Take Echo Canyon – the longest canyon in the Funeral Mountains – to an overlook of the Amargosa Desert.
|Total Distance: 6.8 miles out & back||Elevation Gain: 698ft. (4,123ft. to 4,731ft.)|
|Difficulty: Moderate||5+ Mile Difficulty: Moderately Strenuous|
|View Rating: 4.0 out of 5.0 stars||Author’s Rating: 3.0 out of 5.0 stars|
|Visitor Rating: |
(Click to rate)
[Total: 0 Average: 0]
|Visitor Difficulty Rating: |
(Click to rate)
[Total: 0 Average: 0]
|Pets: No||Horses: Yes|
|Best Seasons: November-April||Special Permits: None|
|Water Availability: None||Overnight Options: Free-range camping permitted|
|Trailhead Amenities: None||Crowd Factor: Solitude|
|Trailhead Access: 2.0|
Mile-by-Mile: Echo Canyon Overlook
0.0 End of Echo Canyon Road (4,123ft.). The wilderness boundary marks the beginning of the hike. The route travels up Echo Canyon, twisting and turning between (somewhat) narrow canyon walls with the whims of the canyon. The route was once a railroad grade, although I have found very little information about the railroad. You may need to scramble a small dryfall about 0.5 miles from the trailhead. After this obstacle, the streambed widens as the hills drop around the wash until the streambed is traversing a brushy plain. Continue to follow the main wash across the plain – it mostly follows the base of the hills to the north. (36.495815°, -116.684620°)
2.1 Leave wash (4,534ft.). The old road turns northeast here while the wash goes southeast. Follow the road as it winds northeast, drops into another wash for a short distance, and then travels east and northeast along the rim of the Funeral Mountains. (36.502343°, -116.651744°)
3.3 More or less end of road (4,611ft.). There isn’t much to see here, so make your own trail north up the nearby hill. (36.510788°, -116.639028°)
3.4 Top of hill (4,724ft.). Views extend across the Amargosa Valley, Amargosa Desert, and back into the Funeral Mountains. You may wish to walk along the ridgeline for more views. (36.511941°, -116.637122°)
History & More
Echo Canyon is technically the longest canyon in the Funeral Mountains.
A railroad grade once ran up Echo Canyon. However, I’ve been able to find very little about it in my research. It likely supplied or carried ore from the mines in the region.
The old road may be obvious, or nearly invisible in the desert. Be prepared for wayfinding if it’s difficult to spot.
Download Trail Map
Camping in a canyon is discouraged due to the danger of flash floods.
Remember, it may be easier to climb up dryfalls than down them (or vice versa). Be sure you can climb in the other direction before climbing up or down a dryfall.
Camping is not allowed within one mile of a paved road, developed area, or dirt road that is closed to camping.
Camping is not permitted within 100 feet of a flowing stream, spring, or other natural body of open water.
No camping is permitted on the floor of Death Valley, within one mile of Darwin Falls and Greenwater Canyon, on the active/shifting sand dunes, and certain other canyons and backcountry areas.
Camping is also prohibited within one mile of the Ubehebe Lead Mine, Leadfield Mines, Keane Wonder Mill, and Skidoo Mill.
Camping is limited to 30 days per calendar year within the park.
Fires are permitted in NPS-provided fire grates or grills ONLY.
Leave No Trace Principles are enforced
Drones and model aircrafts are prohibited
Camping is permitted only in designated sites or in areas open to dispersed backcountry camping
All park rules and regulations
12 Month Pass: $55/Death Valley Annual Pass (valid at Death Valley National Park). $80/America the Beautiful Annual Pass (valid at all national park and federal fee areas). $20/Annual Senior Pass (62 years or older US citizens; valid at all national park and federal fee areas). Free/4th Grade Pass (Valid Sept. 1-August 31 of the child’s 4th Grade school year). Free/Military Pass (valid for all active military personel and their dependents with a CAC Card or DD Form 1173).
Lifetime Pass: $80/Lifetime Senior Pass (62 years or older US citizens; valid at all national park and federal fee areas). Free/Access Pass (available to all US citizens with perminent disabilities). Free/Access for Veterans and Gold Star Families Pass (valid for all military and veterans with a CAC card, Veteran HJealth Identification Card, Veteran ID Card, or veteran’s designation on state-issued drivers license or identification card.)