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anyone been up Echo Canyon lately?

Discuss 4x4'ing, Hiking, Backpacking, Camping
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netllama
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anyone been up Echo Canyon lately?

Post by netllama » Mon Oct 24, 2016 7:17 pm

Anyone been up Echo Canyon recently? I'm thinking of heading out towards Inyo Mine camp next month. Wondering about the road conditions.

thanks!

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Death Valley Dazed
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June 23,2016 drove down Echo Canyon

Post by Death Valley Dazed » Mon Oct 24, 2016 10:31 pm

and the road was in much better shape than I expected. I thought there would be wash outs and debris from the prior flooding, but no sign of damage.

Any SUV could handle the road all the way to Inyo Mine. Beyond that the road gets technical fast.

I got a thrill out of driving the old abandoned rail grade from Rhyolite past Big Dune and then veering off to the west, up over the Funeral Mountain Ridge and then dropping down into Echo. This took several hours and I had to exit the rail grade several times because I got tired of bouncing over the old ties still laying across the grade.

One must have a solid jeep to ascend the Funeral Ridge and drop into Echo. There is one dry fall that I'd only dare to descend, no way could I have made it up that dry fall w/o a winch.

I do not actually enjoy four wheeling over technical trails, to slow, nerve racking and noisy so I won't be driving this route up and over and then down into Echo again. However the drive up Echo to Inyo Mine is totally delightful.
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Gowergulch42
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Post by Gowergulch42 » Mon Oct 24, 2016 11:06 pm

It is reported to have wash-out damage as of a month ago or so and was closed briefly. Of course what that actually means is anyone's guess, but just don't take the Outback up it quite yet.
Check out my reports and informative ramblings at http://dvexplore.blogspot.com

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netllama
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Post by netllama » Tue Oct 25, 2016 6:44 am

Gowergulch42 wrote:It is reported to have wash-out damage as of a month ago or so and was closed briefly. Of course what that actually means is anyone's guess, but just don't take the Outback up it quite yet.
Actually, that's exactly what I was planning (taking the Outback). Its quite capable most of the time, although it can't handle deep sand or huge rocks.

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netllama
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Re: June 23,2016 drove down Echo Canyon

Post by netllama » Tue Oct 25, 2016 6:45 am

Death Valley Dazed wrote:and the road was in much better shape than I expected. I thought there would be wash outs and debris from the prior flooding, but no sign of damage.

Any SUV could handle the road all the way to Inyo Mine. Beyond that the road gets technical fast.

I got a thrill out of driving the old abandoned rail grade from Rhyolite past Big Dune and then veering off to the west, up over the Funeral Mountain Ridge and then dropping down into Echo. This took several hours and I had to exit the rail grade several times because I got tired of bouncing over the old ties still laying across the grade.

One must have a solid jeep to ascend the Funeral Ridge and drop into Echo. There is one dry fall that I'd only dare to descend, no way could I have made it up that dry fall w/o a winch.

I do not actually enjoy four wheeling over technical trails, to slow, nerve racking and noisy so I won't be driving this route up and over and then down into Echo again. However the drive up Echo to Inyo Mine is totally delightful.
Thanks for the details. I had no intention of going past Inyo Mine, as I've read numerous reports about how the road is challenging under the best of conditions. When were you last out there?

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Death Valley Dazed
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June 23,2016 drove down Echo Canyon

Post by Death Valley Dazed » Tue Oct 25, 2016 7:43 am

June 23,2016 drove down Echo Canyon
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tcknubs
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Echo Canyon Campsite

Post by tcknubs » Sun Oct 30, 2016 11:22 pm

Do any of you gentlemen know of any campsites in the canyon? How is the Inyo mine for a night of camping?

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Post by Gowergulch42 » Mon Oct 31, 2016 12:36 am

You can be ticketed for camping at Inyo Mine, but people seem to do it anyway. There are spots in the wider parts of the canyon, just before the turnoff for Inyo and the road to it.
Check out my reports and informative ramblings at http://dvexplore.blogspot.com

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Re: June 23,2016 drove down Echo Canyon

Post by Candace_66 » Tue Nov 01, 2016 5:50 pm

Death Valley Dazed wrote:...no way could I have made it up that dry fall w/o a winch.
I had to be winched up that in my modded Xterra a few years ago! :lol:

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netllama
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Post by netllama » Mon Nov 28, 2016 2:31 pm

And to close the loop, I made it up here this past weekend (with my Outback). The hardest part wast the exposed bedrock section about 2 miles in, but even that wasn't too bad. Lots of loose rocks & gravel the
entire way, but definitely nothing that would have required 4 wheel drive.

Inyo Camp was nice. Definitely one of the best remaining ghost town sites that I've been to in the entire park. The canyon narrows were quite impressive, and I thought that they rivalled Titus Canyon in a number
of spots.

During the day we saw 4 other vehicles at different places along the road. I camped in the narrows 1 night. Around 7PM (after dark), some crazy convoy of 5 huge lifted trucks came speeding (like going maybe 50MPH)
out of the canyon with enough Hella lighting to be visible from outer space. Scared the crap out of us, as everyone else was driving at a sane speed without lynch mob lighting. Other than that, it was peaceful the
entire night.

A few photos:

Image
Inyo Mine Camp

Image

Image

Image
Eye of the Needle

Image
Narrows

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Death Valley Dazed
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Echo report - thanks

Post by Death Valley Dazed » Mon Nov 28, 2016 8:44 pm

netllama, thanks for the trip report and those excellent images. You captured some eye candy texture on those shots.

I've only been in Echo twice and your report and images brings back the fond memories. Thanks again.
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Post by MojaveGeek » Fri Dec 02, 2016 7:27 pm

Nice pix!

Don't know if you did this, but a very nice easy hike is to follow the old railroad grade past the road closure some easy miles to an amazing escarpment looking over the Amargosa Valley. Apparently there used to be a cable works there.

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netllama
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Post by netllama » Fri Dec 02, 2016 7:35 pm

MojaveGeek wrote:Nice pix!

Don't know if you did this, but a very nice easy hike is to follow the old railroad grade past the road closure some easy miles to an amazing escarpment looking over the Amargosa Valley. Apparently there used to be a cable works there.
I read about it, but alas, i didn't get a chance to do it. Some other time, i hope.

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Post by DavidW » Tue Sep 05, 2017 2:09 pm

Did the road past into mine and up the dry falls couple years ago. I had a Tacoma 4x4 and used the locking rear differential to get up with no problem. My friend in his '99 Cherokee didn't have locking rear differential and took awhile to get up it after stacking rocks in the right places. Fun little road, but it's been a few years.

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Post by D.A. Wright » Wed Sep 06, 2017 11:40 am

I'll have to try it this winter in my Tacoma TRD and see if my buddy in his stock '99 Cherokee can do it also. I've walked up the east side and have only been up the west side to the point of the trail down to Schwab townsite.
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