I live in Medford, Oregon and I decided I needed some sunshine and a break from our rainy winter. I headed south and had several P2k peaks in my sights for a week long hiking trip. On Monday, January 23rd I stopped in Shoshone for my first hot meal in a few days at the Crowbar Café and Saloon. I don’t know when I have had a better burger and fries.
After a late lunch, I proceed up Hwy 127 to Death Valley Junction, then west on Hwy 190 to the Dantes View cutoff. I took then took Greenwater Valley Road to the trailhead for Funeral Peak. It was dark when I arrived so I pulled off the road and car camped for the night.
In the morning, I took my bearings and my GPS pointed directly at the Funeral Peak summit waypoint that I had set earlier. It was easy to see the hiking route. It looked like a long hike across the desert and then up a wide ridgeline to the summit.
I packed up and headed out across the desert. I made good progress and when I was within a mile of the base of the mountain I found a wash that had good footing and little brush. It was like a highway leading directly at the peak. I noticed other footprints in the sandy wash bed from what I assumed were other hikers.
In just over an hour I was at the foot of the mountain. I climbed out of the wash and headed uphill to the west. The footing was good and the router finding was easy. I just kept climbing and enjoying my hike. In another hour I passed over one of many ledges and I could finally see the summit ahead of me. It is a rocky knob that looks like a large coffin on a burial mound. How appropriate. I hoped it wasn’t occupied.
I continued straight up to the summit and found the register. What a great day with beautiful weather. I took several pictures of Telescope and the Panamints, Pyramid and the Funeral Mountains, and Death Valley. Why is it that Funeral Peak isn’t in the Funeral Mountains? I ate lunch and rested for awhile before heading back to Shoshone and another great burger.
Descending was uneventful and I followed the easy walking in the wash for a full mile before heading crosscountry to my car. Total hike took just over 5 hours and was about 9 miles. This is a great hike for the winter.
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