Friday, January 13, 2012

Darwin Falls: A Miracle in the Desert

 Darwin Falls, Death Valley National Park, CA
Can you imagine the above waterfall right in the middle of this desert, in one of the driest places on Earth?
 Panamint Springs, Death Valley National Park
Darwin Falls is a rare year-round waterfall in the Panamint Springs area of Death Valley National Park. Death Valley is known to be the land of extremes: hottest (in the summer at least), driest and lowest. It is a desert of gleaming sand dunes,
snow-capped mountains, multi-colored rock layers,
 painted exposed Earth, 
and many more desert surprises, such as the Darwin Falls. 
 A Miracle in the Desert
The trail head to Darwin Falls is a few miles East of Father Crowley Point. 
 Father Crowley Point
 ( named after Father John Crowley, from the snowy heights of the Sierras beyond the deep shadows of Death Valley beloved and trusted by people of all faiths )
From Father Crowley Point, we drove East towards Panamint Springs. About one mile before Panamint Springs, we turned right on Darwin Falls Road, which is a dirt road, about 2 miles. Notice the parking lot below, obviously, we had the waterfall all to ourselves!! 
Darwin Falls Trail Head Parking Lot
The trail to the waterfall is through an open wash, with some desert vegetation.
 As the canyon walls close in, thicker vegetation is observed.
 and soon, you enter a lush canyon.
 Desert Oasis
 Wooded Trail in the Canyon
After a while, you will be crossing streams, 
 and scrambling some rocks.
The hike to Darwin Falls is a short 3 miles round trip and mostly flat, the rock scrambling and stream crossing is towards the end. It can get confusing where to go since towards the end, there is hardly a trail to follow, but as long as you listen to the sound of the stream and the gushing waterfalls, there is no way you can miss it.
The Lower Fall from the Bottom of the Canyon
After finding the Lower Fall, we scrambled up some rocks hoping to find the other falls. But then, as the rocks became slicker and more vertical, and we had no idea where the 2nd or upper waterfall was, we decided to just be contented with the lower fall. The picture below is still the lower fall, but just taken from above the cliffs while we were rock scrambling.
To learn more about Death Valley, you may want to visit my older post here.
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  1. That would definitely be a treasure worth finding at the end of a hiking trail. And it looks like such a beautiful place to see along the way.

  2. My goodness, Betchai, those are beautiful waterfall pictures! Rock climbing sounds like lots of work..

  3. How amazing to see and hear a waterfall like that in the desert. It looks like a beautiful hike!

  4. A miracle indeed!!!
    Commenting fr phone - Cher :)

  5. I really can't believe that there is this beautiful waterfall in the middle of the desert. Are you sure you didn't jumble up the photo? :D

  6. Wow, that is amazing to see especially in a desert. Those snow capped mountains are just so smooth and pristine. As always Betchai, gorgeous shots. It's like we are right there with you.

  7. Your pictures tell thousands words, and are so real.

  8. Wow, he waterfall is gorgeous and the trees are beautiful. Great captures.

  9. These are great views of Darwin Falls. We never got to the end but it was a rewarding hike. The road leading to Darwin Falls was a bit tricky. Fall and Winter are the best times to visit.

  10. The waterfall and desert photos are so beautiful!

  11. fantastic picture-walk with you! its so relaxing and informative...thank you and have a good new week!

  12. Bilib ako sa stamina mo Ms. Betchai. Baka pag ako naghike mahimatay ako hahaha!

    When I discovered my interest in photography, I started to wander around Al Ain and came to a conclusion that never under estimate the deserts, it has a natural and unexplainable beauty. It has a lot to offer for hikers and tourists.

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful photos and post.

  13. Very odd! I didn't know anything about this.

  14. Before i discovered "the joys of simple life" I viewed the desert as a desolate place I wouldn't want to visit...but eversince I got hooked to your wanderings I have had this fervent wish of someday walking there with you amidst the beauty of miracles...

  15. As always I love the tree shots the best. My son says I am a tree hugger lol! The others are stunning of course, too.

  16. what a lucky lad, you enjoy the nature...and thanks to you, i enjoyed them too inspite of not being there physically...

  17. The falls are beautiful and I can only imagine the contrast in the middle of a desert.

  18. the picture of the grass is what i lke best!

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