Dry Cascades Canyon is a short canyon located along Cottonwood Canyon Road which contains medium to major dry falls and has a series of polished chutes and dry cascades. Difficulties encountered on the hike include route finding to access the canyon, climbing some medium difficulty dry falls in order to progress up canyon, and figuring out bypasses where necessary to get past major dry falls. A Google Earth map of the hiking route can be found by clicking on the button above. GPS coordinates for the mouth of Dry Cascades Canyon are 36° 36.382'N, 117° 16.124'W. GPS coordinates for the first medium dry fall obstacle are 36° 36.656'N, 117° 16.412'W. GPS coordinates for the beginning of the dry cascades are 36° 36.744'N, 117° 16.581'W.
Dry Cascades Canyon (or Canyon 3) was the first canyon that we explored of the Cottonwood Road Canyons. In my research at home, it seemed to me that Canyon 3 and Canyon 9 had the best potential for great scenery out of all of the ten canyons which I have marked as found along Cottonwood Canyon Road and Lemoigne Canyon Road. (You can see the full topo map of these canyons on the report for Canyon 1 if you are an explorer.) Since Canyon 3 had easier access, that's where we went. We drove down Cottonwood Canyon Road and found a parking spot at an area that was wide enough for another vehicle to get past. As we started out on our hike, this proved to be an important moment in my own personal life. Canyon 3 was the first hike that I was taking my new son Stefan on in Death Valley. He was now 5 1/2 months old and I had carefully planned to take him on this hike. I was carrying him in a frontal baby carrier, protecting him from the sun by using an umbrella, and carefully monitoring every single step to make sure I did not trip over rocks in the wash. I must say that it wasn't easy, but his safety was my priority on this hike. Everything worked out well since we did this as an afternoon hike and once we got into the canyon we had shade. As for Canyon 3, I had low expectations going into this hike. I had no idea what to expect from these ten small canyons, since they had virtually been ignored by other hikers up to this point. But Canyon 3 was a pleasant surprise. The hike up the wash and through the canyon to our stopping point was about 2 miles each way with an elevation gain of 800 feet. The canyon started out with some nice narrows before ending at a medium difficulty dry fall about 3/4 of the way through. It would be impossible to take Stefan up the dry fall, and many hikers probably would not be able to climb it, either. So part of our group had to wait below the 1st dry fall while my friend Tobin used a nearby bypass to get up to the ridge and I climbed directly up the dry fall. We continued up the canyon and were surprised to enter a beautiful section of polished narrows which contained dry cascades. There really was a lot to see in this area. We kind of lost track of time and ended up stopping at a 2nd major dry fall which we ran into. This proved to be a great start to our late Winter 2013 trip and a very memorable day as Stefan's first hike in Death Valley. Keep in mind that those who cannot climb medium difficulty dry falls or figure out bypasses will need to stop at the base of the 1st dry fall like some in our group did with Stefan. In view of the beautiful dry cascades that we found, we assigned this canyon the informal name Dry Cascades Canyon. Our hike took place on February 7, 2013.
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