Death Valley Adventures - Panamint City

in travel •  10 months ago

Panamint cover.jpg

On this adventure we headed out to Death Valley National Park to go explore an old mining town turned ghost town out in the heart of the Panamint mountains... the legendary Panamint City!

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I drove out to Death Valley and up Suprise canyon to the trailhead at the ruins from the old Chris Wicht camp. The other guys in the group met me there and we spent the evening camping there. The next morning we got our backpacks loaded and started hiking up the trail that headed up Surprise canyon. The surprise is how awesome it is! Huge cliff walls on both sides with a small creek and lots of greenery in the bottom and even a couple nice little waterfalls along the way. After awhile the canyon opened up into a wide valley and shortly thereafter we arrived at Panamint city. We explored some of the cabins, the smoke stack, and the closest and most recently worked mine. Then we headed back and setup our camp in the "Hilton" cabin where we decided to stay for the trip.

Evening at the Chris Wicht camp

Lower Surprise Canyon

Upper Surprise Canyon

Approaching Panamint City

Arriving at the city

Checking out the 'Overflow Cabin'

Entering the mine

Exploring around the old smokestack

We had a fun first night in the cabin, and we thoroughly enjoyed using the large wood burning stove in there. The next morning we set out from the city for a 3,000 foot climb to the top of Sentinel peak 9,638'. We climbed up an old mining road past 2 mines and then followed the ridge line above the upper mine all the way to the summit. It was steep and there was still a bit of snow, but nothing to difficult. The 360 degree views from the summit were absolutely amazing!! Panamint Valley way below on one side, Badwater basin (the lowest point in North America) WAY below on the other side, and Telescope peak the tallest peak in Death Valley dead center in front of us. On the way back down I decided to explore inside the 2 mines we had passed on the way up. Both were quite deep with lots of cool stuff inside including an old ore cart! After that we headed back down for another night in the Hilton cabin.

The old dynamite storage room

Old mining equipment

Arriving at Sentinel peak

On Sentinel peak with Telescope peak in the background

Inside the upper mine

An old ore cart still rolling on the tracks in the mine

Climbing out of the upper mine

Overlooking the lower mines on my way back down to the city

The next morning morning after breakfast the other guys in the group packed up their backpacks and hiked out. I had decided to stay a few more days and explore some more! So I decided to head over and check out the "Castle" cabin and then headed up Sourdough canyon. The trail followed up the canyon for awhile then cut out onto the mountainside opening up huge views. It crossed the top of Woodpecker canyon and ended near some old burned up mining ruins. From there we left the trail and headed cross country out to Peak 8,750'. The peak isn't huge, but it had an incredible panorama with Panamint valley directly below and Telescope peak directly above. After the peak we headed back down to the cabins where some other people had showed up to camp. They setup their tent by the "Overflow" cabin and I stayed in the Hilton again. It really is an awesome place to get to stay!

Morning time in front of the Hilton

Hiking up Sourdough Canyon

DQmNjhPVPpaGZYv46BjVA7iquh8KF9cDek1a14fxj43ijbX_1680x8400.jpg Ruins from an old burned up miners cabin

Looking across to Peak 8,750'

Views of Telescope peak from Peak 8,750'

Relaxing on the peak, enjoying the awesome view

Checking out the 'Castle' cabin

Night time inside the Hilton

For my last day of exploring I decided to head up Marvel canyon and it was a great decision! It was a really beautiful canyon and I found 5 more mines, and got to explore inside 3 of them. The 4th was vertical and the 5th was almost completely caved in at the entrance. I found lots of cool quartz crystals too. When I got back to Panamint city I decided to go check out the natural springs that feeds the water spigot, and I found it plus even more old cabins and even a cool old car. Then the next morning I got packed up early and headed back down Surprise canyon to the trailhead wrapping up another great adventure!!

Hiking up Marvel Canyon

Spotting the first mine of the day

The entrance of the first mine

Views in Marvel Canyon

The entrance to the second mine

Approaching the third mine

DQmZUP5aAR2BGQyAqauhwPJiE1SR7qvEvJ5YoLW85waW9FZ_1680x8400.jpg The entrance to the third mine

The "I'd rather be in Panamint City" car

Upper Panamint City

My final evening at the 'Hilton'

Driving back across Panamint Valley on my way home




youtube-logo.jpgYoutube video -

Thanks for watching!!

*All photographs taken by @derekrichardson

SWM.pngMap - !steemitworldmap 36.117795 lat -117.098562 long 'Panamint City' D3SCR
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What???? I wanna go! I wanna go! I wanna go! I wanna go! I wanna go! I wanna go! I wanna go! I wanna go! I wanna go! I wanna go! I wanna go! I wanna go! I wanna go! I wanna go! I wanna go! I wanna go! I wanna go!


Hey Mike?... Do you wanna go?? lol.

I've got some people from my SoCal Steemit group that have shown some real interest in going up here too, so I'll probably be trying to plan a trip. I'll keep you informed on that.

I love this post, it's beautiful

I am so jealous man. I have been wanting to go up to Panamint City for over 5 years now. I've sat down at Ballarat twice looking up, wishing I could go up. Some day you gotta take me up.

Awesome post, beautiful pictures.


I would really like to check it out sometime too!
@derekrichardson, how difficult/long is the hike in?


@mattlovell, you should read up a little about the history of the town. I won't spoil it, but it's pretty fascinating which is why I've always wanted to go up. Maybe we can plan a weekend hike up when I return from Japan in late April? Or a Meetup in Panamint City!!


