Corridor Canyon is a fairly well-known and highly regarded canyon deep in the Last Change Range which contains a one-mile long corridor of towering rock walls in the central narrows. Difficulties encountered on the hike include having the proper HC or 4WD vehicle to drive to the starting point, route finding to access the canyon by way of two unnamed side canyons, climbing down (and back up) one dry fall which some hikers find challenging, and not getting lost on the return hike back to the vehicle. A Google Earth map of the hiking route (turned slightly to the northeast for better viewing) can be found by clicking on the button above. GPS coordinates for the parking area are 36° 44.952'N, 117° 35.094'W. GPS coordinates for the Round Valley junction are 36° 45.274'N, 117° 36.208'W. GPS coordinates for The Corridor are 36° 44.925'N, 117° 37.017'W.
Because Corridor Canyon is such a long and hard-to-reach canyon, I have split up coverage of it into three different reports. The main Corridor Canyon report, which is this one, covers the side canyons which lead to Corridor Canyon and the one-mile section of canyon known as The Corridor. The other two reports are Lower Corridor Canyon (covering the lower end of The Corridor to the canyon mouth in Saline Valley) and Upper Corridor Canyon (covering the upper end of The Corridor to the canyon head in Round Valley). Corridor Canyon was a destination in Death Valley that I did extensive research on for months before visiting. I read trip reports, guidebook descriptions, looked at photographs, and analyzed maps to prepare for the hike of just over three miles down to The Corridor. The Corridor is a one-mile section of canyon narrows in between two vertical rock walls, one on each side of you. It is a place that is also perfectly straight to walk through except for two small breaks which divide The Corridor into the upper, central, and lower sections. The easiest way to access The Corridor portion of Corridor Canyon is to drive Racetrack Road and turn off onto the spur road which leads to Ubehebe Lead Mine. After parking there and exploring the historical mining remnants and structures, follow the minor wash which forms the first side canyon for about 1 2/3 miles down to the Round Valley junction. Stay left at the junction and continue to follow the obvious flow of the converging washes down the second side canyon for another 1 1/3 miles. During this section, there is one small dry fall which must be downclimbed. The dry fall is tricky enough that I have read online of some instances where hikers decided to turn around over a fear of not being able to get back up the dry fall on the return hike. Most hikers with minor climbing skills should have no problem with this dry fall. But it always helps to hike with a friend which allows for giving boosts and a helping hand where needed. Prior to entering Corridor Canyon, two sets of short but beautiful narrows are passed through, making the hike enjoyable up to this point. The hike gets even better when the final side canyon narrows abruptly deposit you into The Corridor, which is the central part of Corridor Canyon. Because The Corridor is one mile long, it will take considerable time to study the walls and get good photographs. Turning right upon entering Corridor Canyon will take you to the upper portion of The Corridor. There is a major dry fall at the upper end which should not be climbed or scrambled around due to safety concerns. Keep in mind that Upper Corridor Canyon should only be accessed from the head of the canyon in Round Valley, as that is the safest route. More information about that is contained within my Upper Corridor Canyon report. Turning left upon entering Corridor Canyon takes you into the central and lower portions of The Corridor. Continuing on past the end where there is a sharp bend leads you into Lower Corridor Canyon. Following this trip report, you may wish to continue along with me to see either Lower Corridor Canyon or Upper Corridor Canyon by clicking on the links back on the main page. By doing this, you can see the rest of Corridor Canyon in all its beauty and majesty. One key safety alert is to pay attention while hiking down the two side canyons which lead into Corridor Canyon. It is easy to get lost on the way back. I know, because it happened to 2 out of 3 of the people who were hiking in my group. So carry a GPS device, topo map, or take close note of every junction passed (of which there are at least five that are passed by). The photographs included within this report are a combination of two different hikes which I have taken down to Corridor Canyon. The first hike was on April 28, 2007 and the second hike was on November 15, 2009.
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