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Camping on way to Towne Pass?

Discuss 4x4'ing, Hiking, Backpacking, Camping
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hwstock
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Camping on way to Towne Pass?

Post by hwstock » Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:22 am

I note that just S of Towne Pass, one is out of the park, so it is probably reasonable to camp right at the pass (one night, minimal impact), outside the boundary?

I see a climber.org claim that is OK to camp in the bare-bones site by the old Emigrant Ranger Station; that's in the DVNP, so I wonder it that's true.

Thanks

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MojaveGeek
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Post by MojaveGeek » Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:57 am

Something must be confused here - did you really mean to say Towne? The park boundary goes west over the range and down into Panamint Valley. North of 190 it covers most of the valley. South of 190 it covers the playa and the area on the east side of the Panamint Valley road.

There is an official no-fee camp at Emigrant ranger station. No trailers. It's a little gem for a single night. There is water and toilets. Even used to be a pay phone there. Designated sites. Even has picnic tables I believe.

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hwstock
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Post by hwstock » Thu Mar 22, 2012 12:25 pm

OK, I forgot the park had been extended since the 24k topo maps were made. My tope shows the old boundary right at the pass. The new official DV map shows the boundary now extends south of the pass. Thanks for the good info about emigrant ranger station.

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Post by MojaveGeek » Thu Mar 22, 2012 3:25 pm

Yup, I've hiked along the old boundary markers along the crest to the north of 190. And there's actually a nice place you could pull off just east of Towne Pass and get away from the road a but, not no longer legally. But Emigrant will be fine, just don't pull in at the very last minute on a popular weekend evening!!

If you get there and its full (about 8 spots?) by chance, you could continue on 190 over Towne, turn left on the paved road on the west side of the playa, and just drive down there a ways till you find some place nice to pull off - I've seen others do so a few times.

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Post by netllama » Thu Mar 22, 2012 7:17 pm

In my experience over the past couple years, the Emigrant campground has dramatically increased in popularity. Even on week nights in the off season it tends to fill up by late afternoon. Definitely don't show up there after sunset and have high hopes of getting one of the 10 spots. What I've been doing is showing up when I first arrive at the park (early afternoon), setting up my tent, and then heading off to do stuff.

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hwstock
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Post by hwstock » Thu Mar 22, 2012 7:32 pm

I could probably get there by 2:30PM on Friday, but would probably die of boredom, waiting for sunset!

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netllama
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Post by netllama » Thu Mar 22, 2012 7:36 pm

hwstock wrote:I could probably get there by 2:30PM on Friday, but would probably die of boredom, waiting for sunset!
So don't sit there? Its not all that great of a place to wait for sunset anyway.

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hwstock
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Post by hwstock » Thu Mar 22, 2012 7:47 pm

netllama wrote:
hwstock wrote:I could probably get there by 2:30PM on Friday, but would probably die of boredom, waiting for sunset!
So don't sit there? Its not all that great of a place to wait for sunset anyway.
I'd do jumping jacks part of the time.

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Post by MojaveGeek » Thu Mar 22, 2012 8:55 pm

For entertainment from Emigrant, you could:

1) follow the "old Indian trail" mentioned by Digonnet. It leaves from the northern side of the camp ground. It is marked but faint, you want to pay attention to it. It meets up with an old closed road which heads to the mouth of the canyon which goes to the Kerdell Prospect (I think). It's sort of pretty, and quiet.

2) Drive to the 3000 foot elevation marker (I think) and find the now quite clear and probably illicit path over to Jayhawker and maybe get as far as the spring and the petroglyphs. Sunset from the canyon mouth is actually pretty nice, as the shadows zoom across the valley floor

3) Drive down to the 1000 foot marker and do a leisurely hike up Black Point Canyon. I have a TR on it here and I think Steve may have a description on his pages. PM me for more info

Or drive a bit on the old road and walk up Telephone Canyon to the funny arch. Not that scenic.

Climb the ridge on the north side of Towne Pass and watch a nice sunset from up there!

Find Rood Rock, wherever the heck that is (I don't know!)

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Post by seanR » Fri Mar 23, 2012 12:18 pm

I've seen more than one report elsewhere that included sleeping in a vehicle at Towne Pass without incident, but legal tent camping would require hiking a couple of miles from the pavement.

If Emigrant campground works out, a trip over to Pinto Peak or Towne BM from Towne Pass might be squeezed in if one arrives early enough in the afternoon.

Driving southwest (and then west) from Towne Pass on 190 to the Panamint Valley, one could take a right on the dirt road that heads north (slightly east of the playa/a couple of miles before the south turn from 190 onto Panamint Valley Rd) and scramble up Lake Hill or hike out to the Panamint Dunes. However, if one bothers with that, dry camping near Lake Hill might be preferable to the other camping options mentioned. Significant rain or heat might make this option less desirable. The dirt road mentioned gets rougher past Lake Hill, especially after it turns northeast and climbs toward Panamint Butte.

If I were to park outside the park, south of 190 and west of Panamint Valley Road, I might feel like checking out some spots in the Argus range such as this:
http://deathvalleyjim.com/2012/03/14/lo ... ock-31112/

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hwstock
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Post by hwstock » Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:51 pm

I was actually planning to sneak up Towne Peak, over to Panamint Butte and back. I planned to get up early for the trek, then head to the next starting point in the afternoon on Saturday. I may do another mondo hike Friday instead.

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