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Salt Creek Interpretive Trail

Easy
  4.3 ( 3 ) Favorite

Trail

0.8 mile 1.3 kilometer out and back
99% Runnable
Easy

Elevation

Ascent: 32' 10 m
Descent: -32' -10 m
High: 0' 0 m
Low: -217' -66 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 2% (1°)
Max Grade: 3% (2°)

Dogs

No Dogs
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Map Key

Trail shared by Kristen Arendt

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

Kristen Arendt

Features Birding · River/Creek · Views

Overview

This short run along Salt Creek takes runners 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).

Runner Notes

Not an ideal trail run due to length, the boardwalk, and the fact that it can be busy with hikers.

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 run 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.

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Nov 9, 2019
Holly Snow Canada

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 3 votes

#2692

Overall
  4.3 from 3 votes
5 Star
33%
4 Star
67%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
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1 Star
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Featured Run Rankings

#418

in California

#2,692

Overall
12 Views Last Month
40 Since Oct 28, 2019
Easy

100%
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Photos

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

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