Panamint City Backpack, March 2019, 1 of 14 images

 

Hiking through water in the desert
[NOTE: see maps of our trip on the last page of this photo essay.]

The trail to Panamint City is short but steep, with some route challenges, so it takes longer than you might expect. It's 5.45 miles long with about 3,600 feet of elevation gain. The hike up Surprise Canyon takes you through rock narrows and desert brush. Oftentimes the best route is in the creek (we brought water shoes). At one point the trail becomes a waterfall of algae covered rocks (right) which we navigated very carefully. There once was a road through here until it a flash flood in 1985. Walking the rough trail, it was hard to imagine stagecoaches, mining trucks, trailers and even a conventional 50s-era sedan driving up and down this canyon.