The road from the pull out at 5.7 miles in from the highway is passable to a suitably equipped 4WD vehicle. Three Tacomas made it up another 1.2 miles to the base of the ridge where the climb begins. Steep and loose. About seven miles round trip from here, well over 8 from the usual starting point.
The east face route is a rubble heap and slightly sketchy on the narrow section of ridge. Make sure to go over to the south summit which is slightly lower but has a much better view. We descended "Darth Vader Couloir" to avoid the narrow ridge choss. This was part of a 21 day hiking road-trip I did with Heather. Other peaks we did on this trip include:
Pinos, Sawmill, Aliso, Signal, Castle Dome, Ajo, Miller, Superstition BM, Turtle HP, Old Woman, Granite, Cinder Cone 3894', Avawatz, Pahrump, Pinto, Nelson HP, Canyon Point, Shadow, Grapevine, Wahguye, Palmer, Stirling, Northshore, Black Mesa, Hamblin, and Little Virgin.
We also visited Heiroglyphic Canyon, Marble Canyon, Cottonwood Canyon, Sheep Spring Canyon, Cadiz Dunes, Mojave Lava Tube, Parowan Gap Dinosaur tracks and numerous pertroglyph sites.
See the trip report with photos for more information.
After hiking over Towne BM on the way there, it was a grind to hike all the way back to Towne Pass with significant uphill. It only took us 8 hours RT, but it seemed longer. On this 4 day trip, we also climbed the Surprise Canyon Wilderness HP, Tucki Mountain, Canyon Point, Towne BM, Pinto Peak, Nelson Range HP, and Malpais Mesa HP.
We left Towne Pass shortly after six a.m., headed over Towne Bench Mark, the down a steep, loose crappy descent of 1200' or so, only to climb back up over point 6500 and eventually Panamint Butte. We came out in the dark.
Traversed from TP and then all the way down to cars waiting in Panamint Valley. Amazing descent.
My first time hiking in Death Valley. This was kind of a dull hike, but the rest of the weekend was great--Corkscrew Peak and some spectacular flowers in the valley, then Eagle on Sunday. I'll be heading back to tag more of the DPS peaks in the area.
Great ridge, great position, great views ... but, rather unpleasant terrain. Much of this route is very loose ... not the fun 'boot ski on the way down' loose ... loose with hard stuff underneath ... slippery!! Regardless, this was great day and a fun hike.