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Wildrose/Thorndike/Mahogany Closure -- Extent of damage

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MojaveGeek
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Post by MojaveGeek » Mon Feb 24, 2014 8:43 pm

No snow on the road to the Kilns or the trail to the top of Wildrose. The gate beyond the Kilns is open but would be tough to get past Thorndike and even that may require 4WD. The Wildrose Canyon road appears to be open - guessing it was closed only because the Panamint Valley Road was closed.

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Gowergulch42
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Post by Gowergulch42 » Mon Feb 24, 2014 9:24 pm

It got pretty washed out during the summer. They have no reopening plan for it yet unfortunately.
Check out my reports and informative ramblings at http://dvexplore.blogspot.com

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MojaveGeek
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Post by MojaveGeek » Wed Feb 26, 2014 8:20 pm

There is no sign of closure or gate at the top where the canyon road turns off to the west. I did not drive it but it would be strange for the road to be closed but not gated up at the top.

Tried to check the morning report just now but just get a web error.

seanR
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Post by seanR » Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:30 pm

^^^^When I drove Panamint Valley Road last Tuesday and on Saturday evening (February 22), Lower Wildrose Road was heavily signed as closed at its junction with Panamint Valley Road. A barrier somewhat blocked the road. The status of the road has not changed on the Death Valley Roads Facebook page.

Anyone thinking of heading beyond the charcoal kilns soon may be facing changed conditions due to the rain and snow from the current storm and the one close on its heels.

By the way MojaveGeek, I don't think either of us expected to find another party (besides maybe some sheep) in Foundry Canyon, but I saw some vaguely familiar faces there last week and I'm pretty sure one was yours. I'd have chatted a bit more, but was running late to reach the turnaround point and felt a little bad about my son being so loud on his backpack ride through the falcon area. Anyway, if it was you, we made it to the big dry fall/end. The highlight for the kids was sliding down the smaller, climbable dry fall on the way down. We got back to the truck at last light. My four year old managed six hours of hiking that day in Sidewinder and Foundry with just 45 minutes in the pack. He and his six year old sister got a lot of great hiking in on other days too. So did my nine month old (in the pack). I'll post some reports if I get around to putting the photos somewhere accessible to this site.
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MojaveGeek
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Post by MojaveGeek » Thu Feb 27, 2014 6:26 pm

Wow that's amazing, Sean. Yes, we were the other party in Foundry that day. And no, I didn't mind the kid noises at all - though your daughter was the quiet type! I've spent enough time out there with kids in packs and out to appreciate anyone taking theirs out into the wilds. You would have noticed my son Ben with us and this marks his 13th or so week out there. I carried him plenty but he out hikes me now.

I think few parents realize what young kids are capable of in terms of hiking and its great to let them do as much as they can before stuffing them in the pack to make tracks. If you got all the way to the end and then back out with natural light, you did super!

We saw your vehicle stop nears ours and we were expecting it was someone picking up a party of climbers, given the time. So we were expecting to hear voices coming down the canyon, not up! We heard your youngest when we got back to our car just after sunset. We'd been looking over our shoulders to see if you were going to get out before dark but figured that you'd be OK with help (we assumed there was an adult in there with the baby!) at the roadside. We started late after an aborted attempt to get into the wash behind Artist Palette to see the blue mountain we saw a few years ago from Borax BM.

Did you see the falcons doing their courting flights? That was really a treat!

So it was fun to meet you - next time say hi :)

I will say that except for hikes on trails you're maybe the fourth or fifth party I've seen out wandering and I've been out there at least one week a year for 25 years now. So maybe anyone out there these days is a reader!

seanR
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Post by seanR » Sun Mar 02, 2014 1:21 pm

MojaveGeek, indeed I encouraged my four-year-old son to hike farther and longer than ever before and was pleased that he performed much like his sister, who has long been known to hike pretty far. The timing is good with another still to carry a lot for a couple years. My son's strategy seemed to be to chant and sing a lot. My daughter is talkative, but used to being quiet on hikes due to lots of adventures in solitude in DVNP and other spots around CA. Yes, we saw the falcons and I joked with my son that they were squawking at us as the one kept soaring around the canyon walls noisily. We admired the best wildflower display of the trip as well, but nothing compared to the enthusiasm brought out by sliding down the dryfall.

I didn't realize who you might be until after we had headed up canyon a bit and wished I hadn't been in a too much of a hurry to figure it out through conversation. We had a light and sometimes finish in the dark, but I try to get back on time to keep mom from worrying when she stays back.

We may run across each other again because I have been visiting every President's Week and/or early April spring break the past five years. The endless spots to explore along with much appreciated tips I have picked up in this forum and on Steve's site keep me enthusiastic about coming back. You are the first party I have encountered away from a road in the backcountry aside from slightly more popular spots like Fall, Sidewinder, and Marble canyons, where I have seen a few people relatively near the parking areas. We even had the entire charcoal kilns to Mahogany Flat to Telescope Peak drive, camp, and hike to ourselves the time we did that a couple years ago. Anyway, thanks to you and others for trip reports that help me make decisions about what will likely fit my family's taste and ability level.
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The stormy weather continues as I type. The weather station just above Panamint City has recorded nearly 1.7 inches of precipitation thus far during the series of storms. http://mesowest.utah.edu/cgi-bin/droman ... ?stn=INTC1
Hunter Mountain is approaching 2.25 inches of precipitation. Those driving or hiking high soon may find 1-2 feet of fresh snow or more, and some higher drifts. The long term outlook calls for a warm spring that should help the snow melt, but there's a chance of another wave of similar southern/central CA focused storms mid-March.

Death Valley Road Conditions Facebook page reiterates today that Lower Wildrose Road to PV Road is closed. The usual high elevation snowy weather spots (i.e. above the charcoal kilns) are mentioned, but it is also noted that a third of an inch of rain fell at Furnace Creek. Several low to middle elevation roads have flooding or debris. Emigrant Canyon Rd. has 3-4 inches of debris in places.
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Stincil
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Panamint Valley Road

Post by Stincil » Fri May 02, 2014 4:28 pm

I spoke with a park employee and he said they opened the gates near Wildrose Campground because vandals kept breaking them down; people by-passing the road closed signs and driving in from 178.

Has anyone gone that way lately and can you offer an idea what it might take to get through? We plan on staying at Thorndike and this is the shortest route.

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wbdeford
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Re: Panamint Valley Road

Post by wbdeford » Sat May 03, 2014 6:06 am

Was a piece of cake on April 23. Had to drive around barricade (No "road closed" sign) at the bottom. Down to one lane in many places with one or both edges of the road totally gone. Another barricade roughly half way up...this time a Road Closed sign, but easy to get around. A couple of very deep pot holes shortly before you get to the T intersection. Just had to hit them very slowly in a 2014 Chev Captiva (small SUV, but not particularly high clearance). Road to Mahogany Flat (driven April 15) was in great shape--probably could be done in just about any vehicle.
Stincil wrote:I spoke with a park employee and he said they opened the gates near Wildrose Campground because vandals kept breaking them down; people by-passing the road closed signs and driving in from 178.

Has anyone gone that way lately and can you offer an idea what it might take to get through? We plan on staying at Thorndike and this is the shortest route.

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Stincil
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Post by Stincil » Sat May 03, 2014 6:18 am

Excellent. Thank you very much.
Thanks,

Keith

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