Telescope Peak Adventure
- Guides Choice trip
- Death Valley’s most dramatic mountains
- Mining history of the Panamint Range
- Stunning Wildrose Peak
- Camp 9,000-feet above the valley floor
- Largest vertical-rise peak in lower 48
Spectacular vistas await! This wonderful adventure explores both the magic of wilderness camping and the thrill of hiking a truly magnificent peak. Our Telescope Peak Adventure is an incredible journey into Death Valley’s rugged Panamint Mountains. Unlike typical mountain ranges, the Panamints hide little of their splendor behind obstructionist foothills, making for an epically dramatic skyline that hovers over the valley floor – some 10,000 feet below. Over four incredible days, we’ll acclimatize to the altitude contrast of Death Valley while exploring the best of the Panamints before summiting two-mile-high Telescope peak. Enjoy two nights of comfortable basecamping before our summit attempt. For our culminating activity, we’ll make a two-day hike up Telescope Peak also involving one incredible evening in the high, backcountry wilderness.
Trip Dates & Booking
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- Shuttle to Death Valley: 5 hours
- Hiking Mileage: 3.5 miles
- Elevation Loss/Gain: 1000 feet
This multi-day Death Valley hiking trip begins with a fun day of orientation and exploration. We’ll start our drive from Las Vegas early. Upon entering Death Valley National Park, we’ll stop-in at the Furnace Creek Visitors’ Center, and pickup our backcountry permit for our overnight trip up Telescope Peak.
Continuing our drive across sub-sea level Death Valley, we’ll enjoy stunning views of the Panamint Mountain skyline, rising more than two miles overhead – an inspiring introduction to what lies ahead. Turning off the highway onto Emigrant Canyon Road, we’ll wind high into these magnificent mountains. Our lunch spot will be Aguereberry Point, offering stunning views of Death Valley, Badwater Basin and the Funeral and Grapevine Ranges.
On the way back to Emigrant Pass Road we’ll stop again for our first day’s hike down the little-explored north fork of Trail Canyon. Aside from being a great warm-up for our days ahead, Trail Canyon is a great way to enjoy the colors of canyon country before ascending into the high, open desert surrounding the Panamint Mountains.
Finally, we’ll take an incredible opportunity to visit the fabled Eureka Goldmine that was run for 40 years by pioneer, prospector and sole proprietor Stephen Aguereberry. As the day begins to wind down, we’ll drive the final stretch to our campground where we’ll set up our tents, eat dinner and get some rest for our next day’s fun.
- Driving Time: 15 minutes
- Hiking Mileage: 8.4 miles
- Elevation Gain/Loss: 2200 feet
Thanks to an interesting trail that intersperses steep switchbacks with restful flats, Wildrose is the perfect acclimatization hike.
After an energy-rich breakfast, we’ll prepare our daypacks for our hike up Wildrose Peak. As we start our ascent, we’ll pass a row of masonry kilns once used for local silver smelting operations. These 25-foot-tall stone orbs are the best surviving example of masonry charcoal kilns in the American West. And as we continue to climb, our trail winds through the thick, pinon-juniper forest that, in the 1870s, supplied wood for the kilns.
Upon cresting the summit, we’ll enjoy views of both Death Valley and Panamint Valleys. On a clear day, we’ll be able to see all the way to the Sierra Nevada. No matter the weather, we’re certain to catch inspiration from the tremendous views of Telescope Peak. After hiking back down Wildrose, we’ll make the 15-minute drive back to camp, where we’ll enjoy a hearty dinner in preparation for tomorrow’s ascent.
- Driving Time: 15-25 minutes
- Hiking Mileage: 5-10.5 miles
- Elevation Gain: 1500-4000 feet
We’ll start the day early with a quick breakfast before packing our overnight packs. Depending on the season and snow/ice conditions, we may or may not be able to drive all the way to the Mahogany Flat Campground, where the actual trailhead is waiting at around 8,000 feet.
If the last bit of the road is still closed for snow, we’ll have an extra mile and a half and an extra 1,000 feet of elevation gain for our warm up. We’ll be dry camping tonight so we’ll have to haul extra water up the trail.
For our wilderness campsite, we’ll select between a couple of options depending on conditions and how the group is feeling. One ideal spot to camp rests about 5 miles from the trailhead on the saddle between Banner and Telescope Peaks.
If we make good time and everyone is feeling good, we’ll set up camp, and take-off for the summit.* It’s said that the view from the top is like looking through the view of a telescope. Because the Death Valley floor actually rests below sea level, our summit views put us well over two miles above ground. In the contiguous United States, you’d literally have to get in an airplane to enjoy higher views.
*If the group needs to rest or if the conditions warrant, we’ll make our summit attempt the next morning.
- Hiking Mileage: 5-6.5 miles
- Elevation Loss: 1500-2000 feet
- Shuttle to Las Vegas: 5 hours
If we didn’t summit yesterday then we’ll get up early to make an attempt at it. Then we’ll pack up camp and make our way back down the trial to our vehicle.
Finally, we’ll enjoy a victory lunch at the vehicle and begin our drive back to Las Vegas. Cruising again through Death Valley, we’ll look back on the summit of Telescope Peak, contemplating our adventure and reflecting on our wonderful memories that are certain to last a lifetime.
Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however it can change occasionally based on temporary access restrictions, weather, lodging/campground availability, guest ability/injury, natural events like fires and flooding, and other potential causes.
