Death Valley National Park, Surprise Canyon, Panamint City

Surprise Canyon

This past weekend Brandon, Mihai, Albert, Trewdge, Lea and I drove up to Death Valley for a casual visit. We drove up to Novak camp at the base of the hike to Panamint City, passed out then got up the next morning for a good long hike. This time it was 5 miles but a strenuous 4,000 ft climb starting at 2,000 ft elevation. The hike was great!
We walked through a stream that flowed through most of the trail. Parts of the trail were actually on top of the stream and most of it was through the valley. Being close to fresh water was really refreshing. The water came from a spring and we would stop to refill our bottles. This part of Death Valley used to be a small city with a road leading up there, but long ago floods washed out the road and people abandonded the town. We came upon lots of abandonded trucks, mining equiment, and eventually homes and trailers. It took us about 5 hours to get to Panamint City and we stopped at this makeshift bench and firepit to have a well deserved lunch. The house by the pit had already been claimed by two campers that weren’t around. There was another pitched tent across the way but no one else around. We guessed they had been there for a night already since there were other cars at the trailhead.

After lunch and a nap we found a good spot for all of us to set up and it got COLD. We were anticipating 50 degree weather but got low 40s or so. So when dinner time came around we scarfed down our food and jumped into our sleeping bags for the night which I didn’t mind because we got time to enjoy the stars. Probably the best starfilled night I’ve had in a long time.

Devil’s Golf Course

The next day we hiked out this time taking 4 hrs and was pretty good since we had eaten away lots of weight and were going downhill the whole way. We got to the cars around 1pm and then drove through the desert to Death Valley National Park and visited all the sights like the Devil’s Golf Course and the lowest elevation in the world at 230 ft below sea level.

All in all a fun time and lots of cool things to see in one of the hotest places on Earth.

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