Panamint Traverse
 Death Valley Backpacking
An Epic Experience

Trip Details

Type: Backpacking

Trip Code: DVPT

Duration: 4 Days

Distance: 23-37 mi/ km

Fitness: 4
Comfort: 1
Solitude: 4                

Origin: Las Vegas, Nevada

Cost: $1100/person

Trip Description:

The Panamint Mountains of Death Valley are a truly unique and wild mountain range.  Though some ranges are taller, larger, more rugged, etc., there are no ranges that rise 2 miles above their surroundings in the contiguous United State, and that is what sets the Panamints apart.  Telescope peak, in particular, rises over 11,100 feet above the Death Valley floor below, a staggering juxtaposition of extremes.  Our Panamint Traverse Backpacking tour of this wonderful mountain range celebrates the altitude and splendor of the Panamint Mountains, and gives us the opportunity to bag three summits in Death Valley and the Mojave Desert's highest mountain range.

  1. The Panamint Mountains, Death Valley
  2. Wildrose Peak Trail, Death Valley
  3. Wildrose Peak, Death Valley
  4. Abandoned Gold Mine, Death Valley
  5. Telescope Peak Summit, Death Valley
  6. Death Valley
  7. Panamint Mountains, Death Valley
  8. Charcoal Kilns, Death Valley
Request a Reservation!
Trip Itinerary

Day 1:

The Panamint Traverse Death Valley Backpacking tour starts you off right, with a great day of hiking exploration and orientation.  We will drive out from Las Vegas, Nevada into Death Valley, where we will make our way to Dante's Point, a high perch above the Death Valley floor with epic panoramas of the valley.  Then we'll make a stop at the Furnace Creek Visitors Center to browse a bit of Death Valley's history and mining past and pick up our permits.  From the Death Valley floor and Badwater Basin, Telescope Peak and the Panamint Mountains tower over us, both humbling and inspiring.  After Furnace Creek, we'll make our way up Emigrant Canyon Road and Aguereberry Point for more fabulous views.

Trail Canyon will be the site of our break-in hike, and it's a great one.  Trail Canyon is remote and off the beaten path, and a perfect introduction to Death Valley's mutli-colored geological wonder.  After our hike, we then get to explore an abandoned goldmine, testament to the pioneer and mining history of Death Valley and the Mojave Desert.  We'll cruise to our campsite and prepare ourselves for the epic days ahead.
Drive Time: 4.5 hours
Distance & Elevation: 3.5 miles, 500 foot ascent
Light Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 2:

Day 2 will prepare our minds and bodies for the trek into the high Panamint Range, beginning with a hike up Wildrose Peak.  Wildrose Peak presents an excellent acclimatization hike, as it trades off between steeps and flats.  Along the way we'll take the opportunity to observe more of Death Valley's mining history as we pass by the famed silver charcoal kilns, the largest and most well-preserved smelting kilns in the United States.  The summit crest of Wildrose Peak will lend us astounding views of Death Valley and into the Sierra Nevadas, whose lofty peaks are quite visible on a clear day.  We will also be able to marvel at Telescope peaks impressive summit.  After a trip back down to camp and a delicious dinner, we'll contemplate the mountaineering adventure ahead of us! 

Drive Time: 15 minutes
Distance & Elevation: 8.4 miles, 1100 foot ascent

Day 3:

Day 3 begins early, as acension of tall peaks necessitates weather considerations that tend to move in the afternoon.  We'll break camp after a hearty breakfast and packing of our overnight gear, then make our way to the Mahogany Flats Campground at roughly 8000 feet of elevation.  Dependant upon road conditions, we will either begin here, or down the road, hiking into our deep wilderness bascamp.  Tonight we'll camp under the stars on the side of an impressive mountain ridge.  

**Option:  Depending upon the progress, weather, and group mood, we have the option to make summit push after we set our wilderness basecamp.
Distance & Elevation: 5-10.5 miles, 1500-4000 foot elevation gain/loss
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Drive Time: 15-25 minutes

Day 4:

Day 4 is our flex option.  If we did not gain the summit on day 3, we will make our summit push on day 4.  If we did summit, we will take the opportunity to explore more the of the Panamint's, likely summiting another nearby peak.  In either case, we will crush a victory meal and begin our drive back to Las Vegas, stopping to celebrate our fantastic achievement like a geologist; with a cold beverage at a local watering hole.  Our shuttle will then return us to Las Vegas with parting views of Telescope Peak and the mighty Panamint Mountains, with memories and photos that will last a lifetime.
Distance & Elevation: 5-7 miles, 1500-2000 foot elevation gain/loss
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Drive Time: 4.5 hours

*Final itineraries are occasionally subject to change due to permit/campsite availability, park restrictions/closures, weather conditions and/or road closures.

