OverviewDeath Valley National Park, on the north side of Hwy 190, and is in the Panamint Range. Towne BM is ranked number 114 on the list of prominence peaks in California with a prominence of 2,331 ft. Telescope Peak is located about 21 miles southeast of Towne BM.
There is lots of great information about Death Valley Area, the Panamint Range, and Calif. Desert Peaks on other pages in Summit Post. It would be a duplication of efforts to repeat all that information here.
The route I choose to climb Towne BM is from Towne Pass on Hwy 190. This route is not technical. The primary danger is the weather with heat and lightning in the summer and the occasional snow storm and high winds in the winter. There are other routes to the summit of Towne BM. It looked like a route up Dolomite Canyon from the west would be challenging.
Intrepid SP'er Bob Burd has a great Trip Report for climbing Towne, nearby Panamint Butte, and an old aircrft wreckage site.
Getting ThereTowne Pass that is located between Stovepipe Wells and Panamint Valley. Elevation of Towne Pass is 4,963 ft and the occasional winter snow storm will dump several inches of snow at this elevation.
If you are approaching Towne BM from the west on Hwy 190, you will be in the National Park but you won’t have to pay the $20 (as of 2008) entry fee to enter the National Park. The first pay station is located east of here in Stovepipe Wells.
There is a nice wide parking area on the north side of the highway. I car camped in this parking area before my climb and no one hassled me.
Red TapeDeath Valley National Park . Check with the park headquarters if you have any questions.
CampingCamping in Death Valley is a list of Death Valley National Park provided campgrounds.
More info on Commercial Death Valley activities
I car camped at the trailhead without any problem.
There are many places along the route where you could backpack camp including the summit. There is no water available along the route from Towne Pass.
When to ClimbWeather. After a snow storm, the snow will add to the difficulty of the hike. In the summer the heat can kill you. It is best to climb the peak in the winter when it isn’t unbearably hot.
Mountain ConditionsDeath Valley weather info.
From the main Home page Death Valley National Park the Morning Report has good info on weather and roads.