Ashford & Desert Hound Peaks

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Death Valley Dazed
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Ashford & Desert Hound Peaks

Post by Death Valley Dazed » Thu Apr 11, 2019 1:11 pm

The last week of March I circled up to Ashford and Desert Hound Peaks and back around via Scotty's Canyon into a lovely sundog sunset over Wingate Wash and Warm Springs Canyon. Enjoy a rare cloud framed close-up of Panamint Pass from the Black Mountains. Music by Longzijun.

On a lark, I scrambled straight up the south ridge of Ashford Canyon across from the north slot access to the Ashford Mine Works thinking this might be a short cut to the usual approach going past the Mine Works to the saddle between Ashford Canyon and Virgin Canyon. I don't know if this saves any time but the views from the ridge were just super which I would have missed following the traditional route.

I really enjoyed peering down into Ashford Canyon and the Mine Works after having explored that area last year so I knew what I was looking at. After bagging Ashford Peak I scooted down to the saddle and up to Desert Hound Peak enjoying the views into Virgin Canyon, Ibex region and the Panamints. It was also fun to read the peak registers and see the names of some of you and those of several park rangers that I've met.

I do not recommend descending via Scotty's Canyon unless you enjoy canyoneering or gawdawful bypass scrambles. On the positive side though, upper Scotty's Canyon is a delight with colors a plenty with curves and slots until you reach a 30-40 foot dry fall. Fortunately, I stumbled across an old miner's path leading from Scotty's back over to Ashford and from there I returned to the carpark.

This was an all-day hike from sunrise to sunset with perfect weather and I felt so lucky to capture eye candy mages of Panamint Pass framed by clouds and the sundown sundog was the best one I've ever seen in person. A lot of bighorn evidence but no sightings so you'll just have to settle for that friendly little sentinel on top of Desert Hound, a horned toad.

If I was not intent upon seeking decent image compositions for this video I would have finished earlier in the day but then I might have missed another fantastic sunset experience. I gave up trying to keep track of mileage but it was a long hike with a few really steep parts and the usual false summits that tend to demoralize when I'm already tired but it's always worth pushing ahead. :banana:

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MojaveGeek
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Re: Ashford & Desert Hound Peaks

Post by MojaveGeek » Thu Apr 11, 2019 8:41 pm

That is a very impressive hike!

John Morrow
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Re: Ashford & Desert Hound Peaks

Post by John Morrow » Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:02 am

This would be a fun one to repeat in your footsteps. I always wondered if on the Scotty's descent you were able to reach the spring before the dryfall impasse or was the impasse above that? If that is the case how did the miners access it I wonder? Perhaps the spring can be accessed for the other fork of Scotty's?
Last edited by John Morrow on Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:04 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Death Valley Dazed
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Re: Ashford & Desert Hound Peaks

Post by Death Valley Dazed » Sun Oct 13, 2019 6:19 am

John, I had the same questions about the spring and am still not exactly sure how to answer them. I'd like to return to the area and hike up Scotty's Canyon to find the spring and check out the huge dryfall from below. Then I might be able to make better sense of the area. There seemed to be a variety of trails from the miners and the bighorn sheep all over the area.
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MojaveGeek
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Re: Ashford & Desert Hound Peaks

Post by MojaveGeek » Wed Oct 16, 2019 3:34 pm

I've looked at that area a lot in the satellite images, and you can see many bits of miner trails but not clear how they all fit together, as some of them are pretty faint. But there are so many mine workings in there, they've all got to somehow connect to the main camp.

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Death Valley Dazed
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Steve Hall adds perspective

Post by Death Valley Dazed » Fri Oct 18, 2019 5:59 am

Steve Hall happened to view this video about four days ago and added this comment so I hope it helps clarify things.

"Nice video, DV Dazed. I really appreciate all your excellent exploration. Just note that Scotty's Canyon actually turns north at Timpapah Spring (see topo map), so you were actually in an unnamed side canyon above the spring."
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