What’s Included:
A professional, degreed, licensed and medically trained geologist/guide
All necessary gear: backpack, tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, trekking poles
All cooking/eating gear: bowls, cups, utensils (your geologist/guide will prepare all trail meals)
All food, including a mix of fresh and pre-made backcountry meals
Roundtrip Transportation from your hotel in Las Vegas to Death Valley and all activities/attractions
Entrance fees, camping fees, and backcountry permits

Meals: what to expect
We provide all your meals from a light breakfast on day 1 through lunch the last day. Your geologist/guide will prepare a variety of meals on the trail that will fit the day's activity. Feel free to tell us about your food preferences, as we're more than happy to tailor the menu to your needs/desires. Some specialty diets may require an additional fee.

All meals will consist of one entree, prepared by your geologist/guide.  Fresh options will be limited, as backpacking typically requires lightweight, non-perishable foods.  There will be trail snacks that consist of nuts, fruits, chocolate, and other "gorp" style mixes.

We regularly accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and will make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee

What’s Not Included:
Transportation to/from Las Vegas, Nevada
Lodging the night before/after the trip
Clothing, raingear, and footwear
Personal toiletries, sunscreen
Water bottles/hydration bladder
Headlamp or flashlight
Guide gratuity (suggested 10-15% of trip cost)
*Upon booking you will receive a detailed trip information packet

How many people are in the group?
Most backpacking trips in Death Valley will accommodate 5 people plus one geologist/guide. On occasion, a group may be as large as 8 people plus 2 guides.

Are there age restrictions?
Children under 12 are generally not permitted on any of Blue Marble's scheduled trips.  This can be negotiable on private tours, please contact us to discuss this policy

How do I sign up?
In order to confirm a reservation , we require an initial deposit of $500 per person, with the final balance due 90 days prior to the trip’s departure. If you book a trip within 90 days of the trip’s scheduled departure, then full payment is due at the time of booking.  Your deposit is payable over the phone by Visa, MasterCard, AmEx, or Discover. Checks by mail are fine as well, as are bank transfers ($35 transfer fee). Call our office Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm Arizona time. 1-602-904-2536
Travel Logistics

Where does the trip begin/end?
This trip will begin/end in Las Vegas, Nevada and you will need to spend the night prior to your trip’s scheduled departure in Las Vegas. You will want to fly into either St. George, Utah (2 hour drive) or Las Vegas. Please visit our  Travel Resources  page for information on airports, shuttles/rental cars and recommended hotels.

Where do you meet our guides?
We will hold a pre-trip orientation at 4:30pm the evening prior to your trip’s departure at the host hotel in Las Vegas. Departure times and logistics for the following morning will be discussed at the orientation.  Most trips will depart between 5am and 6am.

*This meeting is not mandatory, but highly recommended, as we will depart early the next morning. If you are unable to attend, please let us know in advance so that we can make alternate arrangements.

What do we do with our car and extra stuff?
We will provide all transportation to/from trailheads for the duration of the trip. We will pick you up at the host hotel in Las Vegas and return you there at the trip’s conclusion. Guests staying at the host hotel can leave their cars at the hotel. These hotels will often store your luggage for you, as well. If not, we are happy to store extra luggage at a secure location for the duration of the trip. If you are staying at a different hotel, you will need to check with them as to whether you can leave your car there

What time will we get back on the last day?
Expect to be back in Las Vegas by 6pm at the latest on the last day of the trip. Some trips will return earlier but we cannot make any guarantees. In general, it is recommended that you do not plan to fly home on the same day your trip finishes. Since each trip has slightly different logistics, feel free to contact us with specific questions related to the expected return time for your trip.

Trip Dates

2017 Dates
September: 10-13
October: 3-7

2018 Dates
September: 10-13
October: 3-7

More dates to come soon…
Don’t see your dates? Custom dates may be available!
Call 1-602-904-2536 or email us  for details.