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Death Valley National Park:
Roads and Trails - Backpacking Hikes & Trails

Surprise Canyon

    Difficulty: strenuous

    Type of hike:
    wet canyon with remnants of old jeep road, some rock scrambling.

    Distance:
    5 miles to ghost town

    Elevation gain:
    4000 feet to ghost town

    Water: yes

    Start:
    6 miles northeast of Ballarat.

    Vehicle needed:
    high-clearance; 4x4 final 2 miles to trailhead

    Maps:
    Panamint and Ballarat 7.5 minute topos

    Comments:
    Old jeep road washed out in 1980s and offically closed to vehicles but makes a great hiking trail. Ghost town of Panamint City is a good goal but mountain scenery, abundant springs and bighorn sheep all make it a worthy hike. Another 7 miles of mostly trailless hiking over pass leads to Johnson Canyon Road.
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