@rt395 that would be way cool. But a weekend really isn't enough. You'd just get to hike up to the city stay the night and hike out. No time to explore. And trust me, you're gonna want to explore up there. lol.


@mattlovell It's a moderate hike. Not really difficult, but definitely not easy. It's like 7 miles one way. There's a few waterfalls to climb around in lower Surprise canyon, but that's the only technical stuff. Then it's just a long gradual uphill slog. It's one of those trails that hardly seems like you're climbing up until you stop and look behind you and then you see how much you've actually climbed.


I'm not in great shape... so 7 miles is about my day hike limit right now. If we plan for April when @rt395 is back from Japan that will give me some time to train ;)


Thanks dude. I'd love to take you up there. We just gotta find an available date and plan it!

We will feature this post in our Saturday RAP curation post!


Sweet! Thank you so much.

Holy woah. This is by far the best adventure post/blog I’ve found on steemit. This trip looks amazing, I had no idea about the village and now it’s on the list. Thanks for the tip and the great glimpse into what it’s like to be there in person. :)


Thanks! That's very nice of you to say. You should definitely put it on your list. It's even way cooler in person! If you have any questions about it feel free to ask me anytime.

That looks like an awesome place to visit. Thanks for sharing it with us!

a very interesting adventure .. and the scenery is so beautiful ... feels fresh if it is at that height


Yep, beautiful scenery and fresh air! I really love being up in the mountains.


I also really like the highlands ... there can get me out a lot of thoughts

That's a great adventure. I love to get off the beaten path and discover stuff like this. Great photography work too. Thanks!


Thank you! It was a really fun adventure.

Are you searching a gold?


No. There is some gold here, but the main minerals that were mined at Panamint city are silver and copper. I do love looking for gold though, but I've got better spots for that.


in aceh there is a gold mine. precisely in nagan raya. might come here

Hiya, just swinging by to let you know you're being featured in today's Travel Digest!


Oh, heck ya!! Thanks @steemitworldmap, you da bomb for shizzle.

Wow, thanks for sharing this gorgeous Death Valley trip. I have not seen these spots, and now I have a yearning to explore. Steem on!

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that was an awesome adventure you had! I sure would have loved looking at those views myself, and exploring those mines. :3

Wow, what an amazing trip. Love that you took so many photos to share. It's neat that you found old mining equipment in the mines. Oh, and that "Hilton" cabin must have been a fabulous stay! ;)

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This is so cool!! I want to go here! Its so great finding these treasures. I made my way to Spark Plug Mine near Bishop, CA last year. Same style, old miners houses and lots to explore :) Thanks for sharing, maybe ill make it there one day!


It really is cool! I highly recommend checking it out. Let me know if you have any questions about it.And if you get this book it has all the good info on the area.

Your pictures are so ... vivid! Keep em coming!


Thanks! Will do. Stay tuned for more vivid pics! BTW is your picture of a gold mining Doge? I freakin' love it!! lol.


Haha yes! Cheers mate

Real cool trip!!sounds like u guys had a lots of exploring fun!cheers!

Hi! I am a robot. I just upvoted you! I found similar content that readers might be interested in:


lol. Yes. Thank you @cheetah. That is my Youtube video from this trip. I've already included it in the post. I appreciate your efforts though!

So many amazing views, you nailed the shots. Thanks for sharing this with us!


Thanks! The scenery is really amazing up there. I'm glad you enjoyed the post!

What an awesome adventure! The photos are amazing. You are really brave going into those old mines. Have you ever been to the Whipple Mountains near Lake Havasu? There are a lot of old copper mines in the area. I don't think that I would venture in any of them though!


It was WAY awesome! I really love this kinda stuff. I swear I should have been alive during the gold rush. lol. I've never been to the Whipple mountains, but there are plenty of mines that I've found that I would never go in! These ones here were all pretty solid hard rock mines so I wasn't to worried. It's those placer mines that are super sketchy.


I think that the mines here were pretty much abandoned in a hurry when they built Parker Dam and made the lake. The miners lost their easy way to ship the ore off and get their supplies in. They left their burros behind and their descendants are still roaming free in the mountains.
Here's an entrance that's right on the road to the campground. I haven't heard of anyone exploring it.

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Awesome!!! Thank you so much for all of your support.

Another awesome adventure.. way to crawl in those mines for pictures.. I'm claustrophobic so that's the only way I'd ever see the inside


Some sections got pretty tight. I was even doing some belly crawling... definitely not for the claustrophobic. lol. I love it though, it gets that adrenaline going.


I shudder just thinking about it

Oh my gosh! That looks amazing, I would love to do that!

I have never been an adventurous person but reading this makes me thrilled. Was it actually dangerous at all? sorry to ask out of curiosity as never climb mountain before.


This trip had a few dangerous spots. Climbing around the waterfalls in Surprise canyon was pretty sketchy. And climbing to the mountain peaks there were some steep and rocky areas where a fall could really be bad. And there are plenty of dangers when exploring inside of old mines as well. But I like that kinda stuff!! It gets the adrenaline flowing... and the danger just kinda adds to the fun. I'm kinda crazy, I know... lol!

Yes we are so in for the next one. Looks amazing

Hello derekrichardson!

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Awesome post, felt like I was there! Love those ghost towns and old mines, explored some in the White Mountains, Bridgeport, and of course Bodie, this past summer.