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Towne Pass

 
Towne Pass

Page Type: Route

Location: California, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 36.41990°N / 117.3183°W

Object Title: Towne Pass

Route Type: Hiking

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Time Required: Most of a day

Difficulty: Class 2

Route Quality: 
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Page By: Dennis Poulin

Created/Edited: Mar 2, 2008 / Mar 2, 2008

Object ID: 385108

Hits: 2315 

Page Score: 76.66%  - 7 Votes 

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Getting There

 
Towne BM
 
The trailhead that I used is easy to find. It is on Hwy 190 on the west side of Death Valley National Park. The trailhead is at Towne 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.
 
Towne BM
 

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.
 
Towne BM
 

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.

Route Description

 
Towne BM
 
The Towne BM trailhead is located at Towne Pass on Hwy 190 at elevation 4,963 ft. The route is easy but it is Class 2 with no formal trail. As you stand at Towne Pass, look to the northwest. There is a rocky brush covered slope rising about 800 ft up to a ridgeline. You will notice a rocky ramp that goes up from your left to the right and then connects to another steeper ramp that goes from right to left. That appears to be the easiest route up to the ridge. The footing is good and the brush is easily avoided.
 
Towne BM
 

Climb up to the ridge. Once you gain the ridge you will see the summit of Town BM further to the northwest across a large drainage carved into Dolomite Canyon. The route follows the top of the ridge around the drainage and then up to the summit. There is a faint climbers trail along the top of the ridgeline that you should be able to follow unless it is snow covered. The ridgeline has been surveyed and there several markers cemented on rocks and marked with steel fence stakes.

The route has several knobs along the way that you have to hike up and down. My GPS indicated the route was 7.2 miles round trip, with 3,075 ft of elevation gain with the ups and downs, and it took me 5.4 hours with about a third of the route covered in snow.


Essential Gear

 
Towne BM
 
The 10 essentials are always required. Bring lots of water from April through October. My cell phone worked from the summit. Sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat may be important. I like to bring a GPS with a few key waypoints entered.

Images

Towne BM