Lower Rock Nettle Canyon - December 2014

Been on a recent trip? Here is the place to share it.
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clevelandc88
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Lower Rock Nettle Canyon - December 2014

Post by clevelandc88 » Wed Dec 24, 2014 9:43 pm

I still have mixed feelings about my trip to Rock Nettle Canyon. On the one hand, the canyon is absolutely beautiful - very vibrant colors and unique geological formations that I have not seen anywhere else in the world. There is also a really cool dry fall where you can just imagine how awesome it would be to see water spill off the rugged edge during a flood.

The only downside to the trip was that I failed to make into the upper canyon where the amazing narrows are located, which left me feeling quite defeated. I consider myself a somewhat experienced hiker, but I must have tried at least 3 different possible bypasses, and each was very dangerous as the loose rock slid beneath my feet. The only bypass that seemed potentially viable led me straight up to the summit of the highest ridge, and if it weren't for my trekking poles, I probably would have slid down the steep cliff and gotten seriously injured. Unfortunately, even after making it to the top of the ridge, it was too steep on the other side to make it down safely.

After returning home, I read Steve Hall's report on panamintcity.com and looked at the pictures of the bypass he used. Either I completely missed this option, or the geography has changed since his report because the only similar route I saw had boulders that were too large to get over.

While I was disappointed that I wouldn't be able to witness the second narrows for myself, I'm still happy that I was able to witness yet another unique canyon in Death Valley. While I am still new to the area, this canyon reminded somewhat of Kaleidoscope in terms of the glowingly colorful rocks.

Among the pics below, you'll see some really interesting shale rock, which was literally iridescent. I have never seen rock like this anywhere else in the world. It was definitely the highlight of my trip. I took about 50 photos of it, and still none of them even closely match its real beauty.



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Last edited by clevelandc88 on Thu Dec 25, 2014 12:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

SteveH
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Post by SteveH » Wed Dec 24, 2014 11:17 pm

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clevelandc88
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Post by clevelandc88 » Wed Dec 24, 2014 11:32 pm

Thanks, SteveH. I wish I would have read Kauri's and your report in more detail before embarking on my journey out there.

Have a Merry Christmas...I will be back one day to settle my score with Rock Nettle Canyon! =)

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Uncle Slatyon
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Post by Uncle Slatyon » Thu Dec 25, 2014 6:21 am

absolutely radiant pictures, thank you and Merry Christmas.

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MojaveGeek
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Post by MojaveGeek » Thu Dec 25, 2014 7:42 am

Again, you got some great pix and I really enjoyed them!

Indeed it is a long trudge to not get past the bypass. For the bypass on the south side, which you were looking for, it's probably hard to find from the bottom, a rubble filled gully. The higher bypass on the north side is easy to find at the beginning, but left us a bit lost for a while figuring where to get down. Either way, its a bit of work. But the part that you got to is still quite nice!

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Post by agtoau » Thu Dec 25, 2014 12:57 pm

Wow! This is like Kaleidoscope's twin brother. Beautiful photos.

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Post by SteveH » Fri Dec 26, 2014 6:05 pm

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clevelandc88
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Post by clevelandc88 » Fri Dec 26, 2014 7:44 pm

While it was of course disappointing to not make it to the upper narrows, I personally thought the area was MORE beautiful than my photos -- probably more so of an interesting canyon than Kaleidoscope, in my opinion. So many radiant, beautifully colored rocks, especially as the sun got lower in the sky, at which point the walls started to glow orange and red.

That being said, it is quite a long hike to not see the upper narrows...but with hindsight, I'd still do it all over again!

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