COFFIN CANYON 3AII, DEATH VALLEY, CALIFORNIA

February 21, 2017


Mike Green Descending Coffin Canyon. Death valley, California
 Finally the rain started to clear out a bit and it was enough to make the drive from Las Vegas to Death Valley to get at least one of the classics in the Black range.

Mike Green Descending the bonus drop in Coffin Canyon. Death valley, California
 Our original plan was to camp out with a group of canyoneers at Slabby for a weekend of Death Valley Canyoneering but the risk of flooding appeared to be a bit much for our threshold even though that we were told that we will be fine with the threat of rain. we decided to run a canyon in Vegas on Saturday and drive out to Coffin Canyon for Sunday.

 Coffin Canyon, Death valley, California
The roads had a few signs of washout from water running out of the mountains and there was a look of a storm on top of the black range but when we made it over to coffin canyon, the clouds were breaking on the windward side and we had some pretty good conditions.

Mike Green Descending Coffin Canyon. Death valley, California

 We started our approach up the mountain which was a steep but easy approach to follow the spur up to the top of the mountain.
Heidi descending into Coffin Canyon, Death valley, California
 There was a moment where we had a small mis-orientation but that was quickly solved and we made our way up and around the range to the head of the canyon.
Heidi descending into Coffin Canyon, Death valley, California

The views were spectacular as we made our approach to the head of the canyon.  Clouds were rolling over the mountain tops and rays of sunlight were peaking through the clouds over the playa.  It was quite spectacular to see.
Laura descending into Coffin Canyon, Death valley, California
 We continued on and finally made it down to the wash that took us to the first drop in the canyon.
 It was only a 40ft drop, I thought were were coming up on a 190ft drop right away but instead, we had a 40ft drop to work down.
Heidi descending into Coffin Canyon, Death valley, California
 Along the way we passed blocks of mud stone and sandstone with hoodoo structures and other strata within the wall which was very interesting to see.
 Descending into Coffin Canyon, Death valley, California
 After we got around the 40ft drop we came up to another 20ft drop.
 Pretty easy stuff so far.  we continued to work around a couple of small down climbs and than we saw a big vista with a nice vertical pour over at the bottom.
 We made it to the big drop. It was pretty impressive and it appeared that it was more than 190ft.  It looked like it was over 225ft.  we rigged a pull cord and rapped down while enjoying this drop.
 It always nice to know we still got it when all of us had just a bit of fear going through our blood. It felt great.
Descending into Coffin Canyon, Death valley, California
 We continued to work our way around a few more down climbs and we noticed that bad water basin was starting to flatten out a bit so we were making our approach to the bottom.
Heidi Schindel in Coffin Canyon, Death Valley
 Not exactly, we had a couple of 20ft drops to get around and a few washes to walk through.  We even passed a recent rock fall area where the wall appeared to just fall into the canyon itself.

Laura hiking up to Coffin Canyon, Death valley, California
  Thankfully we were not here when that happened. 

Coffin Canyon
 I thought we were making our final descent out of the canyon into badwater basin but we were rewarded with another bonus 100ft rap which was surprising.
Mike and Heidi approaching Coffin Canyon.
 I knew I saw this drop walking up the mountain.
head of coffin canyon
 After 5 1/2 hours, we came out of the canyon and enjoyed the hike down to the car.
Laura  descending into Coffin Canyon, Death valley, California
 I have grabbed around 10 other Death Valley Canyons but this was the first time for everyone else on a technical canyon in death valley and I think everyone enjoyed themselves.
Approaching Coffin Canyon
 I was happy with this route and it worked out perfectly with our schedule as I had to make it back to vegas and drop off, Mike and Heidi at the airport in time for their flights.
Mike and Heidi approaching Coffin Canyon
 The Canyon itself is a Death Valley Classic and I believe just about everyone that has been death valley Canyoneering has been here before, at least it seems.
Mike Green Descending Coffin Canyon. Death valley, California
I am looking forward to coming back to the black range to grab some more routes and enjoy the low altitude mountain hiking and, usually dry canyoneering that Death Valley has to offer.
descending into Coffin Canyon, Death valley, California
I hope that these canyons continue to remain open as they are beautiful to enjoy with friends and see the worlds pastime with the assistance of ancient waterways that have cut through the mountains of Death valley.
Coffin canyon Death Valley California
 I recommend this canyon for a half day trek if you have some time for a technical 3AII.

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