|Total Distance: 2.0-4.8 miles out & back||Elevation Gain: 1,719ft. (539ft. to 932ft.)|
|Difficulty: Moderately Strenuous||0-5 Mile Difficulty: Very Strenuous|
|View Rating: 4.0 out of 5.0 stars||Author’s Rating: 3.0 out of 5.0 stars|
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|Pets: No||Horses: No|
|Best Seasons: Morning in November-April||Special Permits: None|
|Water Availability: None||Overnight Options: None|
|Trailhead Amenities: Primitive Restroom||Crowd Factor: Solitude to Moderate|
|Trailhead Access: 0.6|
Mile-by-Mile: Red Cathedral Canyon Crest Route
0.0 Zabriskie Point Trailhead (650ft.). Instead of following the paved path up the hill toward Zabriskie Point, turn right to hike north on the gravel path. When the path turns west into the badlands, leave the trail to continue a short distance further north. (36.420784°, -116.810197°)
0.1 Turn left, up ridgeline (639ft.). Scramble up the ridgeline and travel west, following the social trails more or less along the ridge. While the route doesn’t appear to be difficult, many small rises and falls on the ridgeline are deceptively strenuous. (36.422484°, -116.811293°)
1.0 Manly Beacon View (827ft.). Most people turn left here to view Manly Beacon from the north side, then return to the parking area. Views stretch across the badlands, Golden Canyon, and down over Badwater to Telescope Peak. However, the social trails continue along the ridgeline with continued spectacular views. (36.427017°, -116.823941°)
2.4 More or less end of ridgeline (539ft.). Retrace your steps to the Zabriskie Point Parking Area. (36.438680°, -116.839928°)
History & More
Manly Beacon was named for William Manly, a local miner and hero. At the age of 29, Manly moved from his native state of Vermont to fill his thirst for gold fever as one of the ‘49ers. He tried to float the Green River to the Colorado River, but eventually native guides took him and the others with him overland. He then set out with other families and ‘49ers to cross Death Valley. The group became stranded, so Manly and another traveler, John Haney Rogers (of Roger’s Peak), walked 250 miles across the Mojave Desert almost to Los Angeles to find a route out. The two were able to buy supplies and return to lead the party to safety.
The Red Cathedral Canyon Crest is named for the canyon of the same name, which is below the social trail. To early visitors, the rock formations on the walls of the canyon resembled the pipes of a giant organ in a cathedral.
Download Trail Map
From Furnace Creek, take CA-190 East 4.8 miles to the Zabriskie Point Parking Area, on the right 3.5 miles east of Badwater Junction.
From Death Valley Junction, take CA-190 West 25.4 miles to the Zabriskie Point Parking Area, on the left.
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
Click here for 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.)