Death Valley - Pleasant Canyon Loop, Mengel Pass - April 20-23, 2017 - TTORA Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 01:42 PM Thread Starter
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Death Valley - Pleasant Canyon Loop, Mengel Pass - April 20-23, 2017

I'm planning a long weekend trip in late April (April 20-23) to southern Death Valley and looking for a small group of vehicles (less than or equal to 5). We will meet in Ballarat, CA on Friday morning (9am) and air down.

This is not an official TTORA event.

Thursday: Darwin Falls, Panamint Springs, Charcoal Kilns, Wildrose campground or Lake Hill primitive campsite

Friday: Meet at Ballarat at 9AM, east into Pleasant Canyon and check out the sights along the way (Clair Camp, Radcliff Mine, World Beater Mine, Cooper Mine, Middle Park, and Rogers Pass), Chicken Rock, Chicken Bridge, and Briggs Cabin. We will camp overnight at Briggs Cabin.

Saturday: We'll head out in the morning heading west out of South Park Canyon. We'll proceed south to Goler Wash and head east to the Newman Cabin, Barker Ranch (Charles Manson hideout), Myers Ranch, Mengel Pass, Geologist's Cabin, Mengel Cabin, Russel Camp, and Striped Butte). If we're lucky we can spend the night at the ultra clean Geologist's Cabin or one of the other cabins or we'll camp outside again.

Sunday:
Option #1 - Shorter route: We'll head back west over Mengel's Pass and Goler Wash before heading towards Trona via the Fish Canyon Escape Trail over the Slate Range. We'll air up at the end of the trail and either head home from there or head over to Trona Pinnacles first.

Option #2 - Longer route: We'll continue east along Warm Springs Road checking out Warm Springs cabin and the Talc Mine. We'll jump onto Harry Wade Road and take a quick jaunt to Ward's cabin. We'll then continue to Hwy 127. This route is about 60 miles of dirt.

FYI: I did Goler Wash, Mengel Pass, and the Fish Canyon Escape Route last April and these trails were moderately rated at best but I've heard the Pleasant Canyon road and South Park Canyon road are difficult, narrow shelf roads. If anyone knows a preferred direction to travel over Chicken Rock (from east to west or vice versa), I'm all ears. We can easily do the South Park Canyon route first and then do Pleasant Canyon the next day.

Video of Chicken Rock and Chicken Bridge from east to west.

Video of Chicken Rock from west to east

Attendees (Limit set at 5 trucks):
1. Boyfester (Marc)
2. JD914 (JD)
3.
4.
5. Sean K (Jeep friend from SCORE Meetup page)

Communication:

UY simplex primary 146.430MHZ (2m Ham)

Cell service is spotty at best. You may have a chance to check in with family at some point, and are encouraged to do so, but don't count on it!

Vehicle Requirements:

Vehicle in good working condition, with no known faults
Working 4WD
1 spare tire within 2" of other tires
Working, suitable jack
Front and rear recovery points
Ham Radio in good working order

Note: Stock Vehicles are not recommended for Pleasant Canyon and South Park Canyon trails. The road conditions are dependent on the recent storms and how often volunteers repair it. At times it may be impassable. Prepare for a narrow, rocky trail, and very tippy in spots. Terrain will vary from rocky desert pavement, extremely soft sand, off camber sections, deep ruts and washes, and a riverbed. There will also be some water crossings that are easily crossed. All vehicles must be 4WD.

Required Equipment and Supplies:

Enough fuel to travel 225 miles in 4wd
Minimum 1/2 gallon water per person, per day
Food
Well stocked, current first aid kit
Tow strap (no hooks!) & shackle
Method to refill tires, if you choose to air down (highly recommended)
Basic tools
Sanitation Supplies


Recommended Items:

Rear locker
Full size spare
Spares for common items
Still/Video camera with spare batteries and extra memory
Fire wood


This is by no means a complete list, but merely the high points of what should be considered for this trip.

For those uninitiated to expedition style desert travel: The best way to travel is to travel light but do not forget comfort items. Three days off pavement without a good night's sleep will be miserable!

Sanitation:
At some point during this trip, you will have to use the bathroom. I've never been to the cabins in Pleasant Valley so there may be toilets but be prepared if there are none. What you bring is up to you.

Firewood:
We will be camping 2-3 nights. If everyone brings 1-2 bundles of firewood, we should have plenty for 3 nights of camping with a good fire.

