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04moneypit 01-06-2007 10:12 PM

Surprise Canyon-Anybody know the truth
I've been trying to plan a run here shortly to the panamint mtn range near death valley. The main trail I was planning to run was the surprise canyon trail to panamint city (ghost town), but I keep getting conflicting reports. I know the trail was closed in 2001, but I had read last year in off road adventures or 4wor that it had been reopened for a public right of way since the road had existed since the late 1800's. All the research that I have done is one way or the other, both sides running it's open or it's closed and I can't get a definite answer, so anyone know the truth? If it's not open, I know several other trails in the area that are fairly gnarly and I'll have to choose one or two others for the weekend (Feb.9-11). So far I have approx. 9 jeeps running the event (a couple tj's, a yj, and a handful of cj's), 7 are confirmed. If anyone else is interested, I would like to keep the run from 15-20 jeeps. It will be dry camping, and hopefully a ball. So let me know, I wouldn't mind having some WF buds join me on this one. Catch you all later.

mr4x4 01-07-2007 04:11 AM

I heard they still havent open the canyone to us but you can hike up
to bad I couldnt make that trip thats to far of a hike I would lick to see the old ghost town

I did hear its so over grown that even the hikers are having a hard time getting their

just look at what the eco nazi's are tring to do to suprize canyon
and the battle wages on

04moneypit 01-07-2007 10:53 AM

It's always the sierra club, isn't it? I read the article in the link and what it doesn't state is that it was an established road for 100 years, and the only reason mining hasn't continued was that most could not hike in, mine, and transport the ore out without a road or transport vehicles. They make it sound as if the Bakersfield trailblazers (the group that reopened the road) clear cut the canyon to get in there, which is far from the truth. I guess I'll have to call BLM to confirm, but I suppose I'll have to start planning some alternate trails, just as long as I'm out there is fine by me.

mr4x4 01-07-2007 10:39 PM

when are you going to go

04moneypit 01-08-2007 01:05 AM

Next month, the weekend of the ninth-11 feb. So far have settled on the run for sat. as the pleasant canyon run ~21mi loop. Starts at ballarat. Sunday is undecided so far.

Tom Budlong 01-08-2007 01:31 PM

Surprise is Still Closed to Vehicles
As of Jan 2007 Surprise Canyon is still closed to vehicles at Chris Wicht Camp. The closure was effective in 2001. It's not closed to hikers.

Recently the 4WD enthusiasts who purchased small private parcels in Panamint City instituted court action to open the canyon to vehicles under RS2477. Needless to say, this will not be an instant solution.

Also, the BLM is working on an EIS to define the impact of vehicles in the canyon. They have been working on this since shortly after the closure, and it's anybody's guess when it will be completed.

The people who run Panamint Valley Days in the fall used to go up Surprise, and as I understand have worked out alternative difficult routes in the area.

Hope this helps.

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