Third canyon south of Monarch

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Rockhopper
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Third canyon south of Monarch

Post by Rockhopper » Fri Mar 08, 2019 8:37 am

Third canyon south of Monarch, or second canyon north of Keane Springs

This hike is notable for the geology. There are ledges of folded shale, marble, and a lot of shiny red and purple schist. The total distance from the parking area to the high dryfall is about 2.75 miles one way, making for a round trip of five and a half miles. Give yourself about three hours. More if you plan on exploring.

To start, if coming from the east, park on the Beatty Cutoff road, 2.5 miles from the junction with Daylight Pass Road. From the west, park 7.4 miles from the junction of the Beatty Cutoff road with Highway 190. There’s a wide spot on the east shoulder of the road.

Look due east: there will be a flat-topped peak on the skyline, and below and slightly to the left, a reddish hill at the foot of the mountains. The wash comes out just to the right – to the south – of that reddish hill.

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Coordinates for parking are decimal 36.689424, -116.960670, GPS 36°41.36544', -116°57.6402'. The canyon mouth is at decimal 36.692406, -116.944931, GPS 36°41.54436', -116°56.69586'.

It’s a little over a mile from the parking area to the mouth of the canyon. It’s easy walking, but several washes must be crossed. About two-thirds of the way to the canyon you’ll cross a rough two-track; this leads to a mining trail two canyons to the north.

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The canyon starts gently. There are a few small ledges, easy to walk up.

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Below: folded shale, and a small dryfall (human included to show scale):

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A 30-foot dryfall about a half-mile from the mouth can be bypassed on the left. The rocks get more interesting the farther you go. Some slanting limestone ledges are pretty enough for counter-tops.

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There are veins of rusty, mineralized quartz too.

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To me, the real stars of the rock show in this canyon are the micaceous schists. There are silvery nuggets, shiny red chunks, and purple boulders that look like they are made of squashed sequins. The image below shows some of the colored schist, along with rusty quartz and a piece of fine-grained ebony-black schist. The background is a nicely polished marble boulder.

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Finally, about 1.75 miles from the mouth of the canyon, a bouldery stretch leads to a high, impassable dryfall.

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Tough cliffs appear to guard the sides of the canyon, making a bypass difficult. This makes a good turn-around point. The decimal coordinates of the fall are 36.697031, -116.930223, GPS 36°41.82186', -116°55.81338'.

All in all, a nice minor canyon for a half-day hike. Quiet, little-traveled, and scenic.

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Kauri
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Re: Third canyon south of Monarch

Post by Kauri » Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:10 pm

I almost missed this report---great job finding this canyon! I don't know of anyone else who has hiked it. There is certainly a lot of interesting geology in this part of the Funeral Mountains.
My trip reports, from Death Valley and beyond: http://kaurijacobphotography.yolasite.c ... eports.php

bluegreen kayak
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Re: Third canyon south of Monarch

Post by bluegreen kayak » Sat Mar 09, 2019 2:27 pm

Thank you very much - I enjoy your pictures, identifications, and narratives. Great trip reports and a wonderful antidote to cold rainy day in the midwest (I'm just glad it's rain and not snow yet again).

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Death Valley Dazed
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Re: Third canyon south of Monarch

Post by Death Valley Dazed » Sat Mar 09, 2019 4:22 pm

I really enjoyed your trip report and images. I never get tired of exploring canyons like this in the park.
Life begins in Death Valley

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