Panamint Valley Stage Road
February 20-21, 2016
Leader: Bill Gossett
Mignon Slentz, Ron Lipari, Charles and Mary Hughes, and myself met Bill and Barbara Friday at the Trails Drive In at Trona and proceeded to the camping spot.
Saturday morning we took 2 vehicles to the drop off point at about 1100 ft. elevation, then all of us piled into the back of Bill’s truck. We then took a sometimes hair-raising and cold ride up to the top (over 2200 feet) of the old Panamint Stage road. Bill said the road was not used past the 1950s and today it is broken up by a wash and several places where you have to scramble over rocks. It is in a wilderness area so you have to walk it now. We saw lots of cool old trash (artifacts now) by the side of the road, things we had never seen before! We took pictures and left them there. After we finished the 6 mile downhill hike at about 4 p.m. we headed back to camp. Potluck consisted of turkey, dressing, gravy, potato soup and salad.
On Sunday we started on the trail early and headed to Panamint Valley. The first thing we saw were quite a few Geoglyphs on the desert pavement. From there we headed to explore what we think was an old CCC camp. It was interesting seeing all the trash they left behind, cone top beer cans, broken glass, head gaskets. This must have been a bustling place long ago! Next we climbed to the top of a hill over 4000 feet where we had lunch looking down at Homewood Canyon 1000 feet below us. We were on top of the world near the Orondo and Davenport mines. After lunch we went to the Gold Bottom Mine where I learned what Rock Nettle is and we saw very old inscriptions from the 1800s. As usual Bill showed us some really great stuff!
THANKS BILL AND BARBARA for a GREAT trip!
— Mal Roode