valley's best narrow canyon scenery without having to leave their vehicle. A driving tour of Titus Canyon, if done properly by taking your time on the drive through and stopping to take photographs along the way, will take up the majority of a day. The drive should not be rushed because there is a lot of scenery to enjoy and interesting places to check out. In addition, extra time must be allowed to drive to and from the starting and exit points (which are quite far apart). Because the road is graded dirt and gravel with some rough patches, extra time must be allowed for that as well. Some of my favorite spots along the way to check out include the sweeping views at Red Pass (especially of Mount Palmer), the fascinating ruins of Leadfield ghost town, and various spots of great beauty within the Titus Canyon narrows. A hike up Titus Canyon from the lower parking lot is also a great way to experience the best of the Titus Canyon narrows. It is worthwhile to hike up canyon at least 2 miles to fully experience being dwarfed by massive cathedral-like canyon walls. Advanced hikers with a lot of Death Valley experience can figure out a way to loop Lower Titus Canyon and Lower Fall Canyon on a long day hike (see my crossover route info on my Upper Fall Canyon hiking report for more details). The three major hikes which our groups have done that originated in the Titus Canyon area include Titanothere Canyon, Thimble Peak, and Upper Fall Canyon. Thimble Peak is definitely one of my all-time favorite peak hikes in the park and makes for an excellent addition to a driving tour through Titus Canyon. Just past Red Pass (the starting point for a hike to Thimble Peak), is Leadfield ghost town. The walk through Leadfield is pretty much an easy walk that anybody can do. Simply follow the trails from structure to structure, looking inside each one and taking some pictures. The story of Leadfield is quite interesting with the discoveries made leading to the town's sudden success and even faster demise. Be sure and read the interpretive sign at the very least or check out one of the write-ups on Leadfield in a book. The driving tour photographs included within this report were taken on March 27, 2008.
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