Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Hiking Badlands Loop in Death Valley National Park

One day a few weeks ago I woke up and realized I have never been to Death Valley National Park, and well living not horribly far from it, only a few hours drive. I literally decided to go, packed up and was out the door for a little Death Valley camping trip in under 30 minutes.  Because let's face it, this is how I roll LOL
The Badlands Loop hike was the first trail I came across a few hours later, and after needing a break to stretch my legs, this 3.5-mile loop seemed like the perfect place to do it!
Now the guide will tell you this is about 2.5-3 miles. But my GPS probably because I walked out to a few overlooks along the way, clocked me at 3.5. Since most people hike and enjoy a view, I decided to leave you with the 3.5 mi. as a guide for this hike.



This post is a little of a photo dump, but this place is gorgeous, and heck yes it is the Badlands LOL You'll find very little growth in this area, and the hike itself although is a little of a climb down into the Badlands bottom, and then, of course, a little climb back up when you're done, the rest of it is relatively flat (or very normal gentle up and downhills on the trail.) I'd go so far as to say this is a family-friendly hike.




While I say this is family friendly, there are a few sections where you are walking along edges, so obviously common sense needs to be applied when taking kids or people with a fear of heights.





You'll get stellar views of the slopes and rock formations. At some points, you can even get a view of furnace creek (190 feet below sea level) in the distance. 





When you hear of Death Valley, you should assume it can get hot! It does, the summers can easily reach 120 F degree's which means the rock and ground itself when touching it can get up to 200 F Degrees. So obviously, you MUST take WATER, regardless of which time of year you hike it!!!!!!!
I hiked this at the end of March, so the temperature highs were in the upper 80's to low 90's, in most ways absolutely perfect hiking temps for us desert lovers! If that's too hot for you, visit in the winter months when temps are closer to 60's and 70's.

IF YOU GO:
I can't stress enough bring water, and lots of it!! You won't find as many fountains and water sources as you can in other areas and parks! Why? Well, this national park is huge, I believe 3.5 million acres and it takes a long time alone to drive around.
 
Don't just bring a small 12-16 oz. water bottle and assume because the hike is in the 3-mile range you'll be good. This is the desert after all, and while you won't feel like your sweating much, you are evaporating sweat at a very high rate, especially when you're moving!
FYI I In the desert, water is seeping out of you fast even if you're standing still!
The biggest mistake tourists make when visiting a desert is underestimating how much water to drink.
They Suggest: 
Bring 2 Liters water if hiking a shorter 3-4 mi. hike in the winter months.
Bring 1 Gallon water if hiking shorter 3-4 mi. hikes in the warmer times of year (April-Oct)
Have fun! This hike is beautiful, and I do say stay on the trails because you don't want to ruin the lands for others to enjoy. However, part of this hike you will be in a wash, so you can do a little exploring and have a wider place to trail in portions of this hike.

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