|Day 1: On an evening hike in Mosaic Canyon|
|Japanese lanterns add cheer to our Furnace Creek campsite|
|Ubehebe Pk, left of center, and attendants (Mark Ammerman)|
Day 2 was our longest day, 170 miles R/T to Racetrack Playa to climb Ubehebe Peak in the southern Last Chance Range. 54 of those miles are on the world's worst washboard. After a stop for a photo at Teakettle Junction we parked and began our 2000' climb. The route to the saddle on the right is on an old miners' trail, then we followed a CL2/3 use path to the summit.
|TJ, with the snowcapped Inyo Range to the west. (Mark Ammerman)|
|A giant dust devil swirling across the lakebed behind The Grandstand|
|On the miners' trail (Mark Ammerman)|
|Looking down on the playa from atop the ridgeline|
|On the summit, looking north|
|Heading back down (Mark Ammerman)|
|The Grandstand is a remnant outcrop surrounded by sediment from the surrounding mountains, forming a surreal island in the middle of the Racetrack, and its most haunting feature. (Mark Ammerman)|
Views from the summit are pretty amazing, even by Death Valley standards. The Last Chance Range forms the divide between vast but utterly empty basins.
|We return to the valley as Ubehebe Peak's shadow crawls dramatically across the playa|
We spent the other days doing other hikes, and we even found a waterfall in one canyon. But this hike was our favorite.