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Salt Creek Interpretive Trail

Easy
 3.9 (8) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Hike along a lovely boardwalk that winds through a unique landscape.


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Map Key

0.8

Miles

1.3

KM

Out and Back

0' 0 m

High

-217' -66 m

Low

32' 10 m

Up

32' 10 m

Down

2%

Avg Grade (1°)

3%

Max Grade (2°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · River/Creek · Views

ADA Accessible A wide, wooden boardwalk.

Family Friendly A flat, easy boardwalk winding along the creek.

Overview

This short hike along Salt Creek takes hikers through one of the more unique areas of Death Valley National Park. With the surprising presence of water in the midst of the salt flats, this area looks positively lush compared to the rest of the basin.

Need to Know

The trailhead is located about 1.2 miles down a gravel road (passable by most sedans).

Description

This lollipop loop starts from a large, dirt parking area, and heads northwest between two low hillsides. The boardwalk is wide and well-maintained for the entirety of the hike with several interpretive signs along the way explaining the area and the wildlife you may spot if you are lucky.

The boardwalk is open year round, however Salt Creek is typically only flowing from November through May, when the creek is fed by winter storms. There are standing pools of water the rest of the year, but the stream will mostly dry up in the summer and fall.

The best time to visit is during the spring (February - April) when the rare Salt Creek Pupfish are spawning. Interpretive signs along the way explain pupfish behavior, their adaptations, and how they relate to other pupfish around the Mojave Desert.

Flora & Fauna

If you happen to visit between February and April, you may get to see the salt creek pupfish spawn. The marshy-like environment of the scrubby pickleweed and saltgrass is a good place to spot birds.

Contacts

Shared By:

Kristen Arendt

Trail Ratings

  3.9 from 8 votes

#3185

Overall
  3.9 from 8 votes
5 Star
25%
4 Star
50%
3 Star
13%
2 Star
13%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#481

in California

#3,185

Overall
14 Views Last Month
354 Since Oct 28, 2019
Easy

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Photos

Death Valley Salt Creek
Oct 7, 2019 near Badwater, CA
Death Valley
Oct 7, 2019 near Badwater, CA
Death Valley
Oct 7, 2019 near Badwater, CA
Death Valley Salt Creek
Oct 7, 2019 near Badwater, CA

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Check-Ins

Mar 22, 2021
Kristy Van
saw Pupfish side by side snuggle/wiggle for fertilizing eggs!
Mar 7, 2021
Liam Mac Sharry
Jan 23, 2021
Em M
Jan 16, 2021
Michelle A
Dec 27, 2020
Nicole Arendt
0.8mi
Mar 11, 2020
Sarah Haworth
With Alice and Aurora. Tons of pupfish!
Feb 29, 2020
Lindsay Stone
Feb 23, 2020
Lauren Mickey