Re: Manly Pass

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Posted by Last Chance Rand on October 26, 2001 at 13:45:44:

In Reply to: Re: Manly Pass posted by Art Berggreen on October 25, 2001 at 13:26:47:

I believe SteveS is referring to the Isham Canyon trail as the second route across the Slate Range, and, yes indeed, it is for hardcores! When Cal4WD runs it for Panamint Valley Days they require participants to have short wheelbase, front & rear lockers, a winch and NO TOP! Also, the Isham Canyon trail joins with the Manly Pass route once it reaches the crest of the range.

Art, I guarantee you'll not accidentally stray into Isham Canyon. The main route over Manly Pass is well marked and very well traveled.

The easiest trail head is from Trona. North of Valley Wells is a major dirt road to the east signed as a Trona Sand and Gravel Company. Follow this road a couple of miles, past a couple of athel trees. Just before reaching the sand & gravel company complex, a well-used route, marked as BLM P168, branches northeast toward the lowest part of the Slate Range -- that's Manly Pass.

The turnoff to Isham Canyon is about 1/2 miles BEFORE P168, but the route is obviously less traveled and heads north. This should not cause any confusion.

Only one caution: P168 enters the Slate Range via a small canyon wash, and after about a miles or less, presents a fork. Turn left here, which will begin to climb up and out of the wash. If you go straight, don't worry, it dead ends at a mining claim relatively quickly -- there is an old "no trespassing" sign at the fork, but it is no longer legible.

After crossing the pass, the route descends into the lower part of Fish Canyon and follows its wash into Panamint Valley. If you are up for a fun rock crawl, double-back up Fish Canyon. It only goes about a mile and ends at a point of interest called Briars Silent Sepulture. This rockcrawl, however, is not for most stock vehicles -- I recommend very good clearance for this side trip.

As a side note, I'll be leading 20 vehicles across this tomorrow during the early afternoon.

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