CA - Death Valley NP HP (Telescope Peak)

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Gary Neben
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CA - Death Valley NP HP (Telescope Peak)

Post by Gary Neben » Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:35 am

Telescope Peak 11048
Bennett Peak 9980
Rogers Peak 9980

Date: 2017/09/11
Distance/Elevation: 14.2 miles RT/4045 feet elevation gain

This was to be a good warm-up for us before attempting Mt Whitney in a few days. Janet and I were eager to stretch our legs after many hours of driving and Mark was coming from sea level, Florida, by way of Las Vegas. Telescope would be long enough and high enough to test our mettle, to give us a baseline for Whitney.

Telescope was so named because of all the views you could get from the summit. Unfortunately the fires from Yosemite and the other northwestern states this summer would put the kibosh on all of those views.

We drove east to west through Death Valley, from Beatty through Stovepipe Wells before turning S on the Emigrant Canyon Road and then Wildrose Canyon Road for the final push through the Charcoal Kilns and up to the Mahogany Flat CG. Along the way we hit 106 degrees - I guess it’s cooling down in Death Valley for September. :tongue: Putting Mahogany Flat into google maps will get you there just fine.

A car won’t have trouble making it to the Charcoal Kilns. From Charcoal Kilns to Mahogany Flat it’s 1.5 miles of soft, steep gravel and somewhat bumpy in a few places. A regular car will probably not make it. When we were leaving we passed a loaded family van going up while we were coming down which forced it to stop in a narrow section - it had a lot of trouble getting going again as it needed to back up to a more solid place to get a running start.

Mahogany Flat CG is primitive but it’s located in a wonderful, quiet setting and surprisingly has trash cans next to the pit toilets. This is a very nice staging area for the hike up Telescope.

We began our hike the next morning. The TH is clearly marked and there’s an excellent trail all the way to the summit. You’d be hard pressed to have an issue on this hike. We did have to hunker down twice to wait out a few violent storms. We were patient and after three or so waves of storms passing through the skies cleared for the rest of the day and we summited without further problems. Higher up the trail threads through a bristlecone pine grove, always a welcome treat.

On the return I branched off to roll over Bennett and Rogers, pretty easy add-on’s. I was surprised that Rogers sports a USAF installation on its summit and the signage there impresses that fact on you. The gated access road that starts at the CG below gives no warnings of privacy issues. As I was leaving I noticed a truck with a workman inside one of the buildings. I tried to be quiet as I left as I was unsure of potential trespassing issues.

We met again at the TH at almost the same time, ending a great day for us. We were happy with the effort and looked forward to the Whitney challenge in a few days. :thumbup:

Following are photos highlighting the trip and a topo showing our GPS tracks.
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Beauvais Jeanmard
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Re: CA - Death Valley NP HP (Telescope Peak)

Post by Beauvais Jeanmard » Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:07 am

Nice vacation Gary, you and Janet planned a great trip!

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