Day hike to Mount Perry, December 30, 2014
Trailhead: Dante’s View in Death Valley National Park
Allow: 5 – 7 hours for 8.5 – 10 miles
Difficulty: Moderate hike along a ridge. Mostly up and down class 1 with some easy class 2 and a little bit of route-finding.
This is a beautiful hike from Dante’s View, about 25 miles south of the Furnace Creek area in the Black Mountains of the Amargosa Range. The summit is almost anti-climactic, as there are gorgeous views all along the way. A variety of terrain and a little bit of easy route-finding adds some excitement.
Drive south on highway 190 and look for signs for Dante’s View. Turn right where indicated and drive six miles up a narrow road. The final, quarter mile of the drive is very steep and curvy; not smart to attempt with a trailer.
The road to Dante's View.
View of the Panamint Range from Dante's View. Telescope Peak (tallest in DVNP) is topped with snow.
After taking in the views, I headed up the ridge on the right by walking back towards where I entered the Dante’s View parking lot. There is a clear use-trail that runs along a wooden fence.
Dante's View parking lot from the trail to Mount Perry.
The views of Greenwater Valley to my right and Death Valley to my left were gorgeous. The weather was clear, although a little windy and cold.
Looking north towards Greenwater Valley and the Funeral Mountains
Perry comes into view.
As with many ridge hikes, there are endless false summits. Although I was mentally prepared, I was still fooled a few times. The real summit is actually very flat, and does not have an exciting final approach worth any discussion.
Lovely view of Badwater Basin from the summit.
Somehow the best way back seemed a bit more elusive...
Finding my way back to the parking lot was fine, although there were some moments of confusion. Hiking towards Perry was easy because the goal was visible most of the way. On the way back, I couldn’t see the Dante’s View parking lot until the very end and there are definitely many use-trails to choose from. There is a flat-ish section of boulder-hopping that is slightly disorienting on the way back. Not to worry though; no way is really much longer than another way and it is difficult to get lost on a ridge. I saw only one other person on my walk despite the hordes of tourists at Dante’s View.
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