Christian Kemp's USA travelogs

< Previous | List | Next > Facing Death Valley's bad weather while hiking to Chloride City and Keane Wonder Mine, as well as a few other more touristy spots

When I woke up and looked towards Towne Pass, I could see new snow. So that's why I felt cold. :) I quickly got dressed, splashed my face with some water (Emigrant campground, despite being free, has running water), and got driving - the easiest way to get warm.

The entire valley was covered in clouds though, which didn't bode well. I passed Stovepipe Wells and Devils Cornfield (where I stopped for a few unspectacular pictures), then took the long way up towards Chloride City - a dirt road that should be passable by 2WD cars with average clearance. It departs from Hwy 374 close to the Nevada border, and after a while, I arrived close to Chloride City. The last mile or so were done on foot, because they required a 4WD - it didn't seem prudent to take the car up a single-lane dirt road hugging a mountainside, with slightly wet and slippery road surface...

When I reached Chloride City, it started raining. I took shelter in a cabin for a while, and then decided to retreat back to the car. I took the dirt road to Hwy 95 and re-entered Death Valley NP via Beatty, NV.

Driving back down Daylight Pass, I took the Beatty Cutoff, and headed for Keane Wonder Mill. Took some pictures of the Mill, before hiking up towards the Mine. When I arrived at the Mine, it started raining again, so I tried to get down as fast as possible again before a real downpour came - it's no fun hiking downhill over loose, slippy rocks.

I still stopped for a few minutes at Harmony Borax Works (where a tour bus had just stopped), then drove the short Mustard Canyon dirt road, stopped at Mushroom Rock (coating the car in a thin layer of sand as I braked, creating a dust cloud that stuck on the wet car like glue). I spent some time at a few unmarked and unnamed small canyons next to the road, and then drove up to Salt Creek as the sun was about to set.

My camp for the night would once again be the excellent Emigrant campground.

Campground Accommodation: Emigrant Campground (Death Valley National Park): $0

Short summary written September 3rd 2003.