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End of March

 
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TrailHound
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Joined: 23 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2017 9:02 am 
Post subject: End of March


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We will be in the park from March 29 to April 2. I'm trying to hit the sweet spot where any bloom will be in full force, but the weather is not too hot. Living on the east coast means taking a wild guess about conditions two months in advance to secure travel arrangements. We will fly into Las Vegas, a mere two hours from our base in Beatty. The goal is to hike The Crack (see panamintcity.com), climb Coffin Peak, and see the Moonlight Canyon natural bridge.
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shane
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Joined: 29 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 3:13 pm 
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My wife and I will be going up lower Moonlight cyn the first week of March. We are prioritizing seeing the narrows but I'm hoping to make it to the bridge too if we have time.
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MojaveGeek
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 1:09 pm 
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Do you know how far up the narrows are? As in distance from the road or from the canyon mouth? I recall it being some decent distance but not sure how far, and if we're feeling energetic on the next trip that might make it up the list.
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shane
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 2:52 pm 
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Roughly 6 miles from the road I believe. Sounds like it's a bit of a tease as you only see a small portion of narrows in the lower canyon. My thinking is that if the lower canyon narrows are as nice as they sound then I should be able to convince my wife to try the hike into the upper canyon next time Laughing
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TrailHound
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:09 am 
Post subject: Monarch Canyon


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Details about lower and upper Moonlight Canyon are here:

http://www.panamintcity.com/grapevine/moonlightcyn.html

http://www.panamintcity.com/grapevine/uppermoonlight.html
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MojaveGeek
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 5:46 pm 
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Thanks, of course I should have checked Steve's site before I asked Embarassed

I've increased my day hike range lately so that could be a worthwhile place to go. I do like the view west across the valley as you ascend the fan there where the road makes the big bend to get closer to the base of the hills on the way to Scotty's.

So how about a different question. Anyone know how far up the side canyon the big tall arch is? Steve has great pix but it's hard to place it's exact location.
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Kauri
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Location: San Rafael, CA

PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 9:40 pm 
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You should be fine doing Moonlight Bridge as a day hike. Here's my report from 2013:

http://kaurijacobphotography.yolasite.com/resources/MoonlightBridgeTR.pdf

The Moonlight Canyon wash is quite rough, but it generally has nice wildflowers in the spring.
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MojaveGeek
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 7:19 pm 
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Ah, thanks, Kauri, that's a good map! Looks like it's about half a mile up the wash as the crow flies, certainly somewhat longer as the wash flows. I've been to some of the other arches in the area but not that one. It is quite a scenic area isn't it!
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MojaveGeek
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 7:27 pm 
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BTW the flower in the TR is a Bear Poppy. They are endangered so always fun to find one. I really like their fuzzy leaves (I think that is why they are called "bear"?)
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JesPortland
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Joined: 15 Dec 2011
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Location: Portland and Camp Sherman, OR

PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2017 1:34 pm 
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Nice report, Kauri.

How long did that hike take from the road, in and out? Many boulders to climb over?

Shane,

Maybe you could post about your hike? We will be down, arriving on 3/25 and leaving 4/1.

Cheers
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shane
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Joined: 29 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2017 7:40 pm 
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Jes, my wife had something come up and she has to avoid strenuous activity for 30 days, the moratorium ends March 24 Laughing
So we'll be there the same week as you. If I'm able to connect I'll try to get back to you on this.
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Kauri
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 9:44 am 
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@Mojave: Thanks for the flower ID! I figured it must be a relatively rare flower because I'd only seen it once or twice before.

@Jes: The report I linked to above is my report from the day we found Moonlight Bridge. We spent most of the day on the hike described in that report, because we first went up a different side canyon to check out another potential natural bridge location before heading down the ridge between that side canyon and the next one. We spotted what looked like a bridge in the next side canyon up from this ridge, so we dropped into that side canyon to check it out, and it did turn out to be a bridge. So we covered a bit more distance in that report than would be necessary to just get to the bridge.

I'd consider the hike just to Moonlight Bridge and back to be a moderate day hike, but I'm not sure how long the hike would take you. Steve Hall indicates in his report (http://www.panamintcity.com/grapevine/moonlightbridge.html) that he made it to the bridge and back in under 6 hours, but I think that's faster than most hikers (including me) would be able to do.

There aren't any boulders in the canyon that you need to climb over, but the alluvial fan to get to the canyon mouth is mostly softball to basketball sized rocks, and the Moonlight Canyon wash has a lot of loose gravel and is steeper than most of the washes in that area.
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JesPortland
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 11:00 am 
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Thanks, guys. If you could do just one, Red Wall or Moonlight, which one? We will be doing the Scotty's Castle Recovery Tour in the morning and was thinking about something for the second half of day.

Probably the longest hikes we've done is Kaleidoscope Canyon and Furnace Creek Slots, if that tells you anything! Also marble canyon up and back to the third slot.

For information, as a nine year old kid our family(s) started coming in 1966-1973 every spring break, then on and off 74-78. Finally got back in 2010 and every March since.
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MojaveGeek
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2017 6:28 pm 
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I have not yet been to Moonlight bridge or narrows. I would like to combine the two but it may be too far in a day. Redwall is a must, but do it on a sunny day, it makes the color come so alive! If there is a fixed rope at the dryfall you get to decide whether to trust it or not. In either case, there is a bypass that was documented here (Talus Jack I think?) that takes a while but goes just fine, and is well worth it, as the bit of narrows just above the dryfall is pretty cool. As you go down the bypass on the back side it looks quite exposed but really isn't.

I think you are more likely to see other people in Redwall, but it is not a heavily used place.
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