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This unmaintained trail leads in a 26-mile loop through several narrow canyons. It is not recommended for summer use due to the heat.

To access the Cottonwood/Marble Canyon Loop hike a two-wheel drive vehicle with high clearance is necessary. The loop begins at the end of Cottonwood Canyon Road at an approximate elevation of 3,120 feet. The trail follows the Cottonwood Canyon drainage two and a half miles to Cottonwood Springs. The Lemoigne Canyon Trail leads to the south a short distance past the springs. The Cottonwood drainage turns northward on it's cross-country route to Marble Canyon. Heading in a northwesterly direction hikers should continue to follow the stream nearly three miles past the trail junction. Six miles beyond the trailhead the route leaves the Cottonwood drainage and leads northeast to the Marble Canyon drainage. In two miles the trail crosses the mouth of Dead horse Canyon. Shortly after Dead horse Canyon, walking north and slightly eastward, hikers will reach a drainage. This will lead into Marble canyon within a mile. Once in Marble Canyon follow the creek bed in a northeasterly direction. After approximately eight and a half miles in Marble Canyon hikers will come to the junction of Marble and Cottonwood Canyon Roads. Turn right at this junction and follow the road eight and a half miles back to the trailhead.

Anyone attempting this loop hike should carry a compass and topo maps for the area. No maintained trail exists past upper Cottonwood Spring. Close attention to the route is necessary between the canyons and upon entering Marble Canyon. Side trips are possible in Lemoigne Canyon, to Hunter Mountain and to Goldbelt Spring. Bighorn sheep are prominent on this trail. Beware of flash flood danger and check the extended weather forecast before entering the canyons. This trail is not recommended for summer use. Bring lots of water in preparation for the extreme heat.

Directions: From Furness Creek, Follow Highway 190 to the landing strip at Stovepipe Wells Village. In the village turn right to reach the landing strip and Cottonwood/Marble Canyon Road. Pass the landing strip and turn left at the first road. This will lead you to Marble Canyon Trail, first right, and on to Cottonwood Canyon Trailhead, dead end.

Elevation: 3,120 feet

Elevation Gain: 3,000 feet

Distance: 26 miles

Difficulty: Strenuous

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Death Valley National Park, California

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The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

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