The trail through Golden Canyon is one of the more popular hikes in the park, so it is best to go early in the morning.
It is evident within the first ten yards why it is called "Golden" Canyon. The rocks are a warm, glowing yellow.
Of course this is Death Valley, so there has to be some wild color thrown in for good measure. The blue is due to the high copper content in that vein.
Death Valley was first discovered by the "white man" accidentally, during the 1849 California Gold Rush. A group of prospectors and their families split off from the main wagon train in hopes of finding a quicker route to the gold fields, and found themselves in a barren wasteland of cracked, salty earth. They suffered heat and hunger and thirst, all of their cattle died or were slaughtered for food, and it looked like it would be curtains for the whole lot. Two of their number, William Manly and John Rogers, set out to find a way out of the valley, slogging 250 miles on foot through the Mojave Desert. When they found civilization, they restocked their food and turned right back around without stopping to rest in order to get the remainder of their party out. This pointy rock is named Manly Beacon.
The trail leads all the way to Zabriskie Point, which we stop just a few hundred yards short of.