Darwin Falls, Death Valley National Park

4.5
#14 of 28 in Parks in Death Valley National Park
Waterfall · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
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Darwin Falls is a waterfall located on the western edge of Death Valley National Park near the settlement of Panamint Springs, California. Although there exists a similarly named Darwin Falls Wilderness adjacent to the falls, the falls themselves are located in and administered by Death Valley National Park and the National Park Service. There are several falls, but they are mainly divided into the upper and lower, with a small grotto in between. At a combined 80 feet (24 m), it is the highest waterfall in the park. The canyon is walled by dramatic plutonic rock.

Darwin Creek is one of the four perennial streams in three million-acre (12,000 km²) Death Valley National Park. Darwin Falls and Creek are fed by the Darwin Wash, which is in turn fed by the volcanic tableland of the Darwin Bench between the Inyo Mountains and the Argus Range. The small, narrow valley where the creek and falls are located features a rare collection of riparian greenery in the vast desert and is home to indigenous fauna such as quail. The falls themselves support several small fern gullies.

Darwin Falls, the Darwin Falls Wilderness, the nearby town of Darwin, California, and all other areas named "Darwin" in the vicinity are named after Darwin French (1822–1902), a local rancher, miner, and explorer.
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Darwin Falls reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
137 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • I didn't expect to get my feet wet hiking in the desert. This easy hike was unlike any other we experienced in Death Valley. The vegetation was beautiful. 
    I didn't expect to get my feet wet hiking in the desert. This easy hike was unlike any other we experienced in Death Valley. The vegetation was beautiful.  more »
  • So glad we seen the previous reviews and made the decision to hike to the waterfall! We went July 25, 2021. Truly an oasis in the desert. Hiked with my mom and my 7 year old twins. There is an area... 
    So glad we seen the previous reviews and made the decision to hike to the waterfall! We went July 25, 2021. Truly an oasis in the desert. Hiked with my mom and my 7 year old twins. There is an area...  more »
Google
  • Nice short hike. The main problem is the ~2 miles of terrible road to the trailhead. The trail itself is easy but muddy and requires jumping over shallow streams, hence it might be infeasible for people with disabilities. The falls are not as beautiful as death valley's main attractions, so you should stop here only if you are staying in the area for multiple days.
  • The fall isn't too big but still worth the hike there. It's a mile hike, can be tricky depending on the route you take

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