Telescope Peak Climber's Log

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T. White

T. White - Nov 5, 2017 3:38 am Date Climbed: May 9, 2009

A summit to remember  Sucess!

Was alone on most of the hike to the summit. Snowfields covered much of the upper reaches and obscured the trail. Summit views were clear and glorious, especially of the Sierra.

The problem came when I took a little slip on some wet talus just below the summit and sprained my ankle so badly that I heard a "snap!" Soon after I encountered a *large* group of senior citizens strolling their way up with a couple of minders, lol! I was tempted to ask for help but instead limped the entire 4,000 feet and 7 miles down in order to both assuage my pride and not ruin their day... a foolish decision on my part.

Luckily my hiking buddy had stayed behind, and she drove all the way home. I summitted Half Dome six weeks later.


ericd - Jul 4, 2017 9:50 pm Date Climbed: Jul 3, 2017

Scenic Day Trip  Sucess!

Summited Telescope Peak in 3 hours on a hot day in July. Interesting temperatures as it was warmer lower at the drivable Mahagoney Flats TH at 10am than anywhere else. Kinda cool, the dry adiabatic lapse rate of Death Valley allows the ability to actually out climb the increasing diurnal temp to about 75*. No wind and grand ridgeline views of such extreme altitudes in the area.


theronmoon - May 28, 2017 10:35 am Date Climbed: May 27, 2017

Rogers to Scope  Sucess!

Great hike. Beautiful peak and route


missymtngirl - May 23, 2017 11:30 am Date Climbed: May 20, 2017

Checked off the Bucket List   Sucess!

Beautiful day, beautiful weather, not too hot, not too cold, free of snow and ice, outstanding views from the start of the hike, only 1 false peak..... just lovely. Completed the hike in 8 hours. I was going really slow for the last 2 miles, that always seems to happen to me. Gorgeous and highly recommended!

utclimber - May 18, 2017 11:00 pm Date Climbed: May 13, 2017

Telescope Peak  Sucess!

Really enjoyed Telescope, and also made the side trip to Bennett and Rogers on the return. Ultra #35.


sgenise - Apr 27, 2017 3:10 pm Date Climbed: Nov 24, 2016

Best Thanksgiving Ever  Sucess!

Death Valley is halfway between where I live in the Bay Area and where my sister and longtime climbing partner lives in Phoenix, so we met in the middle and had Thanksgiving dinner on the summit. Highly recommend it!


pBerg - Dec 1, 2016 5:04 pm Date Climbed: Nov 19, 2016

The Hard Way (Shorty's Well)  Sucess!

Definitely a bucket list route. Started from Shorty's Well at 330am, summited at 445pm, just in time to watch a gorgeous sunset.

It's definitely riskier to do Telescope from Badwater so late in the season. We were very fortunate to catch a narrow weather window on the day we were on the mountain; two days before and the day after, it rained/snowed.


sylvainalarie - Nov 28, 2016 4:19 pm Date Climbed: Nov 26, 2016

Weathered out

Started from Mahogany Flats trailhead after a very rough last few miles on the dirt road. Party of three fairly seasoned hikers. It was a beautiful and fairly warm day given time of the year. One of us only had a down jacket, but no shell, as opposed to two others.

Weather progressively deteriorated during the day with wind picking up. We had agreed on a turn-back by 15:00. We were 500 ft or so from the summit by 14:30; wind was blowing up a storm. Trail covered in thin, but hard packed snow; icy. One of us, without shell, was borderline suffering from hypothermia so two turned back. Remaining party member made the summit and caught up on descent. By the time we got back to Mahogany Flats, wind was blowing 40-50 mph steady with heavy gusts. It was also snowing pretty good. Dark by that time.

As I was not the one who summitted, I didn't count this one as successful. But it does show how weather can be totally unpredictable, even in SoCal desert. Also, we left too late and knew it. Nothing like an early start to hedge your bets.

This was my second try; hope third time's a charm...


jdmorehouse - Oct 11, 2016 5:36 pm Date Climbed: Oct 8, 2016

2nd Ascent  Sucess!

Fabulous weather, although the views were muted with haze. Fairly large number of people on the trail.


davidsanger - Oct 9, 2016 6:16 pm Date Climbed: Oct 8, 2016

Perfect weather  Sucess!

Camped at Mahogany Flats and hiked up standard trail. Clear weather and about 40 people on the mountain. Great views from summit. Tagged Bennet and Rogers on the way down.


CBakwin - Aug 9, 2016 3:12 pm Date Climbed: Feb 12, 2016

Yo  Sucess!

Had to climb this from the Kilns due to snow, pretty deep snow on the last part up. Beautiful day. 16 miles RT. 8 hrs.


