Rolling mud hills front the Funeral Mountains. This hike is only a few miles from the Furnace Creek Inn, the national park lodge where we stayed. The ranger told us about a hiker last year, fit and in his 20’s, who hiked this with a liter of water in the middle of summer. His wife called for help 3 hours after he was supposed to be done with his 3 mile hike…it should have taken him an hour. The rangers found him 4 1/2 hours after he had started, dead from heat exhaustion and dehydration. This is a woefully unforgiving land in the summer.

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