2 DEATH VALLEY RANGES GUIDE NO. 2.5
PANAMINT BUTTE 6584 FEET CLASS 2
MILEAGE: 215 miles of paved road, 5.7 miles of fair dirt, 0.75 miles of 4WD road
DRIVE/ROUTE A: From the Inyo County line just N of Trona, CA., drive 29 miles N on the paved Trona-
Wildrose Road to a fork. Bear left here on the signed Panamint Valley Road and go 14 miles N to its junction
with State Highway
190 just E of Panamint Springs, CA. Turn right (E) on State Highway 190 and drive 1.9
miles (0.1 mile W of highway milepost 60.0), turning left (N) on a fair dirt road. Follow this road 5.7 miles to
where it begins to curve right (NE) toward the mountains. All vehicles park here. The road is basically
impassible to all vehicular traffic beyond this point.
CLIMB/ROUTE A: Walk NE up the road to a small branch road leading left (N) toward the base of the ridge
near the Big Four Mine adits. Clim
b the slopes up past the adits to the ridgeline above, following the ridge
generally
E over points 3682 and 3850 to a flattish area at 5250 feet elevation near UTM 670323. From here
climb E up a broad face to the summit plateau and the top. The route up the ridge from the Big Four Mine
adits varies from easy walking to steep, tiring, unstable scree slope of the "one foot forward, two steps back"
variety encountered on the slopes just above point 3850.
There is a faint use trail that will make route finding
and footing easier.
ROUND TRIP STATS/2WD/ROUTE A: 5000 feet elevation gain, 8.0 miles, 8 hours
From the mine, about 7 miles and 4300' of gain.
DRIVE/ROUTE B: From the junction of the Panam
int Valley Road and State Highway 190 (see
DRIVE/
ROUTE A directions) drive 9.5 miles E on State Highway 190 to Towne Pass (elevation 4962 feet) and park
at the wide turnout on the N side of the highway.
CLIMB/ROUTE B: Hike W up the slope to the ridgeline m
arking the boundary of Death Valley National
Park. Follow the ridgeline, and the white NPS boundary ma
rkers, on a roller-coaster ride over bump and
saddle to the closed contour point at 7280 feet elevation (UTM 712324), approximately 2 miles ENE of
Panamint Butte. From here, drop down nearly 1250 feet SW to a saddle and then up over point 6390,
following the undulating ridge for another 2 miles to the summit. En route to Panamint Butte from Towne
Pass you'll pass within 0.1 miles of the highpoint of the Cottonwood Mountains, Towne Point at 7287 feet
elevation (UTM 716304). NOTE: Because of space limitations this route is not shown on the accompanying
topo map. It is however, a straightforward ridge run from Towne Pass.
ROUND TRIP STATS/ROUTE B: 5000 feet elevation gain, 16 miles, 11 hours
SIDELINES
1. This peak is located within the boundary of Death Valley National Park.
2. At mile 5.7 there is an established pull out suitable for camping. As of 3-5-16 the road was passable for another
1.2 miles with a suitable HC 4x4 vehicle with good, AT tires.