GPS Coordinates: 36.351860, -117.550730 (36°21’06.7″N 117°33’02.6″W)
Father Crowley Vista was named after Father John Crowley, the padre of the desert (1891 to 1940). This vista offers a panoramic view of the Panamint Valley. A dirt trail about 1.3 miles long towards the east of the parking lot leads you to the vista overlook. From here, you can also see the Towne Pass that takes you through the Emigrant Campground into the heart of the Death Valley.
The Father Crowley Vista point also overlooks the Rainbow Canyon, which is also known locally as the Star Wars Canyon. Jets from the nearby airbase do a low flyby through the canyons frequently, and that’s how the Rainbow Canyon earned this nickname. If you are lucky, you will get an ear full from the noise these jets make.
Best Time to Visit / Photograph
The Father Crowley Vista is a perfect spot to visit at all times of the day. Also, this is a nice spot for Stargazing and Astrophotography. You could also try taking pictures of the Jets flying thru the canyon.
Recommended Camera Gear
- Digital Camera with Normal to Mid-Range Zoom LLensr Telephoto Lense
- Cable shutter release or Remote Shutter Release
- Star tracker unit for Astrophotography / Telescope for stargazing
- Steady Tripod
- High powered flashlight for light painting and regular night time use
- Layered clothing to adapt to the changing weather or pack a sweater or windbreaker
- Carry plenty of water and snacks to keep yourself full and hydrated
- Wear comfortable shoes
- Headlamps and portable battery packs to keep your electronics charged
- Ball cap to protect your head from the heat
How to get there
Make a right turn on HWY 190 from HWY 395 near Olancha and drive roughly about 37 miles towards East. You will find a huge parking area to your left.
Place to Stay
There are a few rest area and camping spots near Panamint Springs. You can also car-camp at your own risk at the Father Crowley Vista parking area.
Pictorial Highlights from this place…