Styx Canyon, A Sweet One!

First rappel in the upper canyon

Me, DB and Rick Kent started out one morning for a romp through Death Valley National Park's Styx Canyon. Rather than make the cross-country desert slog to the drop-in in Upper Coffin Canyon, we did an exploratory from the drainage immediately west of Coffin Peak. It gave us two rappels, the first one rather nice.
CP on the 2nd rappel

Below the 2nd rappel, we walked easily down the wash, passing the "standard" entry rappel on our left, and soon got to the Styx saddle. Moods were high.
A red, fluted rappel

Once in Styx Canyon proper, we soon encountered a terrific red, fluted rappel. Nice!
Huge sand cave

A bit below the red, fluted rappel, we looked up canyon-left and saw a huge sand cave. More nice!
Sand arch

And then, a large sand arch high up on the left canyon wall.
Yet another sweet rappel in Styx!

Below the cave/arch canyon aesthetics, we encountered several more high-quality rappels in a sublime setting.
CP ready to provide a spot

Excited descending the canyon, Rick, DB and I proclaimed this perhaps the best canyon any of us had yet done in Death Valley. Truly, a superb canyon.
CP on rappel as DB belays

Near the end, we encountered an awesome overlook of Death Valley (and beyond it, Telescope Peak). Immediately in front of us, a large boulder above a slot through which we were about to descend.
Atop the boulder rappel

DB and Rick jumped on the aesthetic rappel and moved on down. Then it was my turn...all a-grin.
CP on the boulder rappel

And then, it was over. Back in the desert, staring up at the boulder rappel and the mouth of the canyon as we walked back to our spotted vehicle. A great canyon!
CP at the mouth of Styx Canyon

*Photos courtesy of Rick Kent