Donkey Trails

Share info and ask questions about great places to hike throughout the Death Valley and adjacent areas!

Donkey Trails

Postby blackturtle.us » Tue Oct 20, 2015 4:08 pm

Bruce Canyon Loop
Here's a fun loop hike that utilizes a bunch of old miner/donkey trails. In fact, I saw seventeen donkeys all together in one group near the end of the hike. The most western point of the loop is within a half mile of NAWS China Lake. The most northern portion of the loop is about a half mile south of Water Canyon. The beginning of the loop is accessed via a dirt road that goes by the Inyo dump site near the mouth of Homewood Canyon. Total distance for the loop is about 7.6 miles.
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Re: Donkey Trails

Postby blackturtle.us » Tue Oct 20, 2015 4:13 pm

Shepherd Canyon Loop
This hike utilizes even more donkey/miner trails than is the case for the previous hike. It also goes by a couple springs, a couple abandoned mine camps, a few mine tunnels, and even a large palm tree. The start of this hike is accessed from a dirt road that takes off from Nadeau Road in Panamint Valley. If you know how to get to the Onyx Mine site (which would be just off the eastern edge of the map), then you know how to get to the trailhead for this hike. This loop was about 6.8 miles with several steep sections.
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Re: Donkey Trails

Postby panamint_patty » Mon Nov 09, 2015 9:46 am

On the way back from a trip to Nevada a couple days ago I saw a groups of five donkeys just south of Slate Range Crossing. They were probably 150 yards west of the highway. I haven't seen many donkeys in recent years and that's the largest group I've seen in awhile. I'm sure between the drought and the BLM that their numbers are way down from what they used to be.
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Re: Donkey Trails

Postby deathvalleyjake » Fri Nov 13, 2015 7:51 am

Over the last several months I've seen donkeys in groups of up to seven several times. It's nothing like it used to be, but they're still out and about, particularly in Panamint Valley. I don't expect to ever see large gatherings of thirty or more in the area ever again, but they still pop up now and then and keep things interesting.
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Re: Donkey Trails

Postby tronagirl » Sun Jan 10, 2016 11:43 am

BRUCE CANYON DONKEY LOOP
Here's another hike that follows a lot of donkey trails. It's posted on the dvplants.com website. There's a link to the website up above and a link to the hike down below.
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LINK: http://www.dvplants.com/HIKES/DV/bruce01.html
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Re: Donkey Trails

Postby blackturtle.us » Sun Feb 07, 2016 8:36 pm

Gold Bottom Loop
This loop is 7.1 miles in length. The areas shaded yellow are donkey trails. They are extremely faint in some areas. The other shaded areas are dirt roads. I did the loop in a clockwise direction beginning at the northwest corner of the loop. The first mile and a half is up a canyon, requiring a small amount of easy scrambling in a few spots.
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LINK: http://www.dvplants.com/images/gb_loop_map.jpg
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Re: Donkey Trails

Postby CrustyOldFart » Wed Feb 10, 2016 9:33 am

Back in the day I explored the Gold Bottom Mine rather thoroughly. Well, actually I explored several mines in the area, come to think of it. That's an interesting loop. I wonder what the span of trail along the east side of the loop connected. Sort of looks like it lies between the Ophir Mine and the Copper Queen to me. Very interesting.
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Re: Donkey Trails

Postby blackturtle.us » Thu May 12, 2016 4:28 pm

Bruce Canyon Loop (May 2016)
This loop goes up Bruce Canyon and then down Orondo Canyon, following donkey trails a lot of the way. The cross over from the top of Bruce to Orondo is all faint donkey trail until the old mining road on the ridge over Homewood Canyon. The loop is 7.5 miles with 2000 feet of elevation gain and loss.
PICS: http://www.dvplants.com/SITES/BRUCE/index.html
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Re: Donkey Trails

Postby CrustyOldFart » Fri May 13, 2016 6:32 am

If my old legs could handle it I'd be out tracing each of the routes in this thread, but time has taken its toll and my hard hiking days are over. Not that I was ever what you'd call an avid hiker, but I did do my share of exploring and am familiar with many of the places shown on these maps.
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Re: Donkey Trails

Postby BallaratBob » Fri May 13, 2016 7:46 am

CrustyOldFart: Hunting was my thing and I've been to the top of Bruce Canyon a few times. Lots of chukar up there. Most people would be surprised by all the springs along the course of that canyon and many other canyons in the area. The BLM has cut off or limited access to lots of the best canyons for hunting, but if you got the legs to hike I suppose that don't matter a whole lot.
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