A Visit to Mahogany Flat and Mosaic Canyon in Death Valley National Park
It's always a good way to relax after hiking in the Southwest to pay a visit to the mountains, the Panamint Mountains actually. It's really quite something to go from 100 degree dry heat (at sea level) and drive up in sunshine to 8000 feet overlooking the whole thing. The temps are very moderate in Mahogany Flat in Sept, and the nights get quite cool which is great for sleeping.
badwater is below sea level
Badwater is 282 feet below sea level
In addition to being the lowest point in North America, being below sea level means it cannot drain anywhere. That's of course why there are such extensive mineral and salt deposits. So the road sign nearby actually has two meanings here.
typical desert sidetrack destination
Some roads like Artist's Drive have outlets, but are anything but downstream, flat or direct.
dip and weave
Compared to Badwater, Stovepipe Wells up the valley is a high point
ultra-utilitarian campsite just behind
...and it's hot, even now in September!
0% humidity means drink drink drink a lot!
When the Ultra-marathoners run through here, they have plenty of liquids to drink, and there are support vehicles nearby, but sometimes the problem is their running shoes get runny and slippy and melt away on the asphalt.
On our way getting to altitude, we take a detour to Mosaic Canyon, since it's such a gorgeous day.
trailhead info is always interesting!
a quick refresher course
Even Scorpions get on the billing.
just a sample among thousands of varieties
Just one of many different mosaic patterns in the rocks here.
summer echoes of
the play of light and shadow
Trickles in the Desert

The Winding and Long Road
long and winding road
The Long and Winding Road
It would be easy to spend the entire day exploring here, and there's such a wide range of textures and lighting. Sort of the walking equivalent of Artist's Drive across the valley.

Now however, we want to get up there and set up camp so we can enjoy a delicious salmon dinner and a campfire, so off we go on the long winding climb into the mountains along Emigrant Pass.
Roger's Peak in the distance at 9,993 feet
The little white dot on the top of Roger's Peak is a relay tower, explored during a previous hiking detour on the way to Telescope Peak (out of the picture, off to the right sort of).

We're heading for the lower end of the saddle that connects to Roger's, visible toward the left. That's Mahogany Flat with it's 10 campsites. Don't be fooled-Mahogany Flat is officially at 8133 feet (quite a bit higher than where we are now) and Roger's is a good bit higher than that, even though it doesn't look like it.
Actually, you could just get level with the top of Roger's if you put the CN Tower on top of Mahogany. ...180 storeys of climbing just between those two peaks (Roger's elevation is is 9,993). So this means we have many miles of winding and hairpin driving and lots of elevation gain to get over there. But it's worth every second of it.
The trailhead for Telescope Peak starts at Mahogany Flat. Looking at the Trail Register, it's fascinating to see the range of people who make a pilgrimage to this place from all terrestrial compass points!
the latest hiker listings, year after year
a lot of avid hikers
So the day ends with a baked salmon dinner, and some spectacular scenery, this time in the sky. Tomorrow at this time, we'll be on the road again...
what a view at the end of a mountain day
Mahogany Flat Sunset towards the Pacific Ocean
searching for answers, with so many questions
dapples of sunlight and a light wind
Home on the Range
Life's Biggest Mystery

Why Are We Here Amongst the Stars?
Drawing to a close, and back to Civilization via Washington D.C.
back to Bryce