Darwin Falls is a year-round waterfall in a tiny spring-fed oasis in the middle of Death Valley - one of the driest spots on the planet.

Lower Darwin Falls is an approximate 4 mile out and back hike in Death Valley National Park. You can reach the trailhead from highway 190. The sign is rather faded - so watch for the entrance on your left about 5 minutes after you pass Panamint Springs (take a sharp right when you pass the springs). The road is rocky and uneven in places, so proceed with caution if you have a lower sitting vehicle. 

The start of the trail is an arid, desert environment, but the further you go, the greener it gets. There are many creek and stream crossings, be careful not to slip on wet boulders! Trekking poles are helpful in this technical part of the trail. Watch for wildlife: birds, lizards, frogs, snakes, and dragonflies. 

The lower falls is a stunning 25 ft split waterfall surrounded by trees and ferns and algae. If you continue up the stream, you'll find two more smaller waterfalls. The first part has no shade and can get extremely hot - bring lots of extra water. Dogs are allowed on this trail but must be kept on leash.

Photo: Matt High

Pack List

  • Sun protection (hat, sunscreen)
  • Water / water filtration
  • Hiking boots, hiking socks (wool), trekking poles
  • Snacks
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RT Distance 4 Miles
Elevation Gain 790 Feet
Activities Chillin, Hiking, Fitness, Rock Climbing
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Picnic Area


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