Weather:
Weather can be very unpredictable in the high deserts. This event is a rain or shine event, meaning we will be traversing the desert even if it is raining. Temperature can vary wildly but I expect the highs to be in the 80s and the lows in the 50s. Layers are suggested, as well as extra socks and gloves.
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Last edited by boyfester; 04-17-2017 at 05:39 PM. Reason: Updated the attendee list - again.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 02:03 PM
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Actually I may be in for this. Good time to go before it gets to hot

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 05:35 PM
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Well...
Trucks broken...
Driveshaft looks like a drill bit, u-joint flange cracked, tie rod bent, etc...
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 06:02 PM
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I'm not gonna be able to fix it before this weekend...
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 06:47 PM Thread Starter
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Are you referring to the Cougar Butte trip that you can't make, Dawson? My DV trip isn't for two more months. We'd love to have you on that trip!

Marc
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 07:32 PM
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Sorry, I was referring to Cougar Butte. Two months sounds like enough time to get things going again, but it's too soon to tell right now.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-23-2017, 10:31 PM Thread Starter
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Hey All,
Any possible takers besides JD for this April trip? This will be an overlanding trip with 2-3 days of camping. I've cross posted this with my Trails Offroad group and there may be some Jeepers attending too. I'm trying to keep the size of the group small (4-6).


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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-24-2017, 08:01 AM
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I'm in

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mwray8909 View Post
I'm in

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Sweet!!


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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-30-2017, 09:52 PM
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Any update? We're 3 weeks out...


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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-30-2017, 10:11 PM
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Yeah I'm curious as well

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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-31-2017, 11:42 PM
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We're still on apparently. Marc should have a track to share this weekend.


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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-01-2017, 02:03 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Any update? We're 3 weeks out...


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Sorry, yes, definitely still on. I was out last weekend and it was so windy I had to remove everything from my truck and sleep inside. I'm looking at different setups so I can sleep inside and not have to remove so much stuff.

I will be going up on Thursday, April 20th. I will send the map this weekend of what I was thinking of doing. I'd like to see the Wildrose Charcoal Kilns on Thursday and camp at Wildrose campsite or near there but the roads may be closed. I'll find out. Then we'll hit Pleasant Canyon on Fri-Sat. Then on Sat we exit Pleasant Canyon via South Park Canyon Rd and do Goler Wash, Mengel Pass, Striped Butte. We can camp near Striped Butte or in the Geologist cabin if we're lucky. Then Sunday we exit east on Warm Springs Road and Harry Wade Exit Route back to Baker. If people need gas, we could bypass Harry Wade Rd and fill up in Shoshone and take pavement back to Baker.


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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-01-2017, 02:09 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boyfester View Post
Sorry, yes, definitely still on. I was out last weekend and it was so windy I had to remove everything from my truck and sleep inside. I'm looking at different setups so I can sleep inside and not have to remove so much stuff.

I will be going up on Thursday, April 20th. I will send the map this weekend of what I was thinking of doing. I'd like to see the Wildrose Charcoal Kilns on Thursday and camp at Wildrose campsite or near there but the roads may be closed. I'll find out. Then we'll hit Pleasant Canyon on Fri-Sat. Then on Sat we exit Pleasant Canyon via South Park Canyon Rd and do Goler Wash, Mengel Pass, Striped Butte. We can camp near Striped Butte or in the Geologist cabin if we're lucky. Then Sunday we exit east on Warm Springs Road and Harry Wade Exit Route back to Baker. If people need gas, we could bypass Harry Wade Rd and fill up in Shoshone and take pavement back to Baker.


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This Sunday route is different from what I originally posted. If you guys want to exit back the way we came (thru Mengel Pass) and do the Escape Trail to Trona, we can do that. I'm open to ideas. The Escape Routevis really cool too!


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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-02-2017, 09:09 AM
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Sounds perfect. I'll plan to meet you either at the Kilns, the campground, or somewhere along Emigrant Canyon rd. There's lots to see there!
How many rigs do we have going? Is it just the 3 of us?


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post #16 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-05-2017, 12:52 PM Thread Starter
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2010 video of South Park Canyon and Pleasant Canyon

We'll be doing what these guys did on Friday, April 21 and Saturday, April 22, but in reverse.


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post #17 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-12-2017, 02:58 PM Thread Starter
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I just heard from Matt (mwray8909) that he can't make it so we have an extra spot open.


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post #18 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-12-2017, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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Also, I will have a propane fire pit since no open fires are allowed in DV so no need to bring firewood.


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post #19 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-17-2017, 05:42 PM Thread Starter
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We now have another open spot in our group as Josh just bailed out because of possible hot weather and his Jeep doesn't have A/C. Does anyone want to join our group to make it an even 5 rigs?

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