OverviewTwenty Mule Team Canyon is filled with nameless ridges and "peaks" that will delight wanderers. This page documents one such peak and is meant to show the terrain and scenery out here more than it is to highlight any major climbing objective. If what you see here interests you, then you should be glad to know that this area offers countless other outings like this one.
Something exceptionally nice about this peak is that it yields spectacular views of Manly Beacon and the Zabriskie Point area and lacks the crowds that frequently congregate at Zabriskie Point.
Getting ThereThe turnoff for Twenty Mule Team Canyon is less than a mile south of Zabriskie Point on CA 190, about five miles east of Furnace Creek. The road is one-way only and runs north to south.
The peak documented on this page appears just off the road, to the south, less than five minutes into the drive.
Route DescriptionRather than use text for the details, of which there really are not many, I chose to present this route in a more picture-based format. The pictures are arranged in chronological order as I approached, climbed, and descended the butte. Clicking on the pictures will enable you to view the captions, which have some interpretive information.
"Climbing" this butte was really a hike (except for two very steep spots where I briefly used my hands), and there was a packed "trail" atop the ridgelines I followed almost every step of the way. The dirt can be loose and slippery, and it is almost impossible to negotiate when wet (it turns to a gooey mess that may suck the shoes from your feet). It was a very short trip, probably not even half a mile in all, and climbed only about 200 or 300 feet. Most other outings in this area will be of similar length and elevation change, meaning you can pack an entire morning, afternoon, or complete day full of them.
In general, it is best to climb only the buttes and ridges that do have the "trails" on them in order to minimize further erosion and scarring of pristine terrain.