Lower Corridor Canyon is the isolated but beautiful portion of canyon in between the lower end of The Corridor and the mouth in Saline Valley. Difficulties encountered on the hike include having the proper HC or 4WD vehicle to drive to either starting point, route finding to access the canyon, and bypassing a major dry fall which will be too difficult for most hikers. A Google Earth map of the hiking route (turned to the northeast for better viewing) can be found by clicking on the button above. GPS coordinates for the major dry fall are 36° 44.069'N, 117° 37.824'W. GPS coordinates for the Saline Valley overlook point are 36° 43.217'N, 117° 39.098'W.
Because a hike to The Corridor portion of Corridor Canyon only allows you to see one mile of the actual canyon, I wanted to carry out another hike in the area to see more. Thus, I decided to attempt to hike the entire length of Corridor Canyon from the mouth to the head in one day. Due to logistics (the long drive to the parking area and the hike just to reach the canyon), this proved to be a very difficult undertaking. The hike through Lower Corridor Canyon can start at two different places. To drive from one starting point to the other could take up to four hours depending on the route driven. The first starting point would be from the Saline Valley Road and would include about a 5 mile walk across Saline Valley to reach the mouth of Corridor Canyon. The second starting point, which I used for my hike, starts in The Corridor. The Corridor is the main feature of Corridor Canyon and is centrally located in the middle of the canyon. It is a 3 mile hike from Ubehebe Lead Mine to The Corridor. Early one morning in the Fall of 2009, I woke up at 4:30am, left my campsite in Stovepipe Wells and drove out Racetrack Road to the Ubehebe Lead Mine. I started hiking down the two side canyons leading to The Corridor at 7:30am (this portion of the hike is covered fully in my Corridor Canyon report). Reaching The Corridor at 8:45am, this is the point where my hike finally started. I headed down canyon from The Corridor into Lower Corridor Canyon, visiting a place that has received very little attention and even less exploration. The highlights of Lower Corridor Canyon are twofold. First, there are three absolutely beautiful polished dry falls passed during the hike. And second, the view of Saline Valley from the mouth of Corridor Canyon is unique and spectacular. However, to reach the base of the 3rd dry fall (which is the only major dry fall), thus enabling a hiker to continue down to see that view requires scrambling down a very unstable and steep slope. Most people will have trouble if they aren't being lowered down the slope by a safety rope. Maybe there is a better bypass route which I somehow missed during my hike. But I was definitely uncomfortable both going down and climbing back up because the slope near the very top of the ridge is very steep. And you definitely don't want to slip at that spot. To carry out the entire hike from Ubehebe Lead Mine to the Saline Valley viewpoint at the canyon mouth requires a hike of 15 miles RT with an elevation gain of 1,900 feet on the return hike. My hike took place on November 15, 2009.
This hike contains sections of climbing, exposed bypasses and/or high dry falls and may require safety ropes and equipment in order to complete the entire hike. Those without the proper training, experience, and safety gear should stop at the major dry fall in the middle of the lower canyon and not try to use the extremely steep slopes bypass.
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