Limekiln Spring via Surprise Canyon hiking route
This is a difficult hike in Death Valley National Park.
The trail takes you to a silver mining town abandonned on the last 1980's when a flash flood destroyed the road. The trail follows the track of the road, up a set of falls and continues to the abandonned town and silver mines. Two of the buildings remain in any kind of habitable shape, the Holiday End with it's big porch and comfy fireplace and the Boy Scout Cabin. Boy Scout Cabin is reportedly maintained by the Scouts. There are cowboy petroglyphs and lots of silver mines to explore. Water is available at a spigot in front of the shop and the Holiday End. People backpack this usually because it's a 5 mile/4,000 ft climb to the town. You just need more days to explore everything including the giant chimney, the big bore silver mine (above the green construction on the south side of the valley.
It's a great winter destination when everything else is snowed out.
To access this trail drive north on the Trona-Wildrose Road to Ballarat. The road goes through Ballarat to Surprise Canyon, driving pass Happy Canyon. The road has huge cobbles, so high clearance is recommended. The road dead ends at the old Chris Wicht place. Park you car and head up the canyon on the clear trail.
This hike is far too difficult for kids. One might, however, just do the first part of the trail up to the waterfall which is about 1 mile each way. I would never consider this in hot weather and have done it a couple times in winter.
Sights to See
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