Jkells - May 27, 2016 1:00 am Date Climbed: May 25, 2016

Beautiful Hike from Mahogany Flat  Sucess!

Drove up to Mahogany Flat campground, absolutely surreal and very remote drive up to the campground. The weather changed very rapidly throughout the whole hike constantly having to take my jacket on and off, from sunny and warm to strong winds and freezing. Hiking on and around each side of the Ridgeline on the way towards the peak gave absolutely perfect and clear views of death valley and badwater as well as the valley on the opposite side.

View from the summit was nothing short of perfect. With the peak being so prominent all around, could see 100+ miles in every direction. While on the summit, we had no wind so it was comfortable to relax up there for about 20 minutes. On the way down there was a snowy sprinkle that started about halfway adding to the experience.

Up in 3 hours and 25 minutes, 20 minutes on peak, and then 2 hours and 15 minutes down. 6 hour round trip. Would definitely recommend, tough hike for sure but the views are beyond worth it.


fallonclimbs - May 7, 2016 8:35 pm Date Climbed: May 5, 2016

Gorgeous day on Telescope Pk  Sucess!

Beautiful day up on Telescope Peak. Some snow in the shady parts of the trail but overall in great condition. The road to Mahogany Flats (~8000 ft) was in good condition.


CameronGround - Feb 23, 2016 10:56 pm Date Climbed: Feb 19, 2016

From Shorty's Well  Sucess!

Up from Shorty's, pretty cool hike. Dropped overnight gear on the ridge that separates the middle and south forks of the canyon and continued to the summit, about 9 hours up. Late-ish start so topped out right at sunset.

Consistent snow the last 2500ft and moderate temps meant it was soft enough to either posthole in the deep parts or slip in the shallow parts. Legs were really feeling it on the last steep push up to the north summit.

Topped out with a couple hardy guys who had hauled skis all the way up from Shorty's, one was a bit sketched by the many rocks poking through the snow and stashed the skis at the start of the summit ridge, but the other (who was apparently the originator of their crazy idea) was able to get a descent of the ridge out of his efforts.

Descended back to the ridge to camp at point 5303 for a spectacular reverse Dante's View to wake up to. Failed attempt to find the rock art down in the upper canyon the next day before hiking out, oh well.


ridings82 - Jan 14, 2016 1:01 pm

Re: Eff me.

Sounds like hike was 'FINE' - fucked up, insecure, neurotic and emotional.


EastKing - Nov 23, 2015 8:37 pm Date Climbed: Jan 19, 2012

With Gimpilator and Kristin5berry  Sucess!

The signature peak of my California trip.

trexkerry - Sep 7, 2015 7:11 pm Date Climbed: Sep 5, 2015

After Rogers and Bennett  Sucess!

Took my 2wd up to Thorndike Campground, was a bit steep and I was nervous driving above Charcoal Kilns but if my 2wd can make it than anyone's can. Didn't push my luck going further. Hiked up the service road to Rogers, then up and over Bennett before heading on to Telescope, then took the trail back down to Mahogany campground and the road back to the car.


Dundeel - Jun 26, 2015 1:28 am Date Climbed: Jun 20, 2015

Hot Time on Telescope  Sucess!

Trona-Wildrose Rd still closed. Arrived at Thorndyke CG around 1 am. Only ones there. Hundreds of jack rabbits on the road to Wildrose. Started hike before 7am. Very hot day with temp between 90 and 100.

erclerico - May 14, 2015 2:05 pm

Re: Telescope Peak

Hello - thank you for the post. We are planning a trip there this weekend and we are wondering if you can tell us if the road to Mahogany Flats open? We know we'll need to bring the truck - we had heard the road was closed to all traffic. Thank you very much for any light you can shed on the current status with that road.

melias - Apr 26, 2015 11:21 am Date Climbed: Apr 24, 2015

Telescope Peak  Sucess!

Drove up from Panamint Springs in the morning. 7:30 AM start. Trail is completely snow and ice free the entire way. A couple of small snow drifts near the trail at 10,800 but not on the trail. Road to Kilns is passable with a passenger car but up to Mahogany Flats is not -- need high clearance in my opinion. Overall it's a great hike - a straightforward Class 1 trail with great views at the top. Up in 2 hours 30 minutes, spend 15 minutes on the summit and down in 1 hour 55 minutes. Was solo and jogged down short portions of the trail. Some limited vertical exposure in two very short sections but nothing significant. FYI -- I didn't have cell phone reception starting about five miles after leaving Furnace Creek (coming from Nevada) so if you need to text or call someone, do it then.

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