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seeking half day Saline valley hike

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netllama
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seeking half day Saline valley hike

Post by netllama » Tue Mar 21, 2017 3:53 pm

I'm going to be visiting the park in April, and will have about 5 hours in Saline Valley to go hiking somewhere. I'm in reasonably good shape (I can do about 3 miles/hour on flat terrain), and am not adverse to some basic rock scrambling (but nothing that requires gear or risks a dangerous fall off a cliff).

I'll be starting off with my Outback from Warm Springs camp, so anything that isn't too far of a drive inside Saline Valley is fair game. I read a bit about Beveridge Canyon, but it seems to be more of a bush whacking adventure, and definitely not doable in a half day.

Does anyone have any other suggestions?

thanks!

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Post by CanyonmanClark » Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:16 am

Blacktop Mountain Loop. Just walk across Chickenstrip and look for the trail that climbs north up the slope. Can't remember the exact mileage. Maybe 6?

Also, if you want to drive back down Batrock Road, just pick one of the canyons right there in the Inyo Range. McElvoy Canyon, Keys Canyon, and Beveridge Canyon are all good. They're short...to small waterfalls maybe 2 or 3 miles round trip unless you want to try climbing and bush wacking. All should be doable in your vehicle.

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Post by CanyonmanClark » Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:20 am

All of those are listed in Michael Diggonetts books. These are must have resources for Death Valley lovers. Check it out.

https://www.amazon.com/Hiking-Death-Val ... 0965917800

https://www.amazon.com/Hiking-Western-D ... 0965917819

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Kauri
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Post by Kauri » Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:28 am

How about the Tafoni Canyons, or Grand View Arch? I've actually never had the opportunity to visit the Saline Valley, but those hikes will be at the top of my list when I finally visit.
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JesPortland
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Post by JesPortland » Wed Mar 22, 2017 10:32 am

Very nice ideas as we plan on returning to the Saline Valley next week for one day.

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netllama
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Post by netllama » Wed Mar 22, 2017 9:44 pm

CanyonmanClark wrote:Blacktop Mountain Loop. Just walk across Chickenstrip and look for the trail that climbs north up the slope. Can't remember the exact mileage. Maybe 6?

Also, if you want to drive back down Batrock Road, just pick one of the canyons right there in the Inyo Range. McElvoy Canyon, Keys Canyon, and Beveridge Canyon are all good. They're short...to small waterfalls maybe 2 or 3 miles round trip unless you want to try climbing and bush wacking. All should be doable in your vehicle.
Do you have any more details on the Blacktop Mountain loop? I tried googling, but didn't find anything at all.

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Post by netllama » Wed Mar 22, 2017 9:45 pm

Kauri wrote:How about the Tafoni Canyons, or Grand View Arch? I've actually never had the opportunity to visit the Saline Valley, but those hikes will be at the top of my list when I finally visit.
Thanks. Tafoni looks promising. Grand View Arch sounds a bit more dangerous than I'm comfortable with attempting. Are you aware of any online resources besides Steve Hall's website? Its kinda lacking in details (I don't consider a screenshot from google earth to be a real map).

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Post by CanyonmanClark » Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:53 am

Here's a small description from another book, but I recommend purchasing Digonnett's book. The Panamint/West one.

https://books.google.com/books?id=CZDgC ... ey&f=false

The trail is hard to see from the lower springs, but if you just pop out of the shaded lower spring and head toward Chicken Strip past the vault toilet, you'll see kind of a rock lined/cairn lined "trail" leading toward the dark volcanic hills north/northeast. Follow the cairns and footprints as much as possible until you find a well defined/worn path north up the slope. It switchbacks up the slope to give great views of the valley and then basically leads down into the next canyon north of the springs. This canyon drains back out southeast toward Saline Valley Road where you'll just loop back to camp. Great hike. Might find some flowers up on those slopes.

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Post by netllama » Thu Mar 23, 2017 12:34 pm

CanyonmanClark wrote:Here's a small description from another book, but I recommend purchasing Digonnett's book. The Panamint/West one.

https://books.google.com/books?id=CZDgC ... ey&f=false

The trail is hard to see from the lower springs, but if you just pop out of the shaded lower spring and head toward Chicken Strip past the vault toilet, you'll see kind of a rock lined/cairn lined "trail" leading toward the dark volcanic hills north/northeast. Follow the cairns and footprints as much as possible until you find a well defined/worn path north up the slope. It switchbacks up the slope to give great views of the valley and then basically leads down into the next canyon north of the springs. This canyon drains back out southeast toward Saline Valley Road where you'll just loop back to camp. Great hike. Might find some flowers up on those slopes.
Thanks, that's helpful.

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Post by Kauri » Sun Mar 26, 2017 8:40 pm

I'm not aware of any online info on the Tafoni Canyons other than Steve's report; the hikers who told him about the canyon don't appear to have posted a report anywhere. (I agree, the google earth maps really don't seem sufficient!)
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Post by netllama » Sun Mar 26, 2017 9:08 pm

Kauri wrote:I'm not aware of any online info on the Tafoni Canyons other than Steve's report; the hikers who told him about the canyon don't appear to have posted a report anywhere. (I agree, the google earth maps really don't seem sufficient!)
I think I've created a fairly decent gpx file for Tafoni. I guess I'll see how accurate it is once I'm out there next month. If it works out, I'll be happy to share more info.

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Post by wbdeford » Sat Apr 22, 2017 2:38 pm

If you haven't gone yet, I highly recommend Hunter, Beveridge, and McElvoy Canyons. I went to each of them about 10 days ago--Hunter one afternoon, Beveridge the next morning, and McElvoy that afternoon. The bushwhacking isn't bad at all. (But I highly recommend long pants and long sleeves due to bug bites.) The first couple falls in Hunter and Beveridge can be overcome pretty easily, though I stopped at the first falls in McElvoy....but I have to rate that fall as one of the prettiest places I have ever been. A waterfall on one side, while it "rains" down from the fern above on the other, and all while you look out on the Saline Valley dunes.

The black mountain trail is pretty cool too, as is hiking over to the red hillls where the peace sign is. The upper hot spring is worth a hike or drive if you have the time, but I'd vote for the other things first.

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netllama
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Post by netllama » Sat Apr 22, 2017 4:39 pm

Unfortunately for me, this trip was cancelled when my Outback was rear ended by a 17 year old, and was in the body shop being repaired.

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Post by MojaveGeek » Sat Apr 22, 2017 6:35 pm

Ouch!

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Post by ETAV8R » Mon Apr 24, 2017 1:47 am

When you do get to Saline there are two hikes right from the springs. The black hills to the north and the peace sign to the south. You can also hike up to the upper srpings.

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