Harris Hill


By: Campy Camphausen


This backpack up Marble Canyon in the northern Panamint Range was Bob Greenawalt's idea. He had earlier been to Goldbelt Spr by a different route but wanted to explore the trail used by miners who predated the Hunter Mtn vehicle road (Marble Cyn 15' quad). Henry Heusinkveld and I rode in Bob's vintage Willys wagon to the end of the road at 2000 ft elevation in the canyon. Packs were filled with water bottles and I carried 13 liters for there days. We started up the easy trail in Marble Cyn at 4 pm. After 3 hrs we were at the confluence with Dead Horse Cyn and here we made camp.

An arrow points to Goldbelt Spr on a boulder at this confluence. The trail remains well-behaved and the rattlesnakes we met gave us plenty of warning. At a later canyon junction Marble Cyn is the more prominent one going the right. We were elated when we arrived just after noon at the dirt road at Harris Hill from below Goldbelt Spr. Bob and Henry checked out the wildrose-overgrown spring and excavated a pool in the mud. We relaxed out of the wind at one of the two cabins remaining there (elev. 4945'). When the sun was getting low-it had a halo indicating an approaching weather front-we picked out a campsite in the canyon. Henry quickly got a small sagebrush fire going to boil the dark and suspect spring water, which in time became clear except for a grimy looking foam on top.

Harris Hill (5738') overlooks Marble Cyn and Shorty Harris Cyn but dominates neither. It is merely a hill with a name for it, and is in fact the lowest hill on its parent ridge. But It has a small mine, or more likely only a prospect, which perhaps was dug by the man whose name has been put on yet other landmarks in Death Valley. We climbed it via the obvious trail to the prospect and then up the windy slope to the summit. A register book had been placed there by an earlier DPS party of 3.

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