Falling Man to Dante’s View

Death Valley Trip 2013 | Day 2
Sunday, February 10, 2013

After a good night of sleep my alarm woke me up before the sun was expected to rise. When I got out of my tent I noticed that some thin clouds had moved in overnight and the sky was completely overcast. I had originally planned to spend some time photographing Little Finland this morning, but with the overcast skies I decided to cancel those plans. Instead, I had a little breakfast, packed up my camp and started driving towards my next destination- the Falling Man petroglyph site.

On my way to the Falling Man site I drove right by Devil’s Throat, so I stopped for a quick look. It’s a giant sinkhole in the desert floor. This is not a good photo, but I’m posting it up anyway since I bothered to stop here.

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Devil’s Throat by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

When I made my plans to spend the first weekend of my trip in the Gold Butte region I really thought that the Kohta Circus petroglyphs were going to be the highlight of my visit. I was wrong. I had a lot more fun exploring the area around the Falling Man petroglyph. Not only were there petroglyphs to be found everywhere I looked, there was also colorful sandstone all over the place. It was like walking through a colorful maze searching for rock art around every corner! I spent more time in this area than I had anticipated and look forward to returning again in the future.

A photo of colorful sandstone in a small alcove reminiscent of scenes found at the Valley of Fire.

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Color by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

To access the rock art I had to first crawl through this passage in the rock. The petroglyphs lead the way.

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Petroglyph Passage by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Soon I found myself face to face with the interesting Falling Man petroglyph that I had come to see.

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Falling Man by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

This spot of color on the sandstone was found nearby.

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Colorful Spot by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

There were many smaller petroglyph panels to be found as I hiked around the area. This large boulder was the next larger site I came across.

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Boulder Panel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A closer look at part of the panel.

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Boulder Panel Detail by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

As I climbed around the maze some more I found myself on a ledge containing another nice set of petroglyphs.

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Hash Marks by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A better look at the right side.

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Upper Panel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

While standing on the ledge I noticed there was another large panel of petroglyphs right below my feet. There was no immediate way down to the next level, so I hiked around until I found a way down. When I reached the panel I was treated to another impressive group of petroglyphs.

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Newspaper Panel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Great colors in the sandstone found in this area. You might also notice that the overcast skies finally started to clear out a little as I explored the area.

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Colorful Scene by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Petroglyphs and colorful sandstone, a wonderful combination.

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Petroglyphs & Colors by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

One of the many small panels found in the area.

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Sheep by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Hiking back to my Jeep among the Joshua Trees.

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Falling Man Trail by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Before heading back to the interstate, I made one last stop near Whitney Pocket so I could search for some more rock art. The petroglyphs I found here were faded and harder to see, but I liked this panel surrounded by bright green lichen.

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Green Lichen by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

From Whitney Pocket I drove back north until I reached the interstate. I headed west and grabbed some lunch on the outskirts of Las Vegas before finishing the drive to Death Valley National Park. Once in the park I drove up to Dante’s View which overlooks Badwater and a good portion of Death Valley. There were quite a few people at the viewpoint, so I hiked to the top of Dante’s Peak which I had all to myself.

Following the trail to Dante’s Peak over Badwater.

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Dante’s Peak Trail by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

There were some storms and clouds moving over Death Valley adding some drama to the landscape.

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Death Valley Storm by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

The surrounding mountains play hide and seek in the low clouds. I could sit and watch this dynamic scene all day.

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Mountains & Clouds by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

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Between the Clouds by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

After my hike to Dante’s Peak I decided to drive back down and find a campsite in Greenwater Valley before it got dark out.

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Greenwater Camp by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Once my camp was setup I make a quick drive over to Zabriskie Point so I could scout out the location for the following morning’s sunrise. On my way I pulled over when these layers of desert colors caught my attention.

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Layers by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

The clouds and storms in the area create a momentary spotlight on this peak.

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In the Light by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

After checking out Zabriskie Point I drove back up to Dante’s View to catch the sunset.

When I arrived at the top there were a lot of clouds blocking the light, but the sun did manage to slip through a small hole to light up small sections of the valley floor.

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Badwater Spotlight by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I thought this looked like a cool little cloud.

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Cloud by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

There were too many clouds for a great sunset, but shortly after the sun dipped below the Panamint Range these clouds did get a little color.

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Purple Mountains by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I stayed at the viewpoint until I was the last one up there (this is usually the case). As I started my drive back down to camp it actually started snowing a little bit, but once I lost a little elevation I managed to get out of the snow. Once I was back in camp I had a little dinner, read for a little while and fell fast asleep so I would be ready for a new day.

>> Falling Man to Dante’s View Photo Gallery


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