Real Marble at Mosaic Canyon, Death Valley National Park

Real Marble at Mosaic Canyon, Death Valley National Park

Location: Death Valley National Park, Stovepipe Wells Area
Length: ½ – 2 miles
GPS Coordinates: N 36 34.324 W 117 8.667
Contact Information: Death Valley National Park
P.O. Box 579
Death Valley, CA 92328

Mosaic Canyon is one of the most scenic and beautiful sights in Death Valley national Park. The short trail will take you through the narrow canyon with high polished walls. Numerous floods have polished the marble walls and multicolored rock formations. Tourists will enjoy this hike with numerous opportunities to explore smooth marble walls.

Mosaic Canyon is located close to Stovepipe Wells Village (just ¼ miles west), 2-mile gravel road will take you to a parking lot from where you can start your exploration of the canyon. If you have desire and time to continue hiking, keep walking for another 1.5 miles to a 20-foot dry waterfall.

Mosaic Canyon Trail is pretty easy and it is recommended for hikers of all skill levels. This place is very popular and can be really crowded.

Mosaic Canyon and other canyons on the territory of the national park were formed during the Paleozoic Era, when water covered the biggest park of the area. Over the years, the sediments with fossils were compressed, creating limestone and dolomite. Later, under the influence of pressure and heat the stones were transformed into marble that can be seen today in the canyon. Millions of years ago a system of faults were created here. Water that has been running through these cracks carved the canyon. The results of these processes we observe nowadays.

Its name Mosaic Canyon got from the “Mosaic Breccia” rock formation. Italian word breccia means fragments. And it’s really true, because rock formations of the canyon are composed of different kinds of parent rocks. Scientists say that the most common rock formation is the Noonday Dolomite, which is rich in magnesium.

Mosaic Canyon is protected by law, enjoy your visit, but remember not to collect the rocks!

To get to the there: From Furnace Creek, take Highway 190 northwest for 27 miles. Drive through Stovepipe Wells and turn left up Mosaic Canyon Road. Take this dirt road 2 miles.

Photo: Roman Khomlyak
Photo Editing: Juliana Voitsikhovska
Information: Marina Petrova

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