Upper Corridor Canyon passes through sections of narrows, polished dry falls, and high peaks as it climbs out of The Corridor and into Round Valley. 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 Round Valley, and climbing down (and back up) one dry fall which most hikers will find challenging. A Google Earth map of the hiking route can be found by clicking on the button above. GPS coordinates for the Round Valley viewpoint are 36° 46.300'N, 117° 37.005'W. GPS coordinates for the 12-foot dry fall are 36° 45.190'N, 117° 37.158'W.
Upon completing my solo hike of Lower Corridor Canyon all the way down to the mouth in Saline Valley, I turned around and headed back up canyon. The goal continued to be to complete the entire hike of Corridor Canyon in one day. Corridor Canyon comes to an end in Round Valley. Round Valley is a secret valley that is hidden away in the middle of the Last Chance Mountain Range. Very few visitors come to Round Valley, but those who do are usually quite impressed. As the name suggests, Round Valley is round, as circular drainages flow into the valley from the surrounding mountains and hillsides. An interesting aspect of Round Valley is that it contains a very rare and majestic view of Dry Mountain, which is not visible from many places in the park due to its location within the mountain range. Warm BM, Cameo BM, Upper Grand View Canyon, Upper Lucky Rich Canyon, and seldom-visited Cameo Canyon can all be reached from Round Valley. (If anyone reading this decides to hike nearby Cameo Canyon, please note that it does have some difficult dry falls within the canyon which may require safety ropes to get down.) However, the prized destination out of Round Valley has to be Upper Corridor Canyon. For safety reasons, I do not recommend trying to access Upper Corridor Canyon from The Corridor. I have personally checked out the ledge bypass climb between the two and found it to have a dangerous amount of exposure. It's much wiser to put safety first and spend the extra time hiking all the way around to Round Valley and then head down Upper Corridor Canyon. To emphasize this point, a Death Valley park ranger who was leading a volunteer group in February of 2013 mistakenly thought that Upper Corridor Canyon could be safely connected with The Corridor. Thus, after his volunteer group completed some work on Warm BM for the day, he led them down Upper Corridor Canyon. However, when they arrived at the rim of the cliffs above The Corridor, he realized it was not safe to climb down. As he told me later: "I didn't think there were any impassable dry falls there. By the time we got down toward the bottom and the dry falls near the junction with the main Corridor Canyon it was already dark so locating a safe bypass wasn't very practical. At that point, we took the only safe and prudent option which was to backtrack up the canyon into Round Valley and locate our route back." I agree with his decision in behalf of the group 100%. The only "safe and prudent option" for hiking Upper Corridor Canyon is to enter and exit through Round Valley. In addition to the major dry fall located on the cliffs above The Corridor, there is one other obstacle in Upper Corridor Canyon which may stop hikers. And that is a 12-foot dry fall which is hard to climb down and even harder to climb back up. Usually hikers stack rocks to get help climbing up this minor dry fall. But don't go down it if you don't think you will be able to get back up. As for me, I was able to successfully accomplish my goal of seeing all of Corridor Canyon. And I think you will really enjoy the included full set of pictures which showcase the upper canyon. 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 only access Upper Corridor Canyon by way of the Round Valley route.
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