- Top-of-the-line tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, and technical backpack
- Use of trekking poles
- All meals are included from breakfast the first day through lunch on the last day
- A professional, knowledgeable, certified Death Valley hiking guide
- Comprehensive, roundtrip transportation from your hotel in Las Vegas and back
- All necessary entrance fees and permits
- Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and satellite phone
- You will receive a Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and kids to a lifetime discount of 10% off any Wildland Trekking hiking trip after your first one!
- Clothes, raingear, and footwear
- Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
- Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight
- Guide gratuity (industry recommendation is 10-20% of trip cost)
All of our hiking and backpacking tours include a diversity of tasty meals packed full of critical carbohydrates, proteins and fats. We carry foods that travel well in the backcountry – rice, pastas, lentils, beans, couscous, packaged meats, nuts, breads, oatmeal, granola, and more.
For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, and fruits and vegetables (fresh and dried). In addition, we provide you with with an assortment of trail mix, snacks, and dried fruits to eat at your own discretion.
We regularly accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and will make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee.
We provide all group gear which includes the following:
- Deuter or Osprey backpacks
- Sierra Designs, Kelty or Big Agnes tents
- Sierra Designs, Kelty, Big Agnes and Mountain Hardware sleeping bags
- Thermarest or Big Agnes sleeping pads
- Leki or Black Diamond trekking poles
- Cooking stoves and cookware
- Company-issued first-aid kit
- Satellite phone
We ask that you supply a couple of gear items on your hiking tour. These items are three 1-liter water bottles per person and either a headlamp or flashlight per person. Basic items like sunscreen, bug repellent (where and when applicable), lip balm, and toiletries are also important. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.
Please refer to the trip packet for a recommended clothing list (we email you a detailed trip packet when you inquire and when you register). All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots (reliable brands include Montrail, Lowa, Merrell, Vasque, and Salomon), rain gear, and non-cotton and cotton clothing layers. A minimum of three pairs of wool or synthetic hiking socks are also required. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.
NOTE: See the Packing Lists page for more detailed information on what clothes and gear to bring on your hiking tour. The trip packet you receive when you contact us will have the most accurate clothing and gear list for the tour you're interested in.
Ready to hike? In the Dates section of this trip page, the green dates are bookable online by simply clicking on the date, and blue dates must be booked through our customer service team for a variety of possible reasons. To email our customer service team, you can click here to get the ball rolling. Our adventure consultants will confirm availability, and if you're ready to register we'll email you a link to a registration profile. You'll have 72 hours to complete your profile (and that of any dependents) and pay the deposit ($500).
Feel free to call us for more info - we're here 7 days a week!
This trip originates in Las Vegas, Nevada. Your guide will be in contact approximately 10 days before the trip start date to coordinate the pre-trip orientation, which will be at 5:00 PM at a hotel in Las Vegas. Your guide will then pick you up at your hotel the next morning for transport to the trailhead. For Private Death Valley Tours your guide will meet you at your hotel in Las Vegas at an agreed upon time.
Your guide will inform you of the first day's pick-up time at the orientation meeting. Generally, you can expect it to be between 5 and 8 am, although the exact time will depend on current weather and road conditions. We will drop you off at your hotel on the final day normally before 5 PM (this time is not guaranteed, as a variety of circumstances can influence our exact return time).
Your safety is our top priority. Our hiking tours are led by professional hiking guides, all of whom are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT's, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. We've developed comprehensive risk management protocols that our guides adhere to in case of an emergency, and most tours carry a satellite phone. If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) for more information.
Your tour will be led by a trained, experienced professional with a solid guiding background, years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. Check out our Meet Our Team page for staff bios.
Guides are required to take 8 hours off each 24-hour period to sleep, recuperate, take personal/down time...etc. In addition, as part of the 8 hours off they must sleep/rest or be in their tents/rooms uninterrupted for a minimum of 5 hours each night. We ask guests to respect these requirements and to not interrupt guides' off time and sleep time unless there is a true emergency.
The standard group size on our Death Valley trips is 6 guests and 1 guide, with a maximum of 10 guests and 2 guides. If you have more questions about group size, please give us a call at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) and we'll answer all your questions.
Age restrictions are as follows:
- 12 and older to join scheduled tours (mixed groups)
- 5 and older to join private tours, with final approval and specific logistical requirements (such as porter or stock assist) determined on a case by case basis
Death Valley encompasses an area with extreme elevation and climate variations. It is home to the lowest point in the United States: Bad Water Basin at 282 feet below sea level. Its highest point, Telescope Peak, is 11,049 feet high, a 11,331 ft difference!! Most of our trips focus on the lower elevations, and feature comfortably moderate winter temperatures, and warm-hot Spring/Fall temperatures. To be fully prepared, please follow the recommended clothing list closely (this list comes as part of your trip packet when you register). Read below for average high and low temperatures in the lower sections of Death Valley:
|Average Temperatures (Fahrenheit)|
Sleeping on backpacking trips is in premier 1-person, 2-person or 4-person backcountry tents. Solo travelers, and anyone else who requests it, are issued single tents. Top-of-the-line self-inflating sleeping pads and sleeping bags (professionally laundered after every trip) are also provided.
Fresh & Delicious
Meals from breakfast Day 1 through lunch the last day are fully included and prepared by your guide. We never use dehydrated backpacking meals, instead serving freshly prepared, delicious backcountry cuisine made with a variety of common and specialty ingredients that travel well in the wilderness.
In the Action
Of course campsites vary tremendously by destination, trip and even by the individual day of a trip. However, you can expect to camp in beautiful areas that put you right in the action to make the most of your backpacking adventure. We carefully design our itineraries with campsites in mind.