Where is "Death Valley Canyon"?
Posted by JKB on June 24, 2002 at 14:51:22:
I recently reviewed with interest a copy of a hand-drawn survey map by Lt. George M. Wheeler, who surveyed the Death Valley region from Ft. Independence in Owens Valley beginning in 1871 for the Army Corps of Engineers. In Wheeler's report and indicated on the map is the expedition's entrance into Death Valley through a "narrow gorge-like can(y)on" somewhere east of Wildrose Spring, where the expedition gathered before crossing to Furnace Creek. His map labels the canyon as "Death Valley Canon", and his report further describes the canyon with "presenting among its tortous walls a variety of contour and color". The map further suggests that the canyon is somewhat south of a direct line from Furnace Creek and descends just north of Telescope Peak. Does anyone know which canyon Wheeler is drawing and reporting about? Interestingly enough, Wheeler's survey map shows no established trail over Towne Pass or through Stovepipe Wells; but does show a route from Grapevine Canyon west through Cottonwood Canyon and onto Ft. Independence, crossing the valley where The Racetrack is (labeled "Butte Valley") and through a narrow, rocky canyon north of "Salinas Valley" (now Saline Valley), which is shown as "Wheeler Canyon", then west down Mazourka Canyon into Owens Valley. Are these old routes still traceable? Thanks for any input.