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Wildrose Canyon

Wildrose Canyon

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Wildrose Canyon

Page Type: Trail

Location: California, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 32.84000°N / 113.91°W

Trail Type: Mountain

Technical Difficulty: Medium

Aerobic Difficulty: Hard

Layout: Out & Back

Elevation Gain: 1000 ft / 305 m

Length: 12.0 Mi / 19.3 Km

Route Quality: 
 - 2 Votes


Page By: Cedar

Created/Edited: Oct 22, 2007 / Nov 15, 2008

Object ID: 262961

Hits: 4104 

Page Score: 74.92%  - 5 Votes 

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Wildrose Canyon Road is a dirt path which in summer, is often driven on by climbers who plan to climb Wildrose or Telescope Peak. The canyon itself begins down in the hot and dusty Panamint Valley off to the west.

Biking downhill is quite a thrill considering the view off to the right. It offers quite an experience for even the advanced biker to enjoy. Just watch for the cars!

Trail Description

Wildrose Canyon is a moderately strenuous bike near the beginning and becomes pure strenuous at the top. Trees cover much of the way along the bottom just past the campround (Wildrose). These provide shade from the desert heat. After passing by Thorndike Campground, the road steeply climbs above the trees and into an exposed area before coming into trees again at Mahogany Campground at the top. Mahogany is at an elevation of 8,530 feet.

Getting There

Wildrose Canyon is a highly accessible area in both winter and summer. It is most easily approached from the west and south although it is also possible from the east. They are all detailed below.

From the west

The primary community to the west is Lone Pine. It is a small town as well as gateway to Whitney Portal.

From Lone Pine, head eastbound on CA-136. Continue straight as the road merges into CA-190 and enters Death Valley. At that point, watch for the second major road to the right. It should appear paved and be signed. Coninue to the end where you'll encounter a Y-fork. Take the left fork. In a short while, you should come to Wildrose Campground.

From the south

The route from the south traverses the length of Panamint Valley as well as Wildrose Canyon from the very bottom. It begins at a town named Ridgecrest located at the highway triangle formed by CA-14, CA-178 and US395.

Begin by heading east on CA-178. The road quickly veers to the north over a few ranges of mountains. After one last range, the highway descends by switchbacking its way down a spectacular drop into the Panamint Valley. From there, the road is mainly flat as it continues into Death Valley National Park. Continue straght at an intersection off to the left for Lone Pine and Stovepipe Wells (note that the two directional signs both say Stovepipe Wells however). The asphalt quickly turns to dirt as the road climbs into Wildrose Canyon. Continue straight at the next intersection and park at the Wildrose Campground.

From the east

To the east is the deep and dry Death Valley. No residential neighborhoods exist here. The only major point in the valley is Furnace Creek, a visitor replenishment area which includes a visitor center and gift shop along with a ranger station.

At Furnace Creek, drive away from Badwater Lake in other words, north. Conitinue off to the left at the intersection for Stovepipe Wells. The road should pass by the "wells" and start climbing up over Towne Pass. Turn left at the first intersection for Ridgecrest. At the end of that road, turn left. Off to the left again should be Wildrose Campground where you should park.

When to Bike

Wildrose Canyon can be biked year-round. In winter, much of the route is covered in snow. Upper portions may be difficult to access during that time. Summer can offer intense heat near the beginning. This can be avoided by starting up at Thorndike Campground where weather is cooler.


Wildrose Canyon