Posted by: danielfee | February 4, 2013

Travel Photo of the Day 02-04-2013

Mosaic Canyon - Death Valley National Park, CA

Mosaic Canyon – Death Valley National Park, CA

Hiking the Mosaic Canyon

Hiking the Mosaic Canyon

One of the popular hikes in Death Valley National Park is the Mosaic Canyon hike. It is a moderate level hike, on which you can choose to do a short 1 mile, up to a longer 4 mile hike. There is a parking area at the entrance to the canyon, which is just two miles from Stovepipe Wells Village. The entrance to Mosaic Canyon appears deceptively ordinary, but just a 1/4 mile walk up the canyon narrows it changes dramatically to a deep slot cut into the face of Tucki Mountain. The smooth polished marble walls enclose the trail as it follows the canyon’s sinuous curves. The canyon follows faults that formed when the rocky crust of the Death Valley region began stretching just a few million years ago. Running water scoured away at the fault-weakened rock, gradually carving Mosaic canyon. The Mosaic Canyon’s polished marble walls are carved from the Noonday Dolomite and other Precambrian carbonate rocks. These rock formations began as limestone deposited when the area was covered by a warm sea. Later, addition of magnesium changed the limestone, a rock made of calcium carbonate, to dolomite, a calcium-magnesium carbonate. The dolomite was later deeply buried by younger sediment. Far below the surface, high pressure and temperature altered the dolomite into the metamorphic rock, marble. But the Mosaic Canyon was named for a rock formation known as the Mosaic Breccia, which is an Italian word meaning gravel. This formation is composed of angular fragments of many different kinds of parent rock, and it can be seen on the floor of the canyon just south of the parking area.




  1. Wow this looks like an amazing place! I’ve never hiked in CA but I’m sure I’d love it as much as anywhere else I’ve been. When did you go?

    • We went in December 2009 to January 2010. We did both Death Valley and Zion in the same trip. It was a good time of year to go because it is not too hot. Death Valley NP is really diverse. You need to plan a minimum of 4 days because it is so big. It is well worth the trip.

      • Some day I’ll get there! You have been to so many places!!!! Where is next????

      • Not sure, we haven’t made a decision yet. But next trip will probably be somewhere in the states.

  2. This is so cool